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10/28/11 Volunteers Recognized with Interlake RHA Awards
Stonewall, Man., Friday, October 28, 2011  — At its Annual General Meeting in Eriksdale yesterday, the Interlake Regional Health Authority recognized Interlake residents who have made significant contributions to the IRHA’s vision of Healthy People in Healthy Communities through volunteerism.
 
Recognized for their volunteer contributions were:
Doris Hunter – Warren – Southwest District      
Nominated by: R.M. of Woodlands
Hunter is being recognized for her exceptional contributions to the palliative care program in this region. She is a well known member of the community, having been a teacher and principal and member of many different community organizations.
 
Prior to her formal involvement with southwest district palliative care, she was already bringing comfort and care to those who were sick or terminally ill in her community. She completed companion volunteer training for palliative care in 2001 and started formally caring for individuals and their families in their homes and in hospital. For 10 years with southwest palliative care, Hunter has sat bed side throughout the district holding hands, offering hope and bringing comfort. She makes it her business to educate people about palliative care and the options for end of life care. 
 

 In 2002, Hunter joined the board of southwest district palliative care as chair and she continues her public education efforts and to find money to fund the services of this essential program in the district. The palliative care programs fund the resources that are free of charge to families that need them. In 2005, Hunter chaired the first fundraising Gala Dinner and Dance that is now in its sixth year. To date over $80,000 has been raised with this event.

Lakeshore Hospital Guild – Ashern – Northwest District                     
President: Nettie Geisler, Sec/Treas: Julie Bergner
Nominated by: Jan O’Flanagan, District Director, IRHA

Formed in 1978, the guild is now in its 34th year of service. Active membership has ranged from 15 to 35 at any given time and there are still 13 founding members active in the guild.
 
Major projects funded all or in part by the Guild in the past 20 years account for over $220,000. Recently, the Guild donated a $74,000 Central Heart Monitoring System in the Lakeshore hospital.

 

 
This system lets staff constantly monitor up to four cardiac patients from the nursing desk. It also lets patients walk around while being monitored since they aren’t hooked up to a stationary monitor. The guild also recently funded the $25,000 renovations to the doctors’ office and nursing station in Ashern. This year, the guild is focusing on patient and resident comfort with the purchase a blanket warmer for the Personal Care Home, three new beds for patients and new TVs for patients and in the emergency room. The guild also has a number of quilters who meet every January to piece together anywhere from six to eight quilts that they donate to the hospital.

Gimli District Health Auxiliary – Gimli – Northeast District         
President – Paula Best
Nominated by: Lori Wahoski, District Director, IRHA
The Auxiliary started with 12 members back in 1968. It currently has 52 active members who work tirelessly to raise money for health care projects and equipment.
 
Since the Gimli Community Health Centre opened in 2004, the auxiliary has raised almost $170,000. The commitment and devotion of this dedicated team is reflected in an array of member made handicrafts for sale, the operation of the health centre’s gift shop every weekday, the provision of drink and coffee machines in the health center, the spring luncheon and the fundraising tag day.
 
The Auxiliary also supports health care students with a $500 bursary and provides a donation towards Stepping Stones, a weekend camp for children who have experienced the death of someone dear in their lives. Auxiliary members attend the camp to make comfort pillows out of items of clothing or other mementos the children have brought with them that remind them of loved ones who have passed. 

 

Auxiliary members also take the front seat in delivering Meals on Wheels and they provide and maintain the palliative care family room refreshments and reading materials as a way of providing extended care to families at a time when comfort is needed. Flowers from the auxiliary cheer patients at Christmas and the Fellowship Christmas meal for shut-ins provides the warmth of caring during the holiday season. 

 
Dr. Dexter Harvey – Petersfield - Southeast District
Nominated by: Selkirk & District Community Foundation, Michael Buhr and Beverley Clegg
Dr. Harvey is a retired professor from the University of Manitoba where he worked with the Faculty of Education, the Department of Community Health Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine’s School of Medical Rehabilitation. Currently he is an adjunct professor in the department of Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba. His expertise in public health has been called upon regionally, provincially and nationally to guide programs designed to prevent disease, prolong life and promote health. 
 
The Interlake RHA’s relationship with Dr. Harvey in the area of community based health promotion reaches back over 20 years. His wisdom, belief in partnerships and practical approach to making things happen have greatly influenced our approach and success in health promotion and community wellness.
He is a founding member of the Alliance for the Prevention of Chronic Disease in Manitoba, a member of Interlake RHA advisory boards and committees and has consulted with management and staff.

 


While Director of Research for the Manitoba Heart Health Project Dissemination Research Project, Dr. Harvey piloted a heart health project in the Interlake. Part of a Canadian Initiative, the research focused on getting communities active to prevent heart disease. The results of this research confirmed Dr. Harvey’s belief in the power of the people to take the lead in promoting health in their communities. It also confirmed his belief that primary prevention should be broad-based with prevention focused on chronic disease rather than focused singularly on a specific chronic disease. These are now underlying and guiding concepts of our wellness programs.
 
Dr. Harvey recognizes the need for reliable population data to guide and evaluate programs. He has been the driving force of in developing local level risk factor surveillance data, which led to the Interlake being the first region in Manitoba and Canada to gather this information on youth and adults for community health planning. To date, the Interlake RHA has conducted two youth health surveys and two adult health assessments. In addition, Dr. Harvey was a proponent for the Interlake RHA to partner with and establish Partners in Planning for Healthy Living which is a Manitoba partnership to prevent chronic disease. He continues to be a member of the Community Wellness Steering Group, which is the expert advisory group that directs the activities of the Interlake RHA Community Wellness Team in the region.
 
Among Dr. Harvey’s other awards are an honorary life membership award in public health, the Judge J.M. George Memorial Award for outstanding health care service in Manitoba and the Queen Elizabeth the second Jubilee Commemorative medal.

All award winners received plaques with the DeAnn Hollis inscription: “the heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others”.
 
On behalf of the Interlake RHA Board of Directors, Jim Rodger, board chairman, announced the award winners.
 
“It’s important to celebrate these people and their contributions and hold them up as shining examples of how we all benefit from people caring for other people,” Rodger said.
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Contact:

Lauralou Cicierski, Public Relations Manager

(204) 467-4747, lcicierski@irha.mb.ca

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