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Villa Marconi

4. Making it Work



This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections Initiative, Industry Canada.


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Making it Work

Walter Cibischino, who is part of both the publicity committee and the long-term care committee, has worked at Villa Marconi almost from the beginning and has seen the management of the facility evolve.

He explains that the building is separated into two parts: the long-term care facility and the Marconi Centre, which is used for social gatherings and community events. Villa Marconi employs a Toronto-based company called MetCap to come in about three or four times a week to help run the long-term care facilities.

“My goal is to create a place where people feel welcome and cared for – like they were going to their little square in the village and meeting friends,” says Cibischino. He knows that the job is done well when the “list of residents waiting to come in here is never-endingly long.”

“Villa Marconi is operated on the funding of the Ontario government, by the local municipalities and the income we get from families for having their loved ones here,” explains Cibischino. “But that is not enough and we need to make up the gap.”

“The province gives us enough money to hire two nurses, but families tell us that we need four nurses. Where do we get the money for that?” asks Cibischino. “What people need to know is that if they help us [through donations] we will give the money back to them.”

Cibischino says the challenges of running such a facility – including overseeing construction, the Marconi Centre and the long-term care facility – are “not a joke.” But he recognizes that perhaps the hardest job goes to the fundraising committee.

“They have to constantly come up with new ideas for fundraising,” says Cibischino, “like the new Brick-by-Brick Campaign.”

Yet Villa Marconi continues to grow, despite funding shortages. Cibischino explains that it is more cost efficient for Villa Marconi to administer 124 beds, rather than just the originally allotted 60 beds. Much like the amalgamation of the City of Ottawa, says Cibishcino, Villa Marconi can oversee more beds with one central organizing group.

But there is another part to this equation of money and facilities.

“If we don’t take care of these 124 people, mostly of Italian origin, who will?” asks Cibischnio. He proclaims that Villa Marconi’s main reason for being is to ensure the well-being of seniors in the community and to be a service to the public.

In the future, Cibischino sees plans to revamp the Marconi Centre and the garden area.

“There is so much potential on this land,” says Cibischino, “but it depends on if they can get the help they need.”

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