NORTH BAY – Today, local philanthropists and long-time hospital supporters, Claude and Maria Fortier, celebrated the naming of the Claude, Maria & Michel Fortier Auditorium at the North Bay Regional Health Centre. This special naming honours and recognizes the $500,000 donation the Fortier family made, supporting state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services for our local community.
“For more than two decades we have called North Bay our home,” said Fortier. “When we lived farther north, in Hearst, we really understood what it was like to travel for our healthcare. Living in North Bay in our semi-retirement years, Maria and I knew we could help ensure ourselves, our family, friends, loved ones, and our entire community could have access to care, close to home.”
Joined by his son Michel, Fortier says, “An Auditorium is special. It is a place to gather. A place to learn. A place to share successes and a place to connect.”
Paul Heinrich, NBRHC President and CEO says, they are honoured to celebrate the generosity of the Fortier family in this meaningful and inspiring way. “Healthcare is a partnership with our government and our community,” said Heinrich. “This gift helped bring an essential service to our community – our first MRI.”
Each year, NBRHC provides thousands of patients with MRI scans. The foresight of the hospital purchasing the original MRI 11 years ago, included many special features meaning our Health Centre often receives patient referrals from beyond our catchment area – the furthest being Moose Factory. The MRI has an extra wide bore and table that can support patients up to 550lbs. It was through this planning and community generosity, which allowed the hospital to keep the MRIs magnet during the $1.7 million upgrade and refurbishment that took place last summer.
Dr. Jeff Hodge, Chief, Radiology explains how community generosity and state-of-the-art equipment influenced his decision to live and work in North Bay, “I came to work in North Bay because the Health Centre’s Diagnostic Imaging Unit was so well equipped – and that is directly the result of community generosity – especially that of the Fortier Family.”
President and CEO of the NBRHC Foundation, Tammy Morison pointed out that there are names of people, organizations and businesses throughout the Health Centre, being recognized in different ways. “Each time we see this special signage throughout the hospital, we remember of the incredible generosity of our community,” says Morison. “Our donors support the hospital in so many impactful and inspiring ways including monthly giving, gifts in Wills, annual donations, event participations and investments like the Fortier’s. Everyone gives in a way that is meaningful to them and we are grateful for every donation we receive.”
Photo Signage Unveiling: (right to left) Michel Fortier, Claude Fortier and representation from the North Bay Regional Health Centre Senior Leadership, Diagnostic Imaging Unit, Board of Directors and Foundation Board of Trustees.
Photo Michel Unveiling the Sign: Michel Fortier unveils signage recognizing the Claude, Maria & Michel Fortier Auditorium at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, as father Claude and representation from the North Bay Regional Health Centre Senior Leadership, Diagnostic Imaging Unit, Board of Directors and Foundation Board of Trustees observes.
Claude and Maria Fortier moved to North Bay from Hearst, where they owned a local grocery story and continued to build success through a variety of investment ventures. The Fortier’s made their first gift to the Caring for Generations Campaign for the construction of the new Health Centre in 2004 and has continue to stay highly involved and connected with the hospital and the Foundation. Claude volunteered his time on different Foundation committees to help connect other individuals and businesses to the impactful work of the hospital.
Serving on the Seeing More Clearly Campaign with 40 other community leaders, Claude and Maria made their $500,000 commitment, helping raise more than $6 million towards a $10 million diagnostic imaging equipment upgrade for the new hospital, which included our community’s first MRI. The magnet from this MRI continues to serve our community with the recent upgrade of the NBRHC MRI. Claude has also served on the Foundation Board of Trustees and he and Maria have included the NBRHC Foundation in their Will and estate plans.