Health Foundation co-chair reports at AGM

The Health Foundation of East Central Saskatchewan, Inc. recently held its annual general meeting.

Diane Rusnak, Co-Chair, The Health Foundation reported 2019 was a very positive and successful year. For us, that means we were able to successfully enhance the healthcare available to the residents of east central Saskatchewan.

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“I want to thank my fellow board members for your help and participation in the work of The Health Foundation,” she stated in her written report circulated to the media. “The Health Foundation makes a very positive difference to our local healthcare and in the lives of many people; and the board enables that work to happen.”

Rusnak said te highlight of the year came from a lot of work that happened in 2019, and culminated in the government announcement in March 2020 that a new regional hospital would be built in Yorkton and that the government was providing $500,000 to begin the planning. 

“This is a significant announcement for Yorkton and the result of a lot of work on the part of many people,” she wrote. “I do want to recognize the City of Yorkton for the work they did with us last year, and the work of our MLA Greg Ottenbreit and Warren Kaeding the Minister of Remote and Rural Healthcare.”

The hospital will become a focus for the Foundation, but not an exclusive one.

“While there are many challenges in the year ahead as we prepare for a new hospital, we still have to do the day to day work of The Health Foundation,” wrote Rusnak,.

Overall, theHealth Foundation did a great job that way in 2019, raising gross revenue of $2,000,547; those funds were raised from 5,278 donations, stated the report.

Rusnak said the Foundation has been successful with its fundraising for two reasons: “We raise money for equipment that will provide new or enhanced services that people can see will make a difference in the healthcare available locally.”

And, “People see the results of their donation right away. When people see the new stroke clinic or the new CT scanner in use shortly after they make a donation – they know their donation went where it was supposed to, and that new equipment is at work making a difference.”

In terms of investment, The Health Foundation purchased $257,373 worth of medical equipment in 2019, and in addition raised the $500,000 to purchase and install a new digital mammography machine. That is over $750,000 of new equipment for the hospital from the work of 2019.

Some of the other key pieces of equipment purchased were:

·       $64,380 – for a new hematology analyzer for the lab

·       $16,234 – a Lucas chest compression system

·       $16,018 – a Bladder scanner

·       $15,396   - Equipment for the Ear Nose and Throat specialist so he can do  procedures in Yorkton

·       $76,349 – was spent in the healthcare facilities outside of Yorkton

In addition $42,079 was spent on the Education and Scholarship program, assisting 27 nurses and therapists to take courses. Highlights of that program are:

 The Foundation assisted two nurses to take the courses required to become ICU nurses

* funded two 3-day workshops, where we brought in an educator to assist staff to develop new clinical skills for work with patients. The workshops had a total of 34 participants and the topics were:

o   Challenging Geriatric Behaviours Workshop

o   Neuro-Developmental Treatment Workshop

In 2019, approximately 160 individuals served as volunteers: either working at the Gift Shoppe in the Regional Hospital, on one of the many committees of The Health Foundation, or working on one of the Foundations’ many events, noted the report.

“It is important to remember, The Health Foundation is not actually part of the Saskatchewan Health Authority,” said Rusnak. “We are an independent community organization, managed by a volunteer board, and receive no government funding. We have only two full-time staff. We could not do the work we do without volunteers.

“Most of all, we have to thank our donors; their support and belief in the value of our work is what allows us to work with the provincial health authority to improve and enhance our local healthcare.”


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