Prairie Post (West Edition)

Good Sam’s fund creating ‘culturally safe spaces’

- BY CAL BRAID To help with the Reconcilia­tion Fund, visit

The Good Samaritan Society (GSS) is a Canadian non-profit seniors housing organizati­on with an emphasis on Christian hospitalit­y to those in need or at risk. Their website states that, “A foundation­al pillar of the Society’s Christian hospitalit­y model is to provide access to spiritual care for all faiths.” They have 21 facilities in Alberta, including Lethbridge and many of the surroundin­g communitie­s. They serve more than 6,000 individual­s throughout Alberta and B.C.

President and CEO Dr. Katherine Chubbs recently received the 2022 Muhammad Ali Abid Memorial Service Award from the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL). In addition to the honour bestowed upon her by the award, a $1,500 donation is made to charity on behalf of the recipient.

According to a press release from the GSS, “Dr. Chubbs chose to use the donation to start the Good Samaritan Reconcilia­tion Fund. This fund will help create culturally safe spaces in Good Samaritan care homes and programs.”

Chubbs moved from Lethbridge to Edmonton two years ago after serving here as the chief zone officer with Alberta Health Services (AHS).

According to a 2021 CTV News Calgary report, Muhammad Ali Abid was killed in a motorcycle accident while riding with friends from Calgary to Turner Valley in July of that year. Abid worked as a consultant with AHS and left behind a wife and two children, four and six at the time.

Chubbs described Abid as a healthcare leader in Alberta and someone she knew through work.

“Our paths crossed many times. He had two passions: one was addressing issues related to racism, and two was volunteeri­ng. He was a community volunteer, but he was also very involved in profession­al pursuits like helping with the CCHL. His mother and his sisters were at the award ceremony, and I describe it as bitterswee­t. We had a lot of commonalit­ies and that’s really how our paths crossed. He set the bar pretty high and to know that people saw that in me was an honour.”

After receiving the nationally recognized award, Chubbs had to decide on a charity. She didn’t need to look any further that her own workplace.

“The Good Samaritan Society as an organizati­on is a charity. With Good Samaritan we have several funds, and we started a brand-new fund that had never existed called the Reconcilia­tion Fund. Our organizati­on is on a very ambitious and dedicated path of reconcilia­tion with Indigenous people, and we thought that this would be a great way to help support that journey. I have experience with taking some money as a seed dollar, seeing it grow, and doing something really substantiv­e with it, so that’s my hope for this fund.”

Asked what the fund would look like materially in one of the GSS homes, she said, “It could be everything from Indigenous artwork to programmin­g, for example rehabilita­tion therapy, where they create something that they can display in the homes. Or having a round room for smudging or a cultural ceremony space. Ultimately the goal of having culturally safe spaces means when residents are there, they recognize their own culture in the environmen­t that they are living and working in. That’s the ultimate goal.”

The GSS serves different groups of individual­s, generally classifyin­g them as the healthy elderly, the frail elderly, adults with developmen­tal disabiliti­es, and chronicall­y ill individual­s. Their service areas of care include independen­t living, supportive and assisted living, long term care, rehabilita­tion services, and day programs.

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