Dr. Marcello Schmidt

Dr. Schmidt raised $16,434 for Guelph General Hospital.

Very early on in the pandemic, one of our physicians saw a real need to raise money to help address the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Stepping into an unfamiliar role as a fundraiser, he was amazed by the success of his campaign.

Dr. Marcello Schmidt is an intensivist. That’s a physician who provides special care for critically ill patients. Also known as a critical care physician, the intensivist has advanced training and experience in treating complex health issues. Marcello regularly works in the GGH Intensive Care Unit and in the Step-down Unit, which is the wing where patients recuperate as they improve from their stay in ICU.

As the COVID-19 crisis ramped up, Marcello became concerned about the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ventilators, and oxygen delivery systems at the hospital. One day in March, he turned to his personal Facebook page to encourage his social media contacts to consider donations to address the growing need. Facebook administrators (and their algorithms) identified his post and asked him if he wanted to start a fundraising campaign. He agreed, and his “Help GGH Fight the COVID Pandemic” site was created.

Marcello wrote a heartfelt plea asking for donations to the hospital because, in his words, “now more than ever, the hospital needed community support, especially to fight the COVD-19 pandemic.” He was surprised —very much surprised —when, in the space of three days, his campaign raised $16,434!

He knows of the need for community support in health care services. “Many people don’t realize that the government directs 40% of its budget to health care, but that is not even enough,” says Marcello. “Health care is expensive. If the Province were to fund 100% of the costs there would be no dollars left for other priorities. So, community support is essential if we are to have a high-quality health care system. Hospitals are strapped for resources at the best of times, and COVID-19 certainly added to the list of needs.”

Marcello knows how difficult it is for people to contribute these days, as so many have taken a hit, have been furloughed, have lost their jobs or lost their daycare. “I know it’s hard to donate,” he says, “but private donations matter.”

He was so pleasantly surprised by the number of colleagues and co-workers who contributed to the drive. When he walked down the halls of GGH, people would stop him to say they had donated.

In all, over 200 people gave to the fund: friends and colleagues shared his post, their friends and colleagues shared the post and so on, until over $16,000 was raised.

After three days, Marcello ended the campaign once the Foundation had their COVID-19 Critical Response Fund campaign up and running.

$16,434 in three days! That is amazing and heartwarming. You’re our hero, Dr. Schmidt and so too are all those that supported your campaign!