When the Ross Memorial Hospital first opened on November 20, 1902, the 23 bed hospital was founded not only by the donation of James Ross, but by the tireless efforts of William and J. D. Flavelle who formed part of the Hospital Committee to secure yearly county maintenance funding. James Ross is quoted as saying: “What have the people of Lindsay and County done? I’m not going to erect a monument of brick and mortar and make you a present of it unless you can guarantee a maintenance fund.” With this condition always in the back of his mind, J. D., when opening the hospital, made clear that the county and town ward could contribute to the maintenance fund which had already accumulated $16,000.
For his work on the Hospital Committee, J. D. was appointed to the Board of Governors and elected the first Chairman of the board. The Governors of the hospital were charged with running and steering the hospital with financial help from the County and private donations.
The Ross Memorial Hospital was declared one of the finest hospitals in all of Canada at its time of completion in 1902, J. D. secured an extension to the hospital in January 1911: the Annie Ross Nurses’ Home. This nurses residence complemented the nurse training program established in 1903.
Although retiring to private life in 1921, J. D. continued to serve as Chairman up to his death on July 4, 1925, serving 23 years.