The original goal was to raise $4 million for the items necessary to make the facility functional. But Cypress Health Region later calculated it could adequately furnish and equip it for $3.2 million.
With funds dedicated by towns, RMs and Hutterite colonies in the Southwest, as well as about $1 million raised through cash donations from residents, this goal was met. However, it was determined more funds would be required for additional costs.
The Healthcare Trust reported it now has $3.286 million in funding, but ongoing fundraising is now needed to cover facility improvements, equipment upgrades and educational assistance into the future.
Graham Markert, chair of the Southwest Healthcare Trust, admitted the need is always going to be there.
“We have a beautiful facility coming, and the next battle is being able to provide the services that we had originally envisioned,” he said. “Do we have the equipment? Do we have the people trained properly?”
Having all of that is what will allow patients to receive care right in their community instead of having to travel to Swift Current, Regina, Saskatoon or Medicine Hat, Markert added.
At first, the trust board was unsure if they would even be able to reach their goal of $3.2 million.
“We breathed a big sigh of relief because we were approaching the $1 million mark at the time, and we knew with the money that we had from the municipalities that we thought we had made it,” he explained. “There were times that we weren’t sure we were going to make it. It’s always in the back of your mind that you wonder if you’ve got enough.”
Another concern was whether the later date of completion would add to costs, but Market said they have been assured it won’t.
The Healthcare Trust didn’t hold a Christmas 50-50 draw this year, but intends to continue this fundraiser annually starting next year. Markert noted the board realizes there are many other groups trying to raise funds for their causes in the community as well, and they decided not to hold another 50-50 draw this winter as one was just held over the summer.
“We’re still looking to partner with other community organizations to continue to raise money,” he said.
In the meantime, furnishings and equipment have filled the storage facility in town and another in Swift Current, with five to seven more semi loads expected to arrive in the near future. It will begin to be moved into the new health facility in January when the health region takes ownership of the universal care and part of the acute care wings.