Alfred (Fred) Smithers, former President and CEO of the Secunda Group of Companies, was honoured as the 2008 Outstanding Individual Philanthropist at the 2008 Maritime Philanthropy Awards on November 18, 2008.
Fred Smithers’ absolute belief in the importance of the Dartmouth General Hospital (DGH) and its place in the community resonates in the way he works on behalf of the hospital and his commitment to ensuring citizens have the very best healthcare available to them. For over a decade Fred and his wife Nancy have worked diligently in many ways to ensure the DGH has up to date medical equipment to diagnose and treat patients.
A major expansion of the emergency department occurred in the year 2000/2001. Mr. Smithers' financial support of $300,000 funded a new state of the art resuscitation room. In 2005 another critical need arose with the hospital vitally needed a new CT imaging unit. The Smithers stepped forward with a leadership gift to the hospital of $1 million. The following year the hospital’s emergency department needed two ultrasounds to provide quick diagnostic results for patients. Again Mr. Smithers stepped forward with a gift to purchase both ultrasounds. In addition to providing an enhanced level of care for patients, an ultrasound training program was developed at the DGH which provides physicians throughout the Maritimes with specialized ultrasound training which improves healthcare throughout the Maritime region.
In August 2001 he organized the J. D. Mitchell Kilted Golf Tournament (named in honour of late father-in-law) to financially benefit the DGH. This very successful tournament continues and over the past eight years, has raised over $1 million for priority equipment needs.
"Mr. Smithers significant contributions to the Dartmouth General Hospital is unmatched in this community and his support enables the hospital to provide a level of care that would not otherwise be possible."
Todd Howlett, M.D. CCFP (ER)
DGH Chief of Staff
"Giving" is an intrinsic part of Fred’s basic personality; it is not just something he does because he is able to. His personality is one of generosity and profound willingness to help others. With Fred’s sense of community, not being involved is not an option. In his unassuming manner, Fred’s support and concern is philanthropy and volunteerism at its very best.
Mr. Smithers was nominated jointly by the Dartmouth General Hospital Charitable Foundation and Saint Mary’s University.