Napiers continue to help south Muskoka with $500,000 donation for CT scanner at hospital in Bracebridge
BRACEBRIDGE — A generous donation by a pair of local philanthropists has netted the Bracebridge hospital foundation half a million dollars to replace the CT scanner.
Brock and Willa Napier have a passion for local health care that has led to a “leadership donation” to the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation (SMHF).
The Napiers are retired cottagers at Minett and are a force behind a planned Wellness Centre in Port Carling.
In a small reception Monday at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Site in Bracebridge, the Napiers presented a cheque for $500,000 to the Foundation.
“It brings us great joy,” says Brock Napier, “to do this while we’re still alive rather than to put it in our will. It helps others and encourages other donors to hop on board as well. In order for hospitals to survive nowadays, they need private individuals to contribute, so we felt we had to do what we can.”
The Napiers, year-round Muskoka residents from Minett, have specified that their gift be directed toward replacing the existing CT scanner, which is now more than nine years old. The proposal to replace the CT scanner is part of the upcoming ‘Get Better’ capital campaign to support $6.5 million in technology improvements at the hospital. A new CT scanner will not only reduce radiation exposure to patients by 70% but will also operate 10 times faster, thereby reducing patient discomfort and allowing for clearer images. The total cost for the new CT will be close to $1 million.
“We are extremely grateful,” says Colin Miller, SMHF Executive Director, “to have people like the Napiers living in the community and supporting the hospital. They value health care initiatives and are willing to step forward and encourage others to do so as well.”
Natalie Bubela, chief executive officer at MAHC, says gifts like the Napiers’ are critical to ensuring that life-saving equipment is available when patients need it.
“A CT scanner is a critical piece of equipment to a community hospital,” Bubela says. “Support like the Napiers’ is making it easier for us to stay current with technology and a new CT is a great example of how technology can enhance our ability to provide excellent patient care.”
The Napiers retired from Toronto to Muskoka in 1996 after Brock sold his interest in two businesses, both involved with supplying industrial equipment to manufacturers. He and Willa originally had a cottage in Torrance (near Bala) from 1987 and then in 1992, they moved to their current home in Minett. The Napiers are also supporting another significant health care initiative: the Brock & Willa Wellness Centre in Port Carling – comprised of a nursing station, a palliative care facility and a seniors’ residence.
“I believe both projects fit well together,” says Napier of the hospital and the wellness centre. “We want them to work in a cooperative way. That’s why my wife and I are supporting both.”
For the Napiers, philanthropy extends beyond health care initiatives. They have supported the construction of the new facility for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Bracebridge as well as the MuskokaLakesMuseum, along with other causes. Willa and Brock Napier enjoy the company of their various pets and Willa has a passion for gardening. Between them, they have three children and three grandchildren.
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