DGHF doing work you might not realize

Donations to the Dauphin General Hospital Foundation (DGHF) can do more than buy equipment for the local facility.

DGHF chair, Doug Deans explained the foundation funds a number of programs, which assist the Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC) in providing a better service to the community.

“We have some programs that are ongoing, that are quite significant, that perhaps people don’t appreciate, or even know we do,” he said.

For example, the foundation supports a visiting specialist program in Dauphin.

Several years ago, Deans said, Cindy van Van Buekenhout, manager of the medical clinic, approached DGHF about several specialists from Winnipeg and Brandon willing to come to
Dauphin, but they wanted their expenses covered.

“So we set up a fund, that we provide on an annual basis, of at least $10,000,” he said, noting it has since been increased to $20,000.

“And every year we get a report saying this is what was spent and we top it up.” The funds are only used for travel and accommodation costs, as needed, Deans said, adding the $20,000 is not always spent each year.

“But we’ve had specialist avail themselves of that fund,” he said, listing urologists, obstetricians and dermatologists, as examples.

Deans has had need of the service of specialists himself and was grateful he did not have to drive to Winnipeg for a 10-minute consultation, noting the program is another way to
encourage specialists to come to Dauphin.

DGHF also manages a program created by a former local nurse, Delha Cort, who set up an educational trust fund of over $100,000. The interest is used annually, Deans said,
for nurses to take special training and increase their skills.

“It’s a fund we’ve almost had some trouble using, in trying to make the nurses aware of the fact, that if they want to go to continuing education, or there is something that
they need funding for, that we’re quite happy to help,” he added.

DGHF offers a $1,000 scholarship to each graduating class at Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School for a student taking post-secondary education in the
medical field.

Often, Deans said, DGHF board members will ask for input from local doctors and local Regional Health Authority (RHA) administration on what is needed at DRHC.

“I feel that the money we obtain is to be used for non-run-of-the-mill things that the RHA can’t fund or the province doesn’t fund,” he explained.

DGHF has bought specialized equipment for surgeons, infant incubators and bladder scanning equipment.

It has paid half the rent to house students, contributed to palliative care upgrades and supported education assistance for physicians.

Looking at what DGHF has funded for the local hospital, Deans would like Dauphinites to consider donating to the fund or set a specific amount in their will, for the foundation.

Often, if someone has spent some time in the hospital and the family appreciated the care, he said, DGHF will receive funds.

While Deans is grateful for those donations, he feels the DGHF should be considered before someone needs the service of the local hospital.

DGHF has in excess of $1 million invested, Deans explained, and the interest is used for programs, but half of it is invested with the Dauphin and District Community Foundation
(DDCF), to bolster its fund.

“And we get a pretty healthy rate of return on it,” he said, noting the other half is invested with ScotiaMcLeod.

At one time, Deans said, all of DGHF’s money was with ScotiaMcLeod and the board decided to support a local charity, which improved returns for DDCF.

Deans believes one of the reasons Dauphin is thriving, is the quality of health care provided by DRHC and it is a factor in people choosing to settle in the community.

He pointed out the Dauphin Hospital Auxiliary is separate from the foundation, though money is funded through DGHF. The group raises a lot of money for specific programs or equipment at the local hospital, Deans said, noting the group is appreciated for its hard work.

Two auxiliary members are on the DGHF board, Deans said, which meets periodically and is always looking for new members to join.

Contact DGHF at Third St. SW, or by calling 204-638-3010.

By M. A. Nyquist
Herald Staff

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