Dr. Noble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion turns 20


March 29 will mark the 20th an­niver­sary of the Dr. Noble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion, and their launch on March 29, 1999 sig­nalled the start of a ma­jor move­ment to im­prove health­care across the South­west.

Over the en­su­ing two decades, the Foun­da­tion has been able to make great strides in their orig­i­nal stated goal of im­prov­ing the qual­ity of health­care for the res­i­dents of South­west Saskatchew­an.

At the launch press con­fer­ence back on March 29, 1999, foun­da­tion mem­bers spoke about the mon­u­men­tal task they were fac­ing.

“Our Board is con­vinced that by work­ing to­gether for the en­rich­ment of our health­care, we will all be ben­e­fi­cia­ries and South­west Saskatchew­an will once again take its role as a leader in ru­ral health­care,” then Foun­da­tion chair­per­son Joan Meyer said.

The ini­tial board con­sisted of Joan Meyer, Tim Keene, Ted Pop­pet, Colleen Macbean, Dr. Mal­colm Banks, Ron Heeg, Dave Par­enteau, and John Pen­ner.

And, 20 years later, the Dr. Noble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion can re­flect on a suc­cess­ful first two decades and look ahead to con­tin­ued chal­lenges into the fu­ture.

“It has been a re­ally, re­ally good 20 years!” ad­mit­ted Foun­da­tion Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Clay Thomp­son.

The Foun­da­tion has been in­stru­men­tal in plac­ing nu­mer­ous pieces of equip­ment into var­i­ous health­care fa­cil­i­ties across the South­west, but their two largest projects were THE (To­wards Health­care Ex­cel­lence) Cam­paign which added equip­ment and fur­nish­ings to the Cy­press Re­gional Hospi­tal, along with their large fundrais­ing com­mit­ment to The Mead­ows. Both fa­cil­i­ties are sit­u­ated across from the Foun­da­tion of­fices on Saskatchew­an Drive, and their vis­i­bil­ity is a con­stant re­minder to Thomp­son and his staff of the im­por­tance of their fundrais­ing ef­forts.

“I drive to work ev­ery morn­ing and look across the street, and to me per­son­ally it means a lot.”

Thomp­son also has a chance to hear nu­mer­ous tes­ti­mo­ni­als from pa­tients and health­care pro­fes­sion­als about the im­por­tance of hav­ing the best equip­ment pos­si­ble in the hospi­tal.

“That is what brings me to work ev­ery day is those types of sto­ries. The fact that we’ve played a part in that means a lot to me. I’m proud of that. I know the Board of Di­rec­tors is proud of it, and I think they should be. Ac­tu­ally the com­mu­nity it­self should be proud of that, be­cause that isn’t there un­less donors come in and write a cheque. That stuff doesn’t get done.”

“Our donors should give them­selves a pat on the back be­cause they made it hap­pen. We fa­cil­i­tated it, but they made it hap­pen.”

The Foun­da­tion will be host­ing a Donor Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Night on April 17 as part of their 20th an­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing. Af­ter their an­nual meet­ing there will be a speech by Saskatchew­an Health Au­thor­ity CEO Scott Liv­ing­stone, fol­lowed by tours of the Cy­press Re­gional Hospi­tal to show­case the tech­nol­ogy changes made since 2010.

This tour will al­low the Foun­da­tion show where donor sup­port has gone over the past decade.

“We’ve done a lot of work and up­dat­ing and re­fresh­ing tech­nol­ogy over the last 10 years. And we want to show folks what that looks like.”

The tour will also re­mind donors of the im­por­tance of con­tin­u­ing to fo­cussing on keep­ing the qual­ity of South­west health­care the best it can be.

“We can’t stand still,” he said. “We’re go­ing to en­cour­age folks to con­tinue to sup­port us this year as they have in the pre­vi­ous 19 years. And at the end of the day we’re go­ing to do some good. We’re go­ing to buy some equip­ment that’s go­ing to try and im­prove the qual­ity of care that you get in Swift Cur­rent and in our ru­ral spots.”

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