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Volunteer Week 2019

March 2019

PMH Appreciates Volunteer Efforts

This year, National Volunteer Week is being recognized during the week of April 7-13, 2019.   Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) sincerely appreciates the contributions that volunteers and volunteer organizations continue to make regarding the health and well-being of our residents, patients and clients, not only during the week, but throughout the year.

PMH is supported by over 1400 volunteers across the region.  Each volunteer offering an average of two (2) hours per week throughout the year.  Volunteers support clients and staff in Personal Care Homes, Acute Care Hospital, Therapy Programs, Mental Health, Public Health, Homecare, Palliative Care, Security Services, Primary Health, Outpatient Clinics, Emergency Departments to name a few!! 

This year, the theme of Volunteer Week is: “The Volunteer Factor- Lifting Communities!”

PMH Board Chair Catheryn Pedersen says volunteer contributions play a significant part in the provision of health care services and these efforts certainly help to lift communities’.

"Besides recognizing the many individual contributions to care sites and facilities, PMH also receives gracious donations from Health Care Auxiliaries, Foundations, Community Foundations and Service Clubs/Organizations on a regular basis. These contributions go towards equipment, furnishings, and many other large and small projects within hospitals, personal care homes, community health and more. "We cant say thank-youenough!" Pedersen stated.

At Minnedosa Health Centre, palliative care volunteers play not only an integral, but a vital role in providing an extension of family and friends. Like family, they are dedicated hearts providing compassion, empathy, and most importantly a gentle touch in times of need.

"We are so fortunate to have compassionate volunteers that will sit with patients who are at the end of their life, to allow family and loved ones a much needed rest. The volunteers invest their time and energy for others and truly demonstrate what service to others means," stated Cheryl Saler, Charge Nurse, Minnedosa Health Centre.

Barb Ross is the Manager of the PMH Volunteer Network.  “We often refer to the gift the volunteering is offering, but the volunteers will tell you about the gift they are receiving. Volunteering can also give volunteers a lift!  The feeling of gratitude that you have offered an act of kindness to a stranger.  A sense of purpose with the expectation of committing to help and seeing how your efforts; great or small help someone else,” Ross stated.

PMH staff from around the region sent in the following photos and write ups about some of the amazing and supportive volunteers we have around our region.

Staff at Country Meadows PCH in Neepawa Thank Their Volunteers.  On behalf of the Day Program we would like to say to the volunteers: May the Dreams you hold dearest be those which come true, and the kindness you spread keep returning to you!  From Activity Staff:  We really appreciate all the help they do for us, and being so kind and helpful with the residents.  Without the volunteers, we wouldn’t have as many activities as we do, they are a big help.  Volunteers enrich the lives of our residents with their kind and thoughtful ways.  Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, they just have the heart.
Shout out to Murray McLeod in the BRHC Emergency Triage Area - We would like to express our appreciation for Murray McLeod who is a volunteer in the BRHC Emergency triage area. Murray is excellent in this position. He has the most pleasant demeanor with people. He is very astute and knows what is going on in the waiting room. He regularly goes above and beyond helping with the patients, traffic control, cleaning and helping us keep a calm waiting room when wait times are long and patients getting frustrated. Murray is very much appreciated in our department.

Minnedosa Health Centre & PCH Palliative Care Volunteers - Minnedosa is so forunate to have such giving Palliative Care volunteers that share their time with compassion and understanding. 

Minnedosa Volunteer pic 3x2

Pictured L-R: Barb Hanishewski, Holly Morrison, Terri Barclay, Wilma Shewfelt

Missing from photo: Barb Kingdon, Carol Frost, Cyndi Ruddick, Donna Stevenson, Jody Michaelis, Judy McFadden, Karyn Walker, Kathleen Grant, Roly Lemoing and Terri Boroski

Volunteers at Minnedosa PCH - Minnedosa PCH is beyond honoured to have such thoughtful, dedicated and caring individuals to help care for our residents.  The gals in blue T-shirts are part of a volunteer group spear headed by Holly Morrison – retired nurse of 41 years from the Care Home. The group is called the "Care Home Groupies".  We have many other volunteers but some are away down south for the winter and were not available for the photos. We thank them all!

Minnedosa Holly Pat Gladys Jane 3x2

L-R: Holly Morrison, Pat McLean, Gladys Murray and Jane McKinnon are our regular BINGO volunteers.


 Minnedosa Holly Carol Colleen 3x2

L-R: Holly Morrison, Carol Frost and Colleen Lewis – help out with various events at the PCH and community outings.

Minneodsa Lorraine Don Carol Dora Vivian Jim Garry 3x2

L-R: Pastor Lorraine Kaczor, Pastor Don Dragan, Carol Lee, Dora White, Vivian Bazin, Rev. Jim Vickers ,Rev. Garry MacDowall.  Volunteer Clergy group that comes to the care home to conduct church services, memorial services and communions from various churches.


The Minnedosa District Health Auxiliary - In 1906 the Minnedosa Women’s Hospital Aid was formed to help with furnishings for the Lady Minto Hospital, which opened in 1908 with 9 beds, nursery and operating room.  In 1950 the new "Minnedosa and District Hospital opened and the Auxiliary members served Tea to 3,300 visitors.  The Auxiliary continues to work to contribute to health care in the hospital, PCH and the community and area. In 2019 there are 35 active Auxiliary members and a number of associate members who assist with baking for bake sales, knitting for the gift cupboard, making perogies and canvassing. Two of the current members have volunteered 50 years each and two are in their 49th year! In the period from 1991 – 2019 the Minnedosa District Health Auxiliary contributed $365,273 to health care in our facilities.  Quite interesting and boggles the mind to think these women have done such incredible fundraising and volunteering for a majority of their lives to contribute greatly to health care in our communities.  They are heroines in the most noble, self-less sense.  Thank you for everything you do to improve health care in Minnedosa.

Minn Health Aux group picture 2019

Back Row L-R: Barbara Hopkins, Wilma Jones, Florence Oliver, Lois Phillips, Lorrie Laming

Front row L-R: Lynne Betteridge, Beverley Cooper, Joan Madill, Roberta Parrott.

Volunteers at Westman Lab in Brandon      

Cheryl Cormack - Cheryl has been volunteering at Westman Lab in the Outpatient department every Thursday morning since May 2017.  We look forward to working with Cheryl each week because her efficiency keeps us one step ahead and she always goes the extra mile. She has a special way with patients and her warm and friendly personality make her one of those people everyone enjoys being around. We can always count on having a good morning when Cheryl is with us and we consider her very invaluable to our department. Thanks for everything you do for us Cheryl!

Cheryl Picture crop 1



Hazel Turner - Hazel has been volunteering at Westman Lab in the Outpatient department every busy Monday morning since September 2016.  Her kind smile, friendly personality, and compassion towards patients and staff are just a few reasons why we look forward to starting our week with her.  She is always reliable and a constant pleasure to be around! Monday mornings would not be the same without her.  Thank you so much Hazel!

Hazel crop 1


Barb Lynch - Barb has been volunteering at Westman Lab in the Outpatient department every Wednesday morning since August 2018. She always shows up enthusiastic to start the day.  Barb has a cheerful and vibrant personality which is welcomed by staff and patients.  She really enjoys volunteering and has recently decided to spend every Tuesday morning with us as well.  We appreciate her help and look forward to spending two mornings a week with her!  Thank you Barb!

Barb picture crop 1


Centre for Adult Psychiatry (CAP) Thanks Their Volunteers - The Centre for Adult Psychiatry is so fortunate to have many wonderful volunteers share their talents and time to provide comfort and entertainment for the patients. On behalf of all of the staff at CAP we want to acknowledge their contributions to the wellness of our patients.  Also we want to thank Barb Ross, Manager of Volunteer Services for her dedication in recruiting and retaining so many amazing volunteers in Prairie Mountain Health!

Pet Therapy - Tai and Ngaire Abernethy have been attending CAP since Tai was 8 weeks old. Tai is nearly 2 years old now!  Their weekly visits are anticipated by our patients who are seeking out therapeutic interactions with Tai.  Ngaire’s awesome personality and health care background contributes to some great discussions and learning opportunities.  On occasion Ngaire brings along Miss Mona Lisa (a smaller loveable dog) who is more of a lap dog than Tai.  Thank you for coming to CAP!

We also want to make mention of Mark Saler and Grizzly for coming and visiting. Patients often ask if Grizzly will be visiting as they often see him and Mark making their rounds at the hospital. Thank you Mark and Grizzly. Another pet therapy team that is visiting with us is Kyle and Jody Armour and Sarge. The patients and staff at CAP greatly enjoy the opportunity to interact with these loveable and furry companions!                                                                                  

Tai Ngaire and Mona Lisa crop       Mark and Grizzly 2       Kyle and Jodi with Sarge 2
Ngaire Abernethy with her pets Miss Mona Lisa and Tai.       Mark and Grizzly       Kyle and Jody Armour with Sarge

Musical Volunteers - We are so fortunate to have regular visits from very talented musicians including Matthew Zimmerman – singer/song writer/ guitar; Courtney Souza – pianist/vocalist; Ainsley Friesen –singer/song writer/guitar; Ann Germain – harpist.  We want you to know that the music you share with the patients at the Centre for Adult Psychiatry is appreciated and helpful in healing and recovery.

Ann G       Ainsley F         Matt Z  
Ann Germain       Ainsley Friesen         Matthew Zimmerman  



Debbie Huntinghawk – Knowledge Keeper - Debbie has been a guest presenter at the Centre for Adult Psychiatry for over a year. She speaks at Healthy Lifestyles Group once a month.   Debbie shares her knowledge of traditional, spiritual and cultural teachings and awareness to the patients at CAP.  On each visit she shares her personal healing journey.  In addition she gifts each patient with a grandfather stone.  Debbie also provides us with smudge ceremonies and individual support on request.  Thank you Debbie – you make a valuable contribution in the treatment of our patients at CAP.


Thank you Volunteers from the patients and staff at Centre for Adult Psychiatry!