Janice Perrino said she is leaving things in good order for whoever takes over her position at the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.
“I feel like every dream I ever wanted here has been accomplished. Now I can take a deep breath and say it’s okay, it is done,” said Perrino, who has been executive director of the foundation for 11 years.
Perrino will complete her tenure on July 15, then move to Vancouver Island and take over as president of the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation.
Perrino looks back on many successful fundraising battles in support of Penticton Regional Hospital: the mobile MRI van, CT scanner, digital stereotactic mammography machine, the student residence and of course, the campaign to win an expansion to the 60-year-old hospital.
“There were thousands of letters to the premier from this office and we got to watch our doctors rile up and get their hospital. It was such a great feeling and the future is so good, I can’t begin to tell you,” she said.
“Janice’s departure comes after a hugely successful launch to the foundation’s $20-million campaign to supply the medical equipment for the $312.5-million expansion of PRH,” said Despot. “She has done an exceptional job of raising funds for our hospital and all of the other medical facilities in the region.”
Perrino said it’s time for a new career challenge, even though the campaign outfit the new patient care tower is ongoing. In fact, Perrino said that is one of the things that makes it the right time.
“No professional fundraiser wants to walk in here at the end of a campaign. They want to come in here when there is something really powerful happening,” said Perrino, adding that the campaign is well on the way to its goal.
“We’re just going to keep going. We are nowhere near the top, but we have done so well that I want to leave it when another person can take it and run the distance,” said Perrino. “You can tell them I will come back and haunt them if they don’t take this baby right over the top.”
Perrino also worked closely with many donors over the years – most recently with Penticton businessman David Kampe who announced a $3-million donation for a permanent MRI to be located at PRH. This was not part of the project’s original budget.
Perrino openly admits that the hardest part of leaving will be saying goodbye to the donors along with the Foundation and hospital staff, praising the donors – large and small – for their commitment to health care in the region.
“The donors, they are going to get their hospital built, they are going to get every room equipped, they are going to get it done,” said Perrino, who is also proud of the work she did as mayor of Summerland from 2008 to 2014.
Perrino sees the move to Nanaimo and the new position as an exciting adventure.
“I have only ever been to Victoria, I have never been up that way,” said Perrino. “It is a fun experience for my husband and I; a new experience and a new challenge and then we will be back. This really is home.”
Every foundation is different, said Perrino, and the Nanaimo Medical Foundation operates several businesses.
“That is quite fascinating to see how that works,” said Perrino, adding that while the challenges will be different, what remains the same is generating funds for the hospital. Keeping their businesses up and running is a priority, as is raising funds.
“In this day and age, if you don’t raise money for the hospitals, they don’t buy the equipment, and if they don’t buy the equipment, then the patients don’t get the care they need,” said Perrino.
The SOS Medical Foundation intends to have a new executive director in place shortly to lead the continuing fundraising campaign for the new PRH tower project.