Lesley HeighwayPresident & CEO - PRHC Foundation
I am grateful every day for the opportunity to make a difference in my community through my work at the PRHC Foundation.
Having lost my Dad to brain cancer when I was 23, I know first-hand what it means when families have to travel for care. I watched my Mom travel 3 hours each way from my small Maritime hometown to the Saint John Hospital, the nearest facility to offer radiation therapy at that time.
It was a burden for her in so many ways.
My career began in the classroom teaching school.
After heading back to school myself, I spent 12 years in the private sector leading several health and wellness organizations. I then made a conscious effort to seek employment in the charitable sector with a keen interest in healthcare philanthropy.
I feel as if my life has come full circle , from watching my own family struggle to receive care close to home, to having the opportunity to make things better for others in that regard.
As the CEO of the PRHC Foundation I am inspired at how our generous community of donors has stepped forward to ensure that excellent care remains the standard at Peterborough Regional.
Our hospital has expanded its patient care programs, now serving a regional population of up to 600,000 for its cancer, cardiac and vascular programs. Not only have donors played a huge role in equipping the hospital with lifesaving equipment and technology, they’ve played a key role in physician recruitment by doing so.
I am also humbly grateful for the incredible team I have the good fortune to work with every day and I consider it an honour to work alongside the physicians, nurses and leaders at PRHC to ensure our hospital is equipped with state of the art technology.
A colleague once said to me “when you don’t have your health, nothing else matters” and I know this to be true as I see it in the faces of patients and families in the hallways at our hospital every day. This is what motivates me to ensure we’re doing all we can.
Although I’m no longer in the classroom, I will forever be a lifelong learner, an avid reader, a supporter of professional development and a mentor to others in the field. I consider myself a student of leadership; there’s always more to learn!