Your Stories

Your Stories

As a donor, and hospital volunteer, James Layter has been helping to care for patients at Georgian Bay General Hospital for nearly twenty years. Prior to pandemic lockdowns, he spent three days each week helping patients on 1 North at GBGH get to their rehab, physiotherapy and diagnostic imaging appointments within the hospital. And as a donor, James has helped to put vital equipment into the hands of the skilled staff and credentialed staff at GBGH so that they can provide exceptional care.

James has now extended his legacy of caring for patients at GBGH by making a bequest to the GBGH Foundation is his will.

James first came to North Simcoe in the 1940’s, as his family had a cottage at Nottawaga Beach. He was gifted the cottage by his parents when they passed away, and has been a permanent resident in both Tiny Township and Midland ever since. He began to support GBGH through special events and local fundraisers, but when James became a volunteer at GBGH, he began to see the need for updated equipment. And, when he visited the hospital as a patient in 2018, he realized that more support was needed.

When I had a hernia a few years ago, some of the equipment they used to fix me up looked so old,” shares James. “I decided that when I got out of the hospital, I was going to give the Foundation more money so the hospital could keep more up to date with technology.

Today, James continues to support the Foundation annually as a member of the Cornerstone Partners program and is recognized for his generous support through the Foundation’s Best Care Leadership Circle.

Letting the Foundation know about my legacy intentions was easy,” says James. “They have a form that only takes a few minutes to fill out, and now I have the opportunity to learn more about how my legacy gift will ensure exceptional care continues for patients at Georgian Bay General Hospital for many years to come.

If you would like more information on leaving a legacy at GBGH, please click here.

We spoke to GBGH’s Dietitian, Brittany Gagnon, about her role at the hospital and the role nutrition plays in patient health and recovery.

What is your role at GBGH?

I am a registered dietitian. My job is to find the best nutrition care plan for our patients, which can be as many as 120 patients at a time. It can definitely be a challenge because there are many different dietary restrictions to consider – whether it be different textures, allergies or preferences – and we try our best to accommodate each individual patient.


Why is nutrition so important in a patient’s healthcare journey?

We know that almost half the patients admitted to hospital are at a high risk of malnutrition. These patients have infections that are harder to treat, wounds that are harder to heal, and stay longer in hospital. When we can offer a variety of meals that look appealing, and accommodate different diets and preferences, patients eat more and improve their nutritional status, which means faster recovery!


GBGH is an older hospital, and we face challenges with aging equipment in all departments. How does aging or not functional equipment affect the dietary team?

Because of outdated equipment, we have a limited capacity to prepare patient meals in our kitchen and many menu items arrive ready to serve. This makes it challenging to accommodate all of the diet preferences and restrictions, but the entire team works hard to provide excellent service to all of our patients.


What is Freshflex™?

Freshflex™ is an innovative menu system, built on fresh, flavourful, nutritious meals. Within the program, patients choose from a 7 day menu that includes choices for starters, entrees and desserts, with more than 100 restaurant quality dishes to explore. Because these meals have excellent presentation, and variety, patients are more likely to eat them, improving their nutritional status.


The Freshflex™ system includes two specialized ovens, which have the ability to steam, roast, bake and cook. This will provide the team with the equipment and ability to customize meals to accommodate diverse dietary preferences.

To learn more about the Freshflex™ system and how you can help, click here.