Sunday April 20, 2014


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Hospital celebrations wrap up

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(L-R) Former executive director Sister Therese Roddy and current executive director Greg Hoffort cut the cake at the 75th anniversary celebrations.

The 75th anniversary celebrations for St. Joseph's Hospital were a fitting event for such a significant milestone, according to committee member Tanya Nichol.

A lot of former staff, administrators and board members came back to Estevan for the festivities, and Nichol said it was great to see them.

"It was nice to see the Sisters (of St. Joseph) from Peterborough come all this way," said Nichol. "They travelled (a long ways), and they were here the whole entire week, which was quite exciting. Many of the staff members had a great time visiting with all of them."

The anniversary festivities featured staff activities on November 25; a mass, an auxiliary tea and a board social on November 26; an alumni event on the 27th; and a community bash on the 28th.

Those who visited the hospital for the first time in a few years were impressed with the changes and additions, such as the dialysis unit and the STARS Air Ambulance helipad.

"We had something different every day that went to the needs of everybody," said Nichol. "We did the staff, we did the auxiliary, we did the alumni and the community."

Hospital executive director Greg Hoffort echoed Nichol's thoughts that it was a great week, with functions for so many different people who allow the hospital to function so well.

Hoffort said the present hospital – which opened in late 1991 – is due to the work of the sisters.

"It was a true community effort, and the sisters are always the first ones to give everyone else the credit, but those of us who were involved at the time … knew that … the community was looking for a new hospital," said Hoffort.

Other communities were seeking a new hospital at the time, Hoffort said, but the sisters successfully lobbied for it to be built in Estevan.

Board chair Don Kindopp said the hospital exists for the community, and the people who have been part of the hospital are honoured to serve the residents of the Estevan area.

"The community itself has shown its love, and its embracement of St. Joseph's Hospital over the years, by its involvement in various ways – in fundraising, in the formation of the auxiliary, in the formation of the St. Joseph's (Hospital) Foundation, and in the formation of the South East Health Committee.

"All of these groups have seen a need that St. Joseph's has, and have been formed to provide that need."

It's imperative to look at the future, too, Kindopp said. A two-year residency for young physicians, a CT scan and a new Estevan Regional Nursing Home – which would be attached to the hospital – are all in the hospital's future.

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