Health Foundation thanking Hatters after 25 years

·2 min read

For 25 years, the Medicine Hat and District Health Foundation has been working to provide funding and equipment necessary to ensure quality health care remains available to the community.

As foundation officials reflect on the past year, they expressed thanks to Hatters for their continued support and excitement for the upcoming fiscal year.

“It’s been a phenomenal year,” Heather Bach, executive director, told the News. “We have an amazing team, we have a strong board who’s challenging us to reach higher and we were just very fortunate to be able to pivot and keep moving forward.”

Bach is proud of her team, which over the course of the past year has established the Giving Hope for Mental Health campaign, generated $380,000 in funding and purchased 43 new pieces of medical equipment for various departments within Medicine Hat Regional Hospital.

“Our sole job, essentially, is to raise money to enhance health care,” said Bach. “A lot of times it is buying equipment … sometimes it’s renovating a room and updating because health-care dollars don’t pay for aesthetics … and sometimes it’s supporting a new program.”

Over the past year, the foundation has also worked to address concerns generated by the pandemic, mainly heightened levels of stress health-care workers experienced as a result of system overwhelm. To date, the Health Foundation has donated more than 900 gift cards to local health-care workers with the aim of expressing gratitude and providing a small joy.

“To be honest, everyone in health care is being impacted by COVID,” said Bach. “Everyone. It’s it’s not just the people working in ICU and in emergency; it’s filtered through the all areas of health care (so) the gift card idea was just a way to support our local restaurants and businesses, but also say thanks to our health-care professionals.”

Bach is grateful for continued community support, despite the year’s hardships.

“The community’s been phenomenal as Medicine Hat always is,” she said. “You can feel (Hatters’) generosity … You can feel they want to help and they want to say thanks.”

As the foundation enters its new fiscal year, Bach and her team remain optimistic about the future.

“There’ll be some fun, new technology projects for us to start working on. So I’m looking forward to those kind of positive and forward thinking items,” Bach said.

She is especially looking forward to the introduction of Connect Care in the South Zone and the Foundation’s upcoming campaign scheduled to launch later this spring, Big Hearts for Tiny Heartbeats, which aims to purchase a central monitoring system for Medicine Hat Regional Hospital’s Labour and Delivery ward.

KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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