Your Stories

Your Stories

We asked General Surgeon, Dr. Katherine Tedman-Aucoin about the surgical program and recent expansion of services at Georgian Bay General Hospital.

Please tell us 2-3 sentences about yourself as a physician!

My husband’s family is from this community, so this was always our escape from the city and time with family, friends and nature. I completed electives here as a medical student and a resident, so it’s a dream and a privilege to be here as staff. I started practice in July 2020 as a General Surgeon, and I have subspecialty training in Minimally Invasive Surgery and Advanced Endoscopy so I could complement, support and expand on the incredible talent GBGH has already.

What changes have you seen in the past few years in the OR?

Since coming here as a medical student, I have seen a wonderful expansion in the services for an ever increasing population. From 3 General Surgeons to 5 with other surgical services including Urology, Orthopedic Surgery, and Plastics starting soon, it’s so inspiring to see our hardworking leadership bring much needed services to the local community.

In my own practice, I feel very well supported and have been able to work with our wonderful team to bring in equipment needed to expand my surgical practice to include laparoscopic hernia repairs and laparoscopic colectomies. We have also had the incredible opportunity to update our endoscopy instruments to offer advanced polypectomies.

What does the OR need to continue growing / expanding the surgical services offered at GBGH?

Part of my training includes ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography). Currently patients requiring an ERCP have to be transferred to Barrie or Toronto which can result in admissions of several days while awaiting their procedure. We transfer almost 100 inpatients per year.

A C-arm is an essential part of this surgery, which we have just acquired, and I am beyond excited about! But, we would also need an additional scope tower and special side viewing scopes to make this procedure possible close to home and without delay for our patients.

An additional scope tower for the OR would also mean shorter delays in patients who require emergency endoscopy and help facilitate ongoing laparoscopic colon resections.

Our OR has been updated with some great new equipment and technology. How does this affect your work and the OR team at GBGH?

I am so grateful for the generosity of the donors and all the support I have had in expanding my practice. It’s fantastic to be able to offer patients laparoscopic surgery and endoscopy with state of the art equipment (new monitors, additional equipment, and new scopes).

Updated equipment means expanding on the procedures we can offer for our community, and supporting General Surgery as well as the Subspecialists. Patients and staff benefit from new technology, and I am very grateful to the Foundation & community supporters for their continued investment and support!

Ron Chalmers & Gord Fraser believe strongly that a well-equipped, local hospital is of prime importance, and they are strong supporters of their local Georgian Bay General. Gord spent many years as a member of other hospital auxiliaries and foundations, and they learned early on that hospitals rely on donations for virtually everything inside the building – from night tables to MRI machines. Gord also has Type 1 Diabetes, making their appreciation for quality health care even greater.

Although they have had wills in place for many years, they recently updated their estate plans, leaving the largest gift to the Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation because of its universal benefit to the entire community.

“I cannot tell you the joy that it brought Gord and myself as we officially signed our ‘Last Will & Testament’ documents,” shares Ron. “We are honoured to be able to give back from our lives well lived, and have a significant impact on the future of Georgian Bay General Hospital.”

Together for 53 years, Ron & Gord developed, operated and sold a successful Petroleum Distribution and HVAC business.  In 2006, they retired to Victoria Harbour, their own ‘little piece of Heaven on Earth’, as Ron calls it.

Ron & Gord are passionate philanthropists, with a love for travel, community and giving back. In 2016, they learned about the GBGH Foundation’s Cornerstone Partners program from their neighbours, and joined immediately. They felt that it was important to support the Foundation annually, while also planning for the future. Ron & Gord have been generous donors to the GBGH Foundation over the past six years, having a significant impact on the most critical equipment and technology priorities at Georgian Bay General Hospital.

“We have come to realize that our local hospital is so important,” says Ron. “Most of us are born in a hospital, and even if you never go there for the rest of your life, you’ll probably spend some time there at the end before you go.  And, GBGH is one of the finest mid-sized hospitals in the province.”

The GBGH Foundation is honoured to celebrate Ron & Gord’s generosity today, and in the future.  Ron & Gord have found a trusted partner in the GBGH Foundation, commenting that the people were easy to talk to and made them feel comfortable discussing their planned giving intentions. As they look to the future, they are confident that their legacy will ensure a well-equipped local hospital for their home community for generations to come.

If you would like to learn more about leaving a legacy at Georgian Bay General Hospital, please click here, or contact Christine Baguley, Philanthropy Officer at the GBGH Foundation.