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Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation celebrating 30 years

For 30 years the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation has been helping to bring the very best of care closer to home for patients throughout northern British Columbia.

This has only been made possible through the support of donors who regularly give generously, and engage with, or attend events in support of better healthcare.  Last evening, following their annual general meeting, Spirit of the North Healthcare board member celebrated accomplishments as they embark on their 30th year.   With close to $50 million granted out to date, towards equipment and enhancements to healthcare, the impact has been remarkable, and continues to fuel the mission to champion exceptional health outcomes for residence in the North.

“The impact of the foundation is only made possible by so many generous donors, who give selflessly to improve the quality of care for everyone,” said Judy Neiser, CEO of Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation.  “As we celebrate 30 years, albeit in a more subdued way than we had originally planned, it is truly humbling to look back and take stock of all that has been accomplished. We hope to celebrate more appropriately with the community and those who have continued to foster our growth as soon as we can.”

Some of the most notable achievements in the past 30 years include funding many state of the art advancements to the system:

  • The Boston SpyGlass DM System      
  • Diagnostic Spect CT Scanner
  • Dedicated Maternal Operating Room, 
  • 4 O.R. Surgical Video Towers/  4 Ortho Video Towers
  • World class Mat/Child and NICU centre
  • The first MRI, and CT Scanners
  • Refurbishing Jubilee Lodge
  • And, most recently, the purchase of the Dedicated Molecular Diagnostic Lab. 

Also worth mentioning are the countless smaller, but equally as important pieces of equipment, that are necessary along with items that support patient comfort in partnership with the Auxiliary to UHNBC.   A fleet of wheelchairs, ECHO ultrasounds, Holter monitors, feeding pumps, clinical simulation pieces, fetal heart monitors, the list goes on. All of which has stayed in the communities.   Recently a shift towards support in seniors wellness, mental health and wellness and the Spirit of Healthy Kids program has also been incredible.

“Spirit of the North is grateful everyone who so generously provide funds to better health outcomes in the region,” said Neiser. “The funds are graciously received through planned monthly giving, major gifts, transfer of securities, legacies of insurance policies, and estates as well as sponsors, and those who support our events, such as Festival of Trees our Golf Tournament, and Spirit Day. Through these donations we are not only able to support initiatives for the region, but also other specialized healthcare agencies, and the education of healthcare workers.”

As they look ahead to the future and reflect on the past, the board of directors, lead by Darcy Bryant, who is serving his final year as board chair, is setting its sights on future funding opportunities, and the legacy of Spirit of the North.  Last night saw the addition of two new board members, Scott Sherba with Westcana Electric, and Sonica Kandola with RK Furniture.   New additions to small but very efficient in-house Spirit Team include Tanya Stewart, office and event assistant, and Aimee Cassie, manager of strategic relations and community engagement.   The board was also delighted to announce two new patrons to the Foundation; Tom and Nada Newell along with the Milani Family (Maria, John and Lil).

“This past year has been different and at times really tough,” said Bryant, board chair.  “We have come out of it more resilient; more focussed, and with a bigger sense of purpose on how healthcare really does touch all of us.  If nothing else, it has made what we do that much more meaningful to residents of the North.  Healthcare touches everyone in one way or another, and as long as there are needs to be met, Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation will continue to advance healthcare in the region.”

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