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09/24/12 Local Palliative Care Committee Recognized Provincially
Members of South West District Palliative Care, Inc. receive the inaugural awarding of Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba’s Sharon Carstairs Caring Community Award
Left to right (back): Liz Harkness, Linda Oracheski, Lil  Branscombe, Chuck McClure, Jim Hunter, Lois Borkowsky 
Front: The Honourable Sharon Carstairs,  Maureen Tully, Carol Morgan, Doris Hunter and Vera Appleyard
SWDPC members
Missing: Pat Corbin, Nancy Dumas, Ed Peltz, Gail Savage (chair) and George Willis
September 24, 2012—Last week, staff and volunteers of South West District Palliative Care, Inc. (SWDPC) were the first to receive Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba’s Sharon Carstairs Caring Community Award in recognition and support of exemplary community-based efforts to provide and improve palliative and end-of-life care throughout Manitoba.
 
The Honourable Sharon Carstairs presented the award named in honour of her work to improve quality care where people live and die and to support palliative care families, health providers and volunteers regardless of geography.
In her presentation, Carstairs recognized SWDPC’s work to enhance palliative care service, education, and equipment in Teulon and Stonewall and the rural municipalities of Rockwood, Rosser, Woodlands, Armstrong, and parts of St. Laurent. This area supports a population of over 21,000 and covers an area of 5,000 square kilometers.
 
The town councils and rural municipalities benefitting from SWDPC’s efforts submitted letters in support of their nomination for the award. In her letter of support for the nomination of the SWDPC, Interlake-Easter Regional Health Authority palliative care manager, Audra Nesbitt-Hume, noted the committee’s commitment to the care of area residents.
“The SWDPC group is impressive, reliable and they get things done,” Nesbitt-Hume said. “They are a well-established committee that understands the principles of palliative care, the need for palliative care education and advocacy and they are committed to ensuring that those in the region who are in need of additional palliative care support receive it.”
 
Nesbitt-Hume, who attended the award ceremony at Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba’s annual conference, said she couldn’t think of a better way to recognize the committee’s long-term efforts than recognition as the inaugural winner of the provincial award.
Last year, the committee had 135 new referrals, 18 trained and active companion volunteers and over 100 fundraising volunteers. More than 3,600 hours of volunteer effort were invested in communities in support of the palliative care program.
 
Founded in 1997 by a group of community volunteers, SWDPC’s board coordinates fundraising efforts. The committee’s volunteer coordinator, Vera Appleyard, works with a team of health care professionals, spiritual counselors, volunteers, friends and family to ensure continuity of care and services to clients and their families and to allow those in need to live their last days in comfort and with dignity.
 
For more information: 
Lauralou Cicierski, Manager, Public Relations & Communication, Interlake Easter Regional Health Authority, lcicierski@irha.mb.ca, (204) 467-4747
Joan Lawless, Development/Communications Coordinator, Hospice & Palliative Care Manitoba, jlawless@manitobahospice.mb.ca, (204) 889-8525
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