Healthcare Celebration

The Moose Jaw Health Foundation held their annual Healthcare Celebration on April 18 at the Moose Jaw Events Centre, including presenting of $615,260 to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), honouring local philanthropists, and hearing stories of healthcare in action. 

The Moose Jaw Health Foundation (MJHF) supports the Dr. F. H. Wigmore Regional Hospital in purchasing state-of-the-art equipment that can mean the difference between life and death, or turn a traumatic and drawn-out hospital visit into a routine, comfortable procedure. 

“The volunteer board of the Foundation is thankful for everyone being here today. The Healthcare Celebration symbolizes how we as a community work together to empower our healthcare professionals to save and enhance the lives of those we care about,” said Ryan Hrechka, board chair of the MJHF. 

“By working together as a community, we can achieve things for the betterment of others, and the Healthcare Celebration was created to recognize how healthcare professionals, volunteers, and businesses work together to create a healthier tomorrow.” 

Hrechka said the MJHF has, at this point, raised more than $43 million over the past 38 years for equipment at Moose Jaw’s hospital. 

Examples of how the Dr. F.H. Wigmore hospital has recently benefitted from new equipment include: 

  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitor 
  • Critical care bed for the ICU 
  • Ultrasound for cardiac examinations 
  • Lymphatic mapping probe for breast cancer surgeries 
  • Quick-thaw plasma system for the ER 

The MJHF, including executive director Kelly McElree, Hrechka, and former board chair James Murdock, presented the SHA with a giant cheque for $615,260 — all of which will stay local. 

The cheque was accepted by Dr. Johann Roodt, Physician Executive for Integrated Rural Health, who attended on behalf of the SHA executive leadership team. 

“Every day, you are changing lives,” Roodt said. “You are actively helping people, and it’s invaluable. On behalf of the SHA, I would like to express how profoundly grateful we are for the support we receive from your foundation and the community every year.” 

Attendees at the event heard from Karrah Stangby, a pediatric physical therapist working at the Moose Jaw Family Wellness Centre, about her daily work and how it is affected by funds from the MJHF.

Stangby presented photos and videos from her work with children suffering from profound disabilities, genetic conditions, and childhood illnesses. Equipment like a special treadmill and a lift system help these children learn to walk, while specialized loanable walkers help children participate in activities with their peers. 

“As you can see from that reel and some of the slides, the equipment that we’ve received over this last year has been absolutely (life-changing) to our families, our children, and the care that we’re able to provide,” Stangby said. 

James Murdock presented three Healthcare Philanthropy Awards to individuals and businesses whose volunteerism and generosity have been consistently generous over the years: 

Kelvin Bradford 


 JGL Livestock 


 Cypress Paving

Murdock noted that Bradford has sacrificed much of his time and given his energy to help foundation events succeed, while JGL and Cypress have made contributions to the hospital that can’t be overstated, including as title sponsors of many events like Healthcare Rocks and the Festival of Trees. 

To conclude the event, MJHF board member Aaron Ruston told attendees about a recent wedding he performed at the hospital. The father of the bride was dying of cancer, he explained, and the man’s timeline had become suddenly and tragically shortened. 

Ruston described walking into the hospital and seeing how closely involved the medical staff were, and how close they had grown to the family. 

“(The nurses) had walked this gentleman and that family through a horrific journey, and they were family that day,” Ruston said. “It made me realize what we have here, and what the people involved are doing every day. 

“We are blessed to have doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals working in those jobs, and working with the best medical equipment in Canada, provided by foundation supporters.” 


Copyright 2012 Moose Jaw Health Foundation