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2019 Report to Community

Feb 15, 2019

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In April 2018, a Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) Suite was opened at the Aberdeen Hospital. The addition provides benefits for patients and operating Room staff and changes how many surgical procedures can be carried out.

Minimally invasive surgery involves making small incisions and inserting telescopes with tiny cameras that allow surgeons to easily see and conduct procedures. The MIS Suite has other benefi ts too. “Creating an environment that enables development is key to recruiting,” says Dr. Chakshu Sharma who recently moved to Pictou County. General surgeons are performing increasingly more laparoscopic surgery and the new MIS Suite ensures the Aberdeen Hospital has the technology they expect. Laparoscopic is high tech, low impact and for patients means less pain and faster recovery.

The Aberdeen Hospital Auxiliary and Aberdeen Health Foundation partnered to fully fund this exciting advance, contributing nearly equal shares to the half million dollar project. “This is a shining example of what’s possible when we work together,” says Executive Director, Michelle Ferris. “I look forward to continuing our work with the Auxiliary and other community partners to transform and modernize our hospital. Full Story >>

New leadership. Consistent impact.

It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Chair of the Foundation.
I am delighted to provide this report of our activities over the past year.
The Foundation welcomed Michelle Ferris as our new Executive Director in June. Michelle has transitioned easily into her new role, and in a few short months has successfully renewed and enhanced relationships with key partners and stakeholders.

I am pleased to report the Foundation approved almost $1.5 million in support of programs and medical equipment for the Aberdeen Hospital. This included $1.3 million to fund a new CT scanner for the diagnostic imaging department over the next two years. The Foundation remains strongly committed to supporting initiatives that provide our residents with access to quality health care services, including the attraction and retention of health care professionals, continuing education for staff , mental health services, and population health.

With a solid financial base, a clear strategic plan, and a passionate staff and volunteer leadership team, the Aberdeen Health Foundation is well positioned to continue positively impacting health care here in Pictou County.

Jim Shaw, Chair

Community. The heart of a strong foundation.

I can’t help but notice how all our lives intersect at the Aberdeen Hospital. I hear neighbours meeting in the halls. I see families accompanying loved ones to appointments. Just the other day I saw a little boy walking out beside his mom, saying “all done” to the volunteer at the exit. The hospital is the one place in Pictou County that connects everyone. The generosity that flows into this organization shows that our community truly understands this. There is such good news on these pages. For all the ways you give – thank you! I am honoured to be entrusted in this role and to have the opportunity to work with such a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors to equip the hospital for today and transition for our community’s evolving health needs.

Michelle Ferris, Executive Director

Helping drive hope for mental health.

New Hope is an outpatient program for people in Pictou County living with mental illness. The program provides a positive environment for building relationships, support networks and community connections. In 2005 the group identified the essential role a passenger van could play in serving clients. Stright-MacKay saw the potential as well, stepped up and purchased a van for New Hope. For thirteen years clients were transported to and from programs, appointments and activities. In 2018, it was time to replace the van. Again, Stright-MacKay rose to the occasion and donated another new vehicle.

No doubt, seeing the Stright-MacKay logo on the van brought a measure of pride. In the true spirit of philanthropy, however, the corporate decal was
left at the curb when company President, Peter Bennett learned it was not in the best interest of the passengers. “Clients at New Hope suggested that
a plain white van would help reduce stigma and encourage participation,” said Bennett. “It was great input and we certainly took it to heart.”

“By foregoing well deserved recognition,” noted Michelle Ferris, “Peter once again demonstrated remarkable leadership in support of mental health
programs.” The Bennett family have long been wonderful donors and supporters. In 2006, the Sandbar Mental Health Endowment was established with a gift from Peter’s parents, Richard & Nancy. The endowment is used to fund mental health programs, education, and outreach services in Pictou County. New Hope is a regular recipient of Sandbar funding. This year funds were used to expand programs that help build skills, develop healthy routines, and strengthen social networks and personal resilience.

Digital X-ray enhancements

The Diagnostic Imaging Department celebrated the official opening of their new X-ray room. The Foundation provided $540,000 in funding which included the latest digital X-ray technology and expanded space. The new equipment means improved image quality and reduced radiation dosage for patients.

Brightening a child’s visit 

The RCMP Adopt a Library Literacy Program continues to be a huge success thanks to the efforts of Kay Desborough. Kay works with others to ensure the Emergency Department, Women and Children’s Unit and other areas of the hospital always have a selection of books to help brighten a child’s visit. Upon leaving, the children can take the books home with them.

Giving back to the community 

Fred Haddad, owner of the Maple Cedar Restaurant in New Glasgow believes in the importance of giving back to the community. For the second year in a row Fred donated a portion of sales the week of Remembrance Day to the Northumberland Veteran’s Unit at the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital in Pictou. The donation will be used for patient comfort items.

Paying it forward

Doug and Margie Guthro
hit an exciting goal when they raised $10,133 for the Aberdeen Health Foundation’s Oncology Client Fund this year. The fund helps patients with travel costs associated with their treatment. Doug was inspired to help others while supporting Margie in 2017, as she underwent cancer treatment in Halifax for several weeks.

Investing in pediatric rehab

Investors Group and Ace in the Hole Septic both stepped up again to support the Pediatric Rehabilitation Department. New equipment included a supportive seat for therapy to help children who struggle with sitting, head, and fine motor controls; a walker wagon that offers support and stability while working on mobility; and an iPad so therapists can capture images and video to share with specialists at the IWK for consultations.

McHappy Day donation

Proceeds from this year’s McHappy Day were used to purchase a vein viewer for
the Women and Children’s Unit. The new device makes it easy to establish the precise location of veins by ‘lighting them up.’ This allows for rapid deployment of fluids and medicines with minimal impact. To date the New Glasgow McDonalds has raised more than $55,000 for the Women and Children’s Unit.

Braxton’s legacy.

This year saw an emotional milestone for the Naugle family as their wish for a meaningful legacy for their son Braxton reached fruition. Braxton was seven years old when he suffered a critical sepsis infection and lost his life. Since their tragic loss, the Naugles have been on a mission to create awareness about sepsis and a legacy for their son. The Aberdeen Health Foundation, Emergency Department, Women and Children’s Unit, and Molly’s Rainbows Society collaborated to fulfil the family’s wish. A simulator child named in Braxton’s honour is the newest addition to the hospital’s Clinical Simulation Lab. The simulator will have an important, long-term impact on staff education and medical treatment for children.

Enduring generosity.

Several years ago Don Horne decided to start gifting some of his investments and estate while he could witness the impact of his donations. Since then his generosity has contributed to equipment purchases and enhancements for the Emergency Department, Palliative Care Unit, and the Women and Children’s Unit at the Aberdeen Hospital.

In 2018, Don took his commitment a step further and established the Donald Horne Endowment for Children’s Health. Like the Foundation’s other endowments, this donation is invested to grow principle, generate income, and provide annual support. Don was pleased to learn recently that another donor, inspired by his generosity, has chosen to make a donation to the fund. Proceeds from The Donald Horne Endowment for Children’s Health will go directly to patient care for children in Pictou County. Full story >>

Building on success

The 2017 pilot program between the Aberdeen Hospital, St.FX, and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario to become a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) in the reduction of pressure injuries was a remarkable success. Through the initiative, a team from the inpatient
medicine unit was able to implement guidelines that saw them achieve prevalence rates that were among the lowest in the province for 2018.
In order to extend this innovation across departments, the Foundation was pleased to support an education request last year. Sixteen participants were trained during a ten week program to serve as best practice ambassadors in their nursing units.

Our 2018 Funding Commitments

Medical Equipment
Diagnostic Imaging $562,682
Anesthesia $115,052
Surgical Unit $131,821
Respiratory Therapy $107,678
Orthopedic Assessment Centre $100,000
Restorative Care Unit $24,341
Intensive Care Unit $21,000
Sub-total 1,062,574

Health Programs and Education
Bain Langley Palliative Care Endowment $1,279
CAS Endowment $74,970
CAS Legacy Fund $1,117
Dr. Johnnie Miles Williston Fund $911
Education Fund $24,651
Frank & Irene Sobey Memorial Fund $76,891
Palliative Care Support Fund and Endowment $37,817
Population Health $30,825
Sandbar Mental Health Endowment $11,827
Specified Donations $152,950
Sub-total $413,238

Grand Total $1,475,812


Join Us

Aberdeen Health Foundation
Annual General Meeting

Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Aberdeen Hospital Boardroom
835 East River Road, New Glasgow

Putting out the Welcome Mat
Nicole LeBlanc, Project Navigator
for Healthy Pictou County will speak
about the ways you can support the
attraction and retention of medical staff and students in Pictou County.


For more information contact us.


Download 2019 Report to Community