Dr. Jamie MacKinnon never thought much about returning to Nova Scotia after leaving to pursue his medical studies in the Caribbean, the United States and finally, in Ontario. But after hearing repeatedly about the exceptional medical team in Queens County, and after making a visit to see for himself, Dr. MacKinnon is proud to join our community as our newest physician.
For 44 years, Janice Reynolds has honed her business acumen operating a pharmacy in the Queens community with her husband, acting on boards for theatres and music festivals, and by being hands on when the task calls for it. As full as Janice’s schedule may already sound, people with her desire to help always find extra time. For the past three years, having handled four decades of accounting, Janice now lends her skills to the Queens General Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.
Through unwavering support and care, the community of Liverpool left an indelible mark on Tim and Diane Ledvina.
Tim Ledvina was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Ohio State University and began work in the auto industry as an engineer with Morse Chain, part of Borg Warner. He retired from his position as Chief Engineer for Morse Chain as an expert in his field after 30 years, with over 30 patents to his credit.
Diane Ledvina was born in Salamanca, New York, where she attended Cornell University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. She spent time in Alaska as a lab technician, and later returned to Ithaca, New York, where she had a 30-year career with Dairy One, was president of the local Farm Bureau chapter, and treasurer of the Holstein Club. It was in New York where Tim and Diane met.
“Tim and Diane… they really were drawn to one another” Tom, his twin brother recalls, “These are people who really overcame some difficulties.” Tim suffered from cataracts early in his life, at a time when surgery for cataracts was only just being developed. Despite the surgery, Tim had severe vision issues throughout his life. Early in Diane’s life, she suffered a farming accident where she lost most of her right arm. “You had two people, who both faced great physical challenges, and I think that drew them together.” adds Tom.
During their careers, Tim and Diane would often travel for vacation. On one such vacation, they travelled to Nova Scotia, and driving down the coast, they came upon Liverpool, and they fell in love with it. The rest is history. In 2005, they bought a plot of land near the ocean, and began construction on their home. They integrated into the community immediately. Both were parishioners at St. Gregory’s Church. They loved animals, raising miniature donkeys and other animals in New York, and were always the place for a rescue dog. In Liverpool, they worked with the SPCA. Tim was part of the Kiwanis, and Diane volunteered for Queens General Hospital, the Queens Food Bank and Thomas Raddall Library, up until her illness.
It was discovered, during a routine health check as part of the immigration process of moving to Canada, that Diane had cancer. “The support that Tim and Diane felt in the following years was beyond what they could have expected; that’s pretty extraordinary in my mind.” says Tom, “It shows how they really became part of the community.” After a long battle, Diane passed in March of 2012, and written condolences poured in from the community and anywhere Diane had spent time, from roommates at university, to neighbours down the road.
“I was really worried when I went up there after Diane died,” Tom explains. “I worried Tim would be alone, but I quickly found that was not the case. He had so many friends, and the community was so supporting,” Tom remembers. “I knew he was going to do fine.”
Tim continued to take part in the community until he became ill in December of 2014. Once again, support poured in from the Liverpool community and the local area. He was happy to be in Liverpool. Tim passed the following March, but not before making the decision to give back to the community that had given him and Diane so much.
“It was important to Tim to make a contribution. He could see how important the hospital was to the local community. So that’s what motivated the gift,” says Tom. Tim was so grateful for the level of care Diane received at Queens General Hospital, “He wanted to preserve that access to good, quality, local healthcare.”
Tim and Diane donated $4.8 million to Queens General Hospital Foundation, the largest single private donation the foundation has ever received. Knowing that the foundation would put the money to the best use, Tim left no instructions on how the donation was to be used, only that it be used to benefit those in the Liverpool community to its fullest extent. The building that will display their name to honour their generous donation has a history of healthcare, as the former location of a family practice. The property is also large enough, should further development be required. This facility will be used to continue and enhance the level of care and support that Tim and Diane appreciated during their time in Liverpool.
The Queens General Hospital is fortunate to have dedicated medical professionals who are committed to the health of those in Queens County. One such professional is Dr. Ryan Burrill. Dr. Burrill, who grew up in Shelburne, always enjoyed helping people. Little did he know that his educational journey would take him around the world before returning back to his home province.
Socialization is an important part of our lives at any age. From heart-warming conversations with loved ones to small talk at the grocery store, the interactions we have on a daily basis support our emotional and mental health. In Queens County, a large portion of the population is over the age of 65. Isolation and sedentary lifestyles are a reality for many, something that’s been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why the Region of Queens created the Queens Coast Seniors Live Well Initiative.
If you asked Gil Johnson why he’s committed to improving his community, you’d learn that for him, community service is about strengthening the community through access to sustainable health care, with both current and future generations in mind.
Doctors assess, diagnose, and treat their patients day-in and day-out, but if you live in Queens County, your doctor might also cook and serve hot dogs. Every year as part of our Hospital Hustle, our Queens General Hospital doctors come together to create Docs’ Dogs, a hot dog stand outside of the curling rink.
Clare MacNeil has been a familiar face at the Queens General Hospital for many years. In 1969, she began her career as a registered nurse in the hospital, and then worked her way to being the Director of Nursing and then Site Manager. She continued to live and enjoy the wonderful features and assets of Queens County with her husband and growing family.
Liverpool and Queens General Hospital have been chosen by Dalhousie Medical School to participate in the LIC Program. In this program 3rd year Dalhousie Medical Students spend their entire 3rd year learning and living in a community setting.