Record Broken At BTHC Foundation Gala

It was a complete sell out for the 2019 BTHC Foundation Banquet at the Access Event Centre Friday night.

A new record was set during Friday’s Boundary Trails Health Centre Foundation’s annual gala.

The evening’s goal was to raise $90,000 for a point of care ultrasound for the B-T-H-C emergency room which will improve the ER staff’s ability to diagnose and treat critical medical conditions. “I understand it’s a portable unit that they’ll be able to move around within the hospital, so it will be a very nice addition for the entire Boundary Trails,” said Foundation Chair Grant Thiessen.

Thiessen says although $90,000 is a big goal, the generous crowd delivered, raising approximately $87,000, a new record for the banquet.

“That is absolutely fantastic and we’re just so pleased how the communality supports our event. We sometimes talk about making some changes, and I say you know what, we sell this out. This is pretty good.”

Knowing how successful the event is year after year, Thiessen says they don’t ever want to take it for granted. However, they know the need for healthcare is something that will come into all our lives at one time or another, and that’s why people continue to support the cause so generously.

In addition to some other programs and equipment purchases, the foundation also funds the hospital’s spiritual care and palliative care programs at B-T-H-C as well.

Meanwhile, Thiessen says when the time comes, the foundation’s fundraising for the hospital expansion will go into full steam.

“Our target is still as it’s been. We knew we needed to get through the fall election,” said Thiessen. “It’s really in the hands of government right now to get an announcement. But the issue is when we get the announcement, not if, we will be put into high gear quickly for a major, major fundraising activity.”

michael landsberg oct2019Michael Landsberg was the keynote speaker Friday night.

Volunteers Make $500,000 Donation A Possibility For Morden Thrift Store

Susie explains she’s been coming into work for the past 26 years. “It’s just a joy, I like to help the community. I enjoy making friends and I don’t need the pay, I don’t want the pay… it’s my social life.”

In total, local non-profits recently saw an influx of half a million dollars.

On Monday, the Morden Community Thrift Shop donated another $500,000 to 17 local organizations. The store dispersed the same amount last summer.

Executive Secretary Nora Wiebe explains they discuss potential recipients as a board and present their nominees to the entire volunteer workforce before voting.

“We’re all volunteers and all the monies that come in, go out. So each volunteer has a vote in how it’s spent,” Wiebe says.

morden thriftThe generous funding is only made possible thanks to an army of 85 selfless volunteers. “There isn’t one person here on salary.”

The Boundary Trails Health Centre (BTHC) Foundation building fund received $250,000 on Monday, the same amount they received last year. “Because it’s something that benefits the entire surrounding area,” she says.

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

Other recipients included STARS Air Ambulance with $25,000, a service Wiebe says has also been invaluable to Morden and the surrounding region.

“It couldn’t work without the volunteers, the donors and the shoppers, it’s a three-way split,” she says. “So we try and cover and help as much of our community as we can because they’ve been a great help to us to make this kind of money.”

The Pembina Counselling Centre received $25,000 and the Darlingford Fire Department saw $22,000.

In the end, Wiebe says the generous funding is made possible thanks to an army of 85 selfless volunteers. “There isn’t one person here on salary.”

Wiebe says the store becomes a “home away from home” for many.

“You come here, you talk, you laugh, you work… it’s just a wonderful place to be.”

One volunteer notes she’s been coming into work for the past 26 years. “It’s just a joy, I like to help the community. I enjoy making friends and I don’t need the pay, I don’t want the pay… it’s my social life.”

morden thrift3

Written by Steven Sukkau

BTHC Foundation Provides Over $384K In Equipment And Programs For Regional Hospital

BTHC Foundation Executive Director Shannon Samatte-Folkett and Foundation Chairperson Grant Thiessen

The past year’s accomplishments were front-and-center at the recent annual meeting for the Boundary Trails Health Centre Foundation.

According to Board Chair Grant Thiessen, one of those highlights was purchasing $184,000 in new equipment for the hospital located between Winkler and Morden.

“Some of that comes out of our regular budget, but there were various businesses and community members that came forward and said here’s ‘X number of dollars, what kind of project can we get involved in?’. So we were able to take advantage of that and work with our donors to get this equipment purchased,” said Thiessen.

“When you look at some of this equipment that’s making our hospital more efficient, making better use of our limited resources, it’s really heart-warming to have a touch in that process,” he added.

The recent annual meeting also served as an opportunity to look ahead to a new year for the foundation.

Thiessen hopes to officially kick off the foundation’s hospital expansion fundraising campaign – Building for the Future. He believes the community is excited for the project and ready to get going, noting the fund has already accumulated $1.25 million.

“We’re just getting started, we don’t have the approval to do anything yet, and so as people have wanted to look for a place to put the money that they’re donating we created the fund,” said Thiessen.

The foundation’s 2018 equipment purchase highlights included:

*Infant Stabilization Unit (OBS) – $28,028
*Bladder Scanner (ER/Medical) – $11,995
*Ultrasound Probe (OBS/OR) – $12,629
*Waiting Room Chairs 27 (Cancer Care ) – $7,395
*Partial Support for Rigid Tower (OR) – $45,000
*Berkley Curettage System (OR) – $11,778
*Stryker Isoflex Mattress (Palliative) – $3,850
*Stethoscopes (Cancer Care) – $250
*Sara Steady (Rehab/Surgery) – $2,169
*Rehab Stairs (Surgery) – $1,775
*Stryker Big Wheel Stretcher (OBS) – $6,133
*Stryker Gynie Stretcher & Mattress (OBS) $8,030
*Broken Screw Removal Set (OR) – $13,900
*Lounge Chairs – 4 (Palliative/Medical) – $4,551


Education Support $3,240
Music to my Ears $4,500

2018 Program support included:

*Palliative Care Salaries $120,000
*Palliative Care Volunteer Program $700
*Palliative Care Supplies $1,250


Spiritual Care Salaries $70,260

Misc. $870

New Heliport Will Save Lives In The Pembina Valley

Boundary Trails Health Centre and Southern Health representatives are celebrating the addition of a new heliport coming to the hospital between Morden and Winkler.

Irene Krahn and family have completely funded the $350,000 project in memory of late husband and father Ed Krahn, allowing air ambulance services to more quickly transfer patients into hospital care. In the past, STARS crews had to land in a grassy area beside the facility which was subject to the elements like snowfall and muddy conditions after heavy rains.

BTHC Foundation Chair Grant Thiessen says it’s been a journey discovering the magnitude of the project and the generosity of the Krahn family. Originally, Thiessen says they were prepared to raise funds for a portion of the total cost only to learn the family was covering the entire bill.

“We were getting ready to do whatever was left,” Thiessen explains, adding they’ve informed the additional donors their support can now be moved to other projects.

“It’s awesome, it speaks to our community, and the people that are in our community, and their generosity and their vision for the needs in the area,” Thiessen says.

Southern Health CEO Jane Curtis explains the heliport will make a difference for the region, “it will be a lasting legacy for this family… knowing people will get the timely care that they need.”

She explains a heliport is a major boost for a hospital.

“It’s time… when people’s lives are at stake every second counts,” Curtis says. “It makes a huge difference.”

The heliport is expected to be finished before winter 2019.

Related story: Local Resident Donates $350K For Hospital Heliport

Surgery Capacity Doubles At BTHC Thanks To Community, Enbridge Boost

*Photo courtesy Boundary Trails Clinical Teaching Unit*

More surgeries can be booked, sooner, at Boundary Trails Health Centre (BTHC) with the addition of a $100,000 laparoscopic tower.BTHC now employs a second $100,000 laparoscopic tower thanks to the support of the Foundation and Enbridge. “It’s not a small ticket item,” O’Byrne says.

The additional operating room equipment was made possible thanks to fundraising efforts from the BTHC Foundation, and $50,000 in supp

ort from Enbridge.

BTHC Clinical Services Manager Martin O’Byrne explains the equipment gives doctors a live feed while in surgery.

“It allows us to run more surgeries, we’re not fighting over one laparoscopic tower that’s specialized for looking inside a patient witho

ut opening them up,” O’Byrne says.

Two towers mean two operating runs, “which has really increased our patient flow and the ability to do more surgeries… it’s been a real asset.”

In the past, staff had to juggle surgery dates to accommodate when the sole laparoscopic tower was booked.

He notes it’s all thanks to the generosity of local BTHC Foundation supporters and the grant from Enbridge.

“Quality health care is important to all of us and Enbridge applauds the important work of the Boundary Trails Health Centre Fou

ndation in supporting initiatives that this facility needs, including this state-of-the-art laparoscopic surgical equipment,” Enbridge’s Andrew Plett says.


He notes the contribution of $50,000 was part of a special community investment fund set aside under Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline replacement project. “We’re proud to be able to support the purchase of this important ‘wish list’ item for the Boundary Trails Health Centre.”

“The community has supported us from everything from the small items to the really large items and it’s always very welcome and appreciated. I can say this on behalf of my colleagues… we are very, very grateful for their contributions,” O’Byrne says. “At the end of the day, it’s our patients that benefit because we have the equipment available.”

Written by Steven Sukkau

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.