Palliative Care Receives Boost From Low-German Comedy

The Rhineland Low German Drama Group made the presentation April 17. Director Tina Peters (far left) says the Low German drama troupe has been a long-running tradition in the community. “You can tell the same joke in English but it just doesn’t have the same kick to it.”

The popularity of the Rhineland Low German Drama Group productions often means standing-room-only. However, the cast wanted to share their success with the Boundary Trails Health Centre (BTHC) Palliative Care Program.

The group made a donation of $4,100 last week, the surplus from their latest spring event.

Director Tina Peters explains a number of cast members had family who received care from the Palliative Car Program and wanted to give back. “It’s a small way of saying thanks… it makes end-of-life care easier for family.”

BTHC Foundation Executive Director Shannon Samatte-Folkett explains the support was a welcome surprise. “It’s hard to raise funds… for them to raise $4,100, I know the work that goes into that so we appreciate it that much more.”

“It’s great to hear how impactful the Palliative Care Program is,” Samatte-Folkett adds.

The Palliative Care program at BTHC also includes 2 part-time nurses, a part-time Volunteer Coordinator and approximately 40 volunteers.

Hospital Expansion Receives Another Financial Boost

(The Elks Club’s Ray Kirk and Norman Poirier present a cheque for $12,000 to BTHC Foundation Executive Director Shannon Samatte- Folkett for the Building for the Future fund)

The Boundary Trails Health Centre expansion received another financial boost recently.

The Elks Club recently donated $12,000 to the BTHC Building for the Future fund.

“We are so very grateful to the Elks club. They have been supporters of the Foundation projects since the beginning,” BTHC Foundation Executive Director Shannon Samatte-Folkett explains, adding past commitments from the Elks Club include helping purchase equipment in rehab services, child and youth programs and obstetrics.

“We are honoured they believe in our project to help expand this hospital,” she says. “They see the need and want to help us achieve our goals.”

While the project still needs to be green-lit by the Province, Samatte-Folkett says the fund is gaining momentum.

“BTHC is bursting at the seams and this has been proven on several studies,” she explains. “Our communities are growing and BTHC needs to grow with them in order to offer the standard of care these community members are accustomed to.”

Currently, the expansion committee has completed a secondary report answering several questions MB Health/Shared Services had after the initial meetings and proposal.

Samatte-Folkett says the Province has a genuine interest in the project, and had many specific questions for the committee.

“The good news is that even though this process is extremely slow, the project is not dead,” she says. “BTHC staff do an amazing job working within the space they have but it is tight and we just want to help alleviate this with our expansion plans.”

Bucking National Trend BTHC Foundation Receives Record Funding

BTHC Foundation Executive Director Shannon Samatte-Folkett

While non-profits have seen a decline in charitable giving across Canada, the Pembina Valley remains a strong community supporter, as evidenced at the Boundary Trails Health Centre Foundation.

“We had a phenomenal year,” Foundation Executive Director Shannon Samatte-Folkett says.

The support is in contrast to national reports by CanadaHelps which notes donations are down from 24.6 percent of all Canadians giving to charity in 2006, to 20.4 percent in 2015.

Their golf tournament last year raised $37,000 after expenses, while their October banquet saw record sponsorship, bringing in close to $80,000 after expenses. “That’s our best year,” she says.

Year-end donations reached record numbers Samatte-Folkett adds.

The Foundation uses those funds to purchase additional medical equipment like a bladder scanner ($14,300) and an ultrasound probe ($14,000), as well as an infant stabilization warmer ($38,200).

Funds also support the Palliative Care Program services that go above and beyond what MB Healthcare covers such as additional palliative care nurses and the spiritual care coordinator.

The outpouring of support bodes well, Samatte-Folkett says, with the major Building For The Future campaign. Currently, the proposal has been submitted to the government and the committee is working on responding to their questions. The foundation has been working on the expansion plans for the past two years. Plans include building a service centre and moving office space out of the hospital to free up room for medical services.

“We’re pretty optimistic for 2019… we don’t have anything concrete but we’re hoping to announce a fundraising campaign.”

While the campaign has yet to be announced, the Foundation already has a growing fund. The Morden Thrift Store has committed a total of $500,000 to the project.

“We feel the community is behind us, they really want this, and we need it,” Samatte-Folkett says.

She notes the hospital supports approximately 60,000 people in the region, “we are helping not just Morden, Winkler and Plum Coulee, but everyone in the region.”

Written by Steven Sukkau

Thousands Added to the Millions already raised by BTHC Foundation

Left to right: Foundation Chair Grant Thiessen with keynote speaker author and professor Timothy Caulfield

Since its inception, the Boundary Trails Health Centre Foundation (BTHCF) has raised over $6 million for the Boundary Trails Health Centre (BTHC) located between Morden and Winkler.

At Friday night’s annual fundraising banquet about $75,000 was added to that total which has supported various programs and equipment purchases for the hospital.

Foundation Chair Grant Thiessen says it’s been amazing to see how far the Foundation has come.

“It’s been incredible, I mean it’s all happened one dollar at a time over the many years the Foundation has been active. It’s just awesome to see the dollars that have been raised.”

For the 2018-19 fiscal year, the Foundation has committed to fund over $180,000 of equipment purchases for various departments at BTHC.

The Foundation funds two major programs, the Palliative Care and Spiritual Care programs at BTHC. This money goes towards two part-time palliative care nurses, a part-time palliative care volunteer coordinator and a full-time spiritual care coordinator, a $200,000 commitment per year.

The two programs have been a tremendous help for the community says, Thiessen, and says in recent years he’s developed a greater appreciation for these programs.

“A number of years ago my mother passed away, and we spent the last days with her in palliative care, and all of a sudden it hits, what actually goes on. You don’t really appreciate it until you need it, and as far as spiritual care it’s something near and dear to our community.”

Thiessen notes it feels great to be able to provide a Chaplain, the services, and comfort to people in their final days.

In the long-term, the Foundation will continue to work with various partners towards a possible future expansion of the hospital.

These partners helped fund a study to figure out what the needed square footage would be, and the potential cost of a possible expansion.

Thiessen says the Foundation is currently waiting for their proposal to be brought forward to Manitoba Health, and says they are optimistic that something will come of it.

bthc foundation banquet2018 2

Written by Ryan Funk/Chris Sumner

Dr. Bob’s Bed Push September 29, 2019

Many this morning walked the path often travelled by the late Dr. Menzies.

Travelling from the Agassiz Medical Centre (AMC) to the Boundary Trails Health Centre (BTHC) and back, staff from the clinic, friends and family of Menzies pushed a modified old Morden Hospital ER bed collecting donations in support of the cancer care unit at BTHC.

Daughters of Menzies Heather and Kate say their father would have enjoyed seeing the community and clinic coming together.

For Heather, the journey from AMC to BTHC was very nostalgic.

“Dad and I have done a lot of canoe trips and hiking trips and just the walking part, it just kind of reminded me of hiking with my dad, thinking of the path he came every day and all the walks we did together.”

Dr. Menzies spent his career working with the cancer care unit, says nurse practitioner Brent Gouthro; the dedication Dr. Menzies gave to the centre inspired the group to create this fundraiser.

The bed had its first test drive during the Corn and Apple festival parade, carrying bedpans for donations raising almost $6,000.

This money goes a long way shares Manager of the Cancer Care Department at BTHC Tina Bueckert.

“It was great to see this bed push; it was great to see that the funds are going to cancer care. There’s always a need for it in cancer care, for both the patients and the staff.”

Bueckert explains they’re always looking for the little things to comfort the patients and their families while they’re loved one is receiving chemotherapy, like coffee and treats. For the staff, this money can help provide equipment and supplies.

Creating a fundraiser in Menzies name is very fitting says Beuckert, “Dr. Bob has touched so many hearts and mine personally as well, I worked with Dr. Bob for so long. It’s been a great thing, and it’s been very touching. ”

Rough estimates calculate today’s bed push raised around $7,000.

Morden Thrift Store Gives Back $500,000

BTHC Foundation Executive Director Shannon Samatte-Folkett

The Morden Thrift Store donated $500,000 back to the community last week as part of their annual dispersal of funds.

Store representatives explain the board of directors look for ways to benefit the entire community. One of the largest donations, $250,000, was made to Boundary Trails Health Centre Foundation for their expansion project.

“This is awesome, this is a great first step, it just shows that we have our communities behind us,” says BTHC Foundation Executive Director Shannon Samatte-Folkett. “They understand that we’re full here and we need to expand. They believe in our vision so it’s been awesome already to have that ready.”

The $250,000 was the second Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) given to the foundation for their future expansion. The money is contingent on the approval of the project.

The foundation has been working on expansion plans for the past two years in response to the region’s population growth. Plans include creating a service centre, moving office space out of the hospital to free up room for medical services.

The three-phase expansion is still in the planning stage, awaiting government approval.

In addition to the GIC, $88,500 was given to the foundation for the palliative care program for new equipment, and other equipment in the hospital.

Other recipients included Habitat for Humanity which received $50,000, Pembina Counselling Centre saw $20,000, Pregnancy Care Centre $30,000 and Morden Fire Department received $18,000.

Rock Lake United Church Camp – $7,500 for campership funds.
Pembina Valley Bible Camp – $7,500 for campership funds.
Morden Collegiate – $6,000 for bursaries.
Morden Christian Program Committee – $6,000 for its programs.
Healthy Minds – $5,000 for the Western School Division breakfast program.
Darlingford fire department – $5,000 for truck upgrades.
Morden minor baseball – $4,000 for upkeep of ball diamonds.
Agassiz Medical Centre – $2,240 for a new scale and blood pressure cuffs.
Boundary Trails Health Centre – $500 for its flower committee.