Health­care Foun­da­tion cel­e­brates suc­cess at 20th AGM

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Front Page - BY MATTHEW LIEBEN­BERG — mlieben­[email protected]­

Two decades of ded­i­cated ef­forts to keep lo­cal health­care strong were cel­e­brated at the Dr. Noble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in Swift Cur­rent.

The Foun­da­tion is mark­ing 20 years of op­er­a­tion in 2019 and the an­nual gen­eral meet­ing had a cel­e­bra­tory tone and dif­fer­ent for­mat to rec­og­nize this mile­stone. The event took place in the foyer of the Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal. Guests en­joyed a buf­fet meal be­fore the meet­ing was called to or­der. The guest speaker af­ter the meet­ing was Scott Liv­ing­stone, the first chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the new Saskatchew­an Health Author­ity (SHA).

There­after guests were taken on a tour of the hos­pi­tal to see equip­ment in dif­fer­ent de­part­ments that were pur­chased with funds raised by the Foun­da­tion. Health­care staff pro­vided demon­stra­tions and spoke about the dif­fer­ence equip­ment have made in car­ing for pa­tients.

Clay Thomp­son, the Foun­da­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, felt the tour was a good way to high­light the use of donor money to im­prove health­care.

“This is just an op­por­tu­nity to show folks where their money is be­ing used and here are some of those sto­ries,” he said. “We don't just gather the money, buy a piece of equip­ment and life goes on. These folks are us­ing it.”

The Foun­da­tion has raised over $16 mil­lion since 1999 and gen­er­ous sup­port from the com­mu­nity made it pos­si­ble to raise $1.2 mil­lion in 2018.

“I think it was a pretty good year,” he said. “It started re­ally, re­ally slow, quite frankly, but by the end of the day we were at $1.2 mil­lion gath­ered. We're cer­tainly happy with that. We sort of bud­get to gather be­tween $1 and $1.3 mil­lion every year. So I was glad we made bud­get last year.”

The goal of the Foun­da­tion is to raise funds for the pur­chase of health­care equip­ment that are used in health­care fa­cil­i­ties in south­west Saskatchew­an.

SHA CEO Scott Liv­ing­stone em­pha­sized in his speech that the new or­ga­ni­za­tion’s goal has been to build a strong re­la­tion­ship with the dif­fer­ent health­care and hos­pi­tal foun­da­tions in the prov­ince.

“One of the big recog­ni­tions very early on just be­fore we even started was the value it takes to have com­mu­nity-based foun­da­tion and com­mu­nity-based in­vest­ments so peo­ple in their own com­mu­ni­ties can see lo­cal in­vest­ment and driv­ing to change in their own com­mu­nity,” he said dur­ing an in­ter­view af­ter the meet­ing. “We not only rec­og­nize that, we want to do what­ever we can to sup­port it, and what we were en­sur­ing is we’re not go­ing to break that lo­cal foun­da­tion con­nec­tion, but at our end to make sure that we’re sup­port­ing the foun­da­tions at the level they need to be sup­ported.”

One of the goals of the SHA has been to build struc­tures to in­ter­act with all their stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing health­care and hos­pi­tal foun­da­tions. The CEOs and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors of health­care and hos­pi­tal foun­da­tions have formed a net­work to en­gage with the SHA.

Liv­ing­stone noted the SHA has been talk­ing to foun­da­tions about how to rec­og­nize their in­de­pen­dence, but at the same time the SHA has been re­fer­ring to the op­por­tu­ni­ties that a sin­gle health author­ity has cre­ated for foun­da­tions to part­ner on pro­vin­cial fundrais­ing ini­tia­tives.

These op­por­tu­ni­ties ex­ist be­cause the cre­ation of the SHA has brought to­gether clin­i­cal ser­vices un­der a sin­gle pro­vin­cial um­brella. As an ex­am­ple, he re­ferred to the cre­ation of a ma­ter­nal child health model that will con­nect ser­vices across the prov­ince.

“That may pro­vide the first plat­form for a pro­vin­cial cam­paign to sup­port ma­ter­nal child care across the prov­ince of Saskatchew­an, where you would see lo­cal care and lo­cal in­vest­ment, but it would be part of a big­ger pro­vin­cial strat­egy,” he said.

Thomp­son felt there will be ad­van­tages for the Dr. Noble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion to par­tic­i­pate in a pro­vin­cial level fundrais­ing cam­paign that will have ben­e­fits for health­care in south­west Saskatchew­an.

“At the meet­ings that I've been at over the last cou­ple of years, Scott has been adamant that funds that are gath­ered lo­cally will be used lo­cally,” he said. “When he says pro­vin­cial types of cam­paigns I think that's what he means. Is there some­thing we can do in Swift Cur­rent that will help the peo­ple of this area and other parts of the prov­ince all at the same time, and of course if you have five lo­ca­tions do­ing the same sort of pur­chas­ing, then they can look for deals on equip­ment and things like that too, which is good for ev­ery­one.”

Thomp­son cred­ited the SHA for their ef­forts to work with the health­care and hos­pi­tal foun­da­tions, but some de­tails still need to be sorted out.

“We've met four times now in the last year and it's a process, and it's not where we as foun­da­tions would like it to be yet, and I know it's not to where SHA and Scott's group would like it to be, but it's com­ing,” he said. “It's go­ing to get there, and when it does, I think it's go­ing to be great.”

The foun­da­tions are hop­ing to have a process that will help them to have a clear un­der­stand­ing as early as pos­si­ble of the equip­ment needs in fa­cil­i­ties, which will en­able them to then ef­fec­tively plan their fundrais­ing cam­paigns.

“The sooner we get in­volved in that process, I think the bet­ter it is, and that's what they're work­ing to­wards and that's what the foun­da­tions would like to see,” he said. “Let us get in­volved a lit­tle bit ear­lier in the process and be more pro-ac­tive than re­ac­tive.”

The Dr. Noble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion dis­bursed $1,336,526 in 2018. Funds were used for a por­ta­ble dig­i­tal x-ray ma­chine, ven­ti­la­tor and chemo­ther­apy pumps for the Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal, a new tub and tub room for the Cli­max Bor­der Health Cen­tre, and var­i­ous other smaller pur­chases.

Var­i­ous needs have al­ready been iden­ti­fied for the Foun­da­tion’s fundrais­ing ef­forts dur­ing 2019. One of the items that will be con­sid­ered is a new dig­i­tal mam­mog­ra­phy unit, dig­i­tal x-ray up­grades for some ru­ral sites, and a pro­posed cam­paign for Cabri and area.


Pho­tos by Matthew Lieben­berg

Health­care staff pro­vided de­mos of the use of a Panda warmer in the Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal's women and chil­dren’s unit.

Dr. Michael Ka­pusta (at left) speaks dur­ing a demon­stra­tion in the Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal's sim­u­la­tion lab with a med­i­cal train­ing man­nequin.

Health­care staff uses the med­i­cal train­ing man­nequin to give a demon­stra­tion in the Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal's sim­u­la­tion lab.

( Far left) Foun­da­tion Board Chair He­len Arnold speaks dur­ing the 20th an­nual gen­eral meet­ing, April 17. ( Mid­dle photo) Board Trea­surer Da­mone Caron does the same.

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