Celebration for the Residents

Written on December 27th, 2017 by Karen Mouat Posted in Featured Story

Christmas is a time for sharing and bringing joy to others. In Extended Care this is amplified at Christmas with a luncheon that brings resident’s families into the fold for a time of good food and song and great cheer. The Hospital is grateful to be able to help by co-funding this event but the real applause goes to Margaret and Ken MacKenzie and their roster of amazing volunteers. A standing ovation goes to Jennifer Ritson, Dorothy Copeland and everyone who works in ECU – because they don’t call it working; they call it spending time with family.

Bill Henderson and Margaret MacKenzie

Bill Henderson and Jen Ritson

Volunteers serving up a Christmas feast

2017 Phantom Ball Winners

Written on December 8th, 2017 by Christopher Roy Posted in Featured Story, Phantom Ball

PHANTOM BALL 2017 – THE LUCKY WINNERS of this year’s prize package for Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu Hawaii

Photo on 2017-12-05 at 3.45 PM #3

Photo on 2017-12-05 at 3.45 PM #3

It couldn’t have been more perfect.  There was palpable suspense as Fundraising Committee Chair, Patrick Taylor, drew the winning ticket for this year’s Phantom Ball prize at the Donor Recognition Event held at Penny’s Pantry on October 5th.  Patrick’s voice hesitated for a moment after he announced the winner’s first name JOHN… followed by the full name John Woodward.

What luck that Mr. Woodward was in the room with his wife, Linda Stafford to receive the news first hand.  Both are long time donors to the Foundation and were speechless during the presentation of the prize certificate by Executive Director, Diana Hayes.

There is an inside story too which makes the draw all the more poignant.

Over 40 years ago, Linda vacationed in Hawaii and was a guest at the resort KUILIMA, which was situated on the same property as Turtle Bay Resort is today.  She was there with daughter Melanie and family, and stayed again at Kuilima two years later, when she was expecting her second daughter Lisa.

After John and Linda had time to digest the news about the incredible prize package to Turtle Bay, they made the decision, for health reasons that would make such a long trip difficult for John, that they would surprise their daughter Lisa and family with the trip.  Lisa, her husband Micah Booy, and their son Lukas would be over the moon with this news!

And they were… Lukas is an avid surfer and the family was in fact at Long Beach the very week-end when John and Linda announced the Phantom Gift.  Lisa and Micah hope to book their trip in February or March of 2018 when the Hawaiian sun will be a welcome nourishment after what is likely to be a dull and rainy (or maybe white)  west coast winter.

I think John’s excitement at surprising his family with this gift was equal to his amazement when we called out his name at the Foundation’s prize draw.

It is so rewarding to know that the Phantom Ball campaign will help many residents of Salt Spring with their hospital care at Lady Minto.  Proceeds from the campaign go towards the Annual Fund which helps purchase priority equipment items.  This year, the campaign made over $100,000, a record best!

This year’s prize package was made possible by a generous donation from past board member, Drew Stotesbury.  Uniglobe One Travel supplied a travel kit and Mangini leather holder and will make all the travel arrangements for the winners.

Aloha! to Lisa, Micah and Lukas, and a big congratulations to Linda and John for being the lucky winners.


2017 Golf Tournament a Tribute to our Generous Community!

Written on July 26th, 2017 by Karen Mouat Posted in Featured Story, Golf Tournament




ABOVE & BEYOND: Salt Spring Golf and Country Club

Gold Sponsors: Country Grocer, Blackburn Mall,

and John Lefebvre

Hole in 1 Sponsor:  Jim Pattison Subaru


Big Bear Services, Gulf Islands Septic, Hazenboom Construction, Island Savings Credit Union

Island Sea Farms, In Mem. of Deb Hamilton, Key Pawn Trucking, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel

Li Read, Sea to Sky Premier Properties, McKimm & Lott, Rithaler Family

Medical Staff of Lady Minto Hospital, Mike Hardy, Moby’s Pub, Mouat’s Trading Company

Pacific Prowler, Queen Margaret’s School, Salt Spring Lion’s Club, Salt Spring Air

SS Veterinary Services, Slegg Lumber, Susan de Stein, Thrifty Foods, Windsor Plywood, Wine Cellar

SSI Golf & Country Club, Steve Marleau & Pro Shop Rockstars

Catering:  Penny’s Pantry on the Green and Star Staff

On Guitar: The Talented Paul Bram


Anna Pugh, Amber Casa, Barb’s Bakery, B.E., Bank of Montreal, BC Ferries, B’Nurtured, Country Grocer, Culture Salon

Dagwoods, Embe’s Bakery, Fernwood Café, Fever Tree, Foxglove Farm and Garden Supply, Fraser’s Thimble Farms

Gallery 8, Ganges Gas, Golden Island Restaurant, Harbour House, Island Escapades, Key Pawn Trucking, LMH Aux. Thrift Shop

Leslie Barclay, Mondo Trading, North End Fitness, Pharmasave, Praxair Canada, Pro Shop, Salt Spring Golf & Country Club

Rendevouz Bakeshop, Robert Bateman, Rock Salt Restaurant, Salt Spring Books, Salt Spring Cheese, Salt Spring Soapworks

Salt Spring Inn, Salt Spring Wellness, Seafirst Insurance, Seaside Kitchen, Steffich Fine Art, JP Subaru, The Plant Farm

Thrifty Foods, Twig and Buoy, Upper Ganges Liquor Store, Vipond Property Management

And to the many volunteers

2017 Golf Committee, Registration Tent Troup, Floral Fingers, Raffle Wizards,

from those who iron all the table cloths to those who wash them and our new Slideshow Slave….


26th Annual Golf Tournament

Written on May 19th, 2017 by Karen Mouat Posted in Featured Story, Golf Tournament

Over the last 25 years our Charity Golf Tournament has raised over $350,000 for equipment purchases for Lady Minto Hospital. The tournament first began as a memorial tournament and to this day the Hewitson Memorial Trophy is presented every year to the winning team.   Keen competitors vie for this Trophy with Chad, Corbin, Mike and Doug hoisting that trophy in 2016.

We’ve added a few more awards these past few years: Women’s Low Net Team

Melanie, Franki, Leah, Jennifer Williams

Most Honest Team: The Lion’s Club team won a lesson with the club pro. They might have needed help with golf, but they didn’t need any help with having fun!

Steve Marleau, Dorothy C (Lion), Heather H (Lion), LMHF Chair Jennifer W. and Don C(Lion)

Dana, Torrie, Barb and Nick (CIBC)

…..and our crowd pleaser The LMHF Company Sandbaggers Challenge Cup.

Each Sandbagger team must have at least two members from your organization on the team, but you don’t have to know how to play golf.

CIBC entered a team two years ago that started out their round going the wrong direction, but that didn’t stop them from having a blast.

Sharon, Rick, Rebecca & Brent

Speaking of having fun, you can’t fault the Country Grocer Team for lacking in team spirit! They won last year for the best dressed team.

This year we have a Hawaiian theme so dig out your hawaiian shirt, your grass skirt and come spread some mahalo. 

Registration is easy!

How to Make Donations of Securities – important new information

Written on March 10th, 2015 by Diana Hayes Posted in Featured Story


If you have publicly traded shares in your portfolio that would generate a substantial taxable gain if you sold, you can consider donating some of those shares to make your next donation. You will get a tax receipt for the full market value of the shares and there will be no tax to pay on the disposition of the shares.

Please contact our office first if you are considering making a gift of shares. The Foundation works with our local Nesbitt Burns office in Ganges to facilitate your donation. Due to the strict confidentiality policy of all banking institutions, we will not be notified of the donor’s name unless he/she contacts us first directly. Give our office a call at 250-538-4845 and ask for Diana so that we will know to expect your donation.

Phantom Ball 2014 Prize Winner

Written on March 10th, 2015 by Diana Hayes Posted in Phantom Ball

Catherine Cook, Winner of the 18th Annual Phantom Ball Prize

Catherine Cook, Winner of the 18th Annual Phantom Ball Prize

“You can’t have a community without a hospital,” says Catherine, who has been a loyal donor for many years and is this year’s lucky winner of the Phantom Ball prize.

Catherine, who commutes every day to the Saanich Forestry Centre for her job as Senior Forestry Technician at Western Forest Products Inc., is energetic and passionate about her work. It takes the sting out of commuting she says, and the Swartz to Fulford run allows for a power nap on the way home after her twelve hour day.

She has always been interested in horticulture and forestry management and first worked in northern B.C. harvesting cones and tree planting. She was then offered the position in Saanichton at Western Forest Products in 1980 where she manages the orchards to provide the seed for reforestation. “Trees are the most genetically diverse thing on earth,” she explains and talks about parent tree selection, seeds for reforestation and traditional breeding with second and third generation crops.

She lived in Rivers, Manitoba and many other air force base communities across the country before she settled on the west coast. She is the youngest in a family of four siblings. Her father worked in a number of Canadian Air Force positions, including Dew Line Commander for NORAD in the early 1960’s. She visited Salt Spring in 1981 and fell in love with the island – “a wonderful rural community where people remember names.” Her home is cozy and built with great care and attention. The cook stove is a centre-piece and there are decks surrounding the house in all directions. “In the summer, I don’t come in until the sun goes down.”

“The hospital is the heart of the community. Everyone starts and ends there,” she says, matter-of-factly. Catherine has known her share of suffering within the family. She nursed her father at home in his final days and mother during many years suffering with Alzheimer’s. One sibling has passed away with Multiple Sclerosis while another still is afflicted with it. Life is both wondrous and fragile and Catherine seizes the day, every day it seems. Her exuberance for life and for nature is palpable.

Her husband Ray recently retired and they plan to spend more time travelling and visiting family in New Zealand. She is thinking about retiring herself in the next year or two but I imagine leaving her work with the trees is not going to be easy. Clearly, with Catherine it is a way of life, not just a job.

She and her husband look forward to taking advantage of the Phantom Ball prize: a week-end get-away for two in Vancouver which includes luxury accommodation, a restaurant gift certificate and entry to a selection of big city attractions. They will visit VanDusen Gardens, the spectacular 55 acre garden in the heart of Vancouver, and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. She says they don’t get the opportunity to visit the big city very often and this will be a treat.

A Lucky Day: AEDs Save Lives, by Beth Weston AED/CPR Instructor

Written on March 10th, 2015 by Diana Hayes Posted in Uncategorized

Joe did not think this was his lucky day. He had watched the football game just too long. Now his wife was reminding him of that as they sped down the highway. They were going to be late for dinner at the in-laws. His wife was not going to let him forget. So he pushed down a little more on the gas pedal. And then the day went from bad to worse. His rear view mirror lit up with flashing red lights and his wife’s reminders were replaced by the incessant scream of sirens demanding he pull over. It just was not his day. Politely he handed his licence to the police officer. He wondered just how much the fine would be.

The police officer smiled as he processed the licence on the computer back in his cruiser. He figured the wife’s lecture would be worse than the fine. He looked up at the man’s vehicle and was surprised at the activity. The car was rocking a bit as the wife seemed to be moving her arms excessively and screaming. He approached the driver’s door to see what all the fuss was about.

Joe looked as if he had passed out. He was very pale and not responding and as the officer looked closer he realized that Joe was not breathing. Wow, the officer was sure glad that he had taken the CPR refresher course last week. It had been interesting as they had introduced a new machine called an A.E.D., short for automated external defibrillator. He knew just what to do. He cocked his head and spoke into his shoulder mike. He called for help. ….help for Joe, a middle aged man who was not breathing, and he asked for an A.E.D.

Then he pulled Joe out of the car, laying him on his back on the road. Immediately he started chest compressions. The wailing sound of sirens was a welcome sound to the police officer. His buddy ran to him with an AED. As CPR continued the second officer removed Joe’s shirt and exposed his chest. Quickly the pads were applied to Joe’s bare, hairless chest. The officers sat back on their heels while the AED analyzed Joe’s heart rhythm. A shock was required and one of the officers pushed the shock button. Joe’s body jumped with the strong jolt. The machine directed the officers to resume CPR. Two minutes passed and again the machine asked them to sit back while it analyzed Joe’s heart rhythm and again a shock was required. The wail of the ambulance siren brought relief to the officers. Joe stirred as he was lifted onto the ambulance gurney. Indeed it certainly was Joe’s lucky day.

There were smiles all around the next day as the police officers met Joe and his wife at the hospital. Joe was so very thankful for the police and their fast action, but the police deferred to the little AED machine. It had indeed changed the success rate of CPR and in this case was responsible for Joe’s lucky day.

Donor Loyalty Event, October 3 2014

Written on March 10th, 2015 by Diana Hayes Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. Brendan Carr, President & CEO, Island Health

Dr. Brendan Carr, President & CEO, Island Health

Over 50 donors gathered at the Harbour House Hotel on October 3rd to share stories and get to meet our Foundation board members and staff. Our guest speaker, Dr. Brendan Carr, is the Chief Executive Officer and President of our health authority, Island Health, based in Victoria. Presentations were also made by the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Foundation, Paul Oliphant and Jennifer Williams, Clinical Coordinator, Jo Twaites and Practice Lead, Catherine Green as well as our medical staff president, Dr. Ian Gummeson. Donors who had made a contribution to the Foundation for ten consecutive years or more were invited to attend. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our donors whether you are new to our family of support or have been in the family for many years. Each gift truly matters and allows us to support the Lady Minto Hospital in the best possible way.

Dr. Brendan Carr spoke eloquently and with much enthusiasm and support for our very special community hospital. Here are some notes from his speech:

It’s said that Lady Minto is the ‘jewel in Salt Spring’s crown’ and Island Health is committed to investing in the hospital to ensure that we continue to deliver the best possible care. In fact, this year alone, Island Health is investing more than $2.5 Million dollars into facility upgrades. These improvements aren’t always obvious to our patients, but they represent critical projects that were prioritized based on a rigorous capital planning process.

Valuable Foundation Partnership
Last year, millions of dollars were dispersed to Island Health by our 12 Hospital and Healthcare Foundations. The Lady Minto Hospital Foundation is an integral part of the family and an excellent example of what’s possible when a community works together towards a common goal. The Foundation has provided the hospital with numerous pieces of new equipment and recently committed over $70,000 dollars towards the purchase of new endoscopy equipment.

From life-saving medical equipment, renovations, AED programs and staff education, this Foundation plays a key role in supporting us – in doing our very best for our patients.

You may have heard the saying by Helen Keller that, “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.

Working together over the past 3 years, this Foundation has provided more than half a million dollars to support the Lady Minto Hospital – everything from Endoscopy equipment to floor scrubbers; all important equipment when running a hospital. This means that depending on the year, the Foundation has funded about 6 to 10 percent of the improvements at Lady Minto Hospital.

These are things that we simply couldn’t afford to fund on our own due to competing priorities at other sites and I really want to express the important role the Foundation plays when it steps up to fund these items. When we’re working within such tight margins, contributions of 6-10 percent from the Foundations make a huge difference!

During a tour of the hospital today, I was thrilled to visit the new Acute Care patio which was funded 100% by the Foundation. This was a $28,000 dollar funding commitment that provides a safer and more pleasant outdoor area for patients, families, and visitors.

A Big Thank You
Thank you for supporting this Foundation for so many years, and I hope we can count on your continued support for years to come.

This community has an amazing ability to raise money. If you compare donor dollars per capita throughout the entire Health Authority, the highest grossing Foundations are found in some of our smallest communities; Cowichan, Tofino and Salt Spring Island.

Thanks to the generosity of this community and the Board of Directors’ unrelenting resolve, Lady Minto Foundation raises over $42 dollars per capita which is double the average of all 12 Island Health Foundations – including those in larger urban centers.

I want to thank all of you who are loyal donors for your many years of support and express again how much Island Health appreciates your generosity.

Meet Our New Clinical Practice Lead For Residential Care, Catherine Green

Written on March 10th, 2015 by Diana Hayes Posted in Featured Story

Catherine Green, Clinical Practice Lead for Residential Care

Catherine Green has worked as a nurse since qualifying in the UK in 1995. She trained as a mental health nurse and worked in this field looking after adults until she moved with her family to Salt Spring in 2005. She worked for Beacon Services in home care when she first moved to the island and developed a passion for working with older clients.

“I started working at Lady Minto hospital seven years ago and have had the privilege of working with elderly residents from the community and a great team of health care providers. I have been given the opportunity to take part in education specific to the area in which I work, attending workshops and courses focusing on care for the elderly. I also attended courses with a palliative focus and wound care, all very relevant to my work on the unit. I recently applied and interviewed for the role of Practice Lead for residential care and was delighted to accept the role when it was offered to me.

I absolutely love my job and am honored to serve the residents on the unit and be available as a resource and part of the team that maintains an excellent level of care for our residents.”

Clinical Coordinator, Jo Twaites, works closely with Catherine and tells us how thrilled she is to have added a Practice Leader to our Residential Care Unit.

“Catherine Green brings us years of geriatric experience, including specialized training in Palliative Care and Wound Care. In addition, she brings us outstanding leadership skill and a genuine patient-centered, capable, and compassionate approach. Catherine leads a team of Licensed Practical Nurses and Continuing Care Aides who provide 24 hour care on our Residential Care Unit. She is well respected and well-liked by the team members and residents alike. Personally, I feel a great sense of confidence in her ability to ensure that our Residential Care Unit is up-to-date with best practice in all areas of senior’s care.”

Mental Health: Meeting the Needs and Challenges

Written on March 10th, 2015 by Diana Hayes Posted in Featured Story

Anastasia photo for cover sized

When the “Salt Spring Island Health Review” came out in June 2010, the top two priorities identified were more services and facilities for seniors and for mental health patients on Salt Spring Island. The report was undertaken by V.I.H.A. (now known as Island Health) and explored Salt Spring’s entire continuum of health care services. It was not surprising that health services for seniors was identified as a priority since we have the highest population of residents over the age of 65 in the province, but mental health, often the silent illness in a community, was surprising to some. Here is what the data told us:

“Over the past few years, residents of the Gulf Islands Local Health Area have used acute care psychiatry at a higher rate than almost every other local health area in VIHA, regardless of the hospital where they are admitted. The utilization rate for these services is almost twice that of BC and of VIHA as a whole. The only VIHA Local Health Area with a comparably high rate is Vancouver Island North (Mt. Waddington).”

The report further describes the demographic and shared some of the feedback provided by stakeholders.

“Residents know that there are many people on Salt Spring Island who are coping with mental health issues. Because the island has a reputation as a peaceful, tolerant and supportive community, mentally ill people may come to Salt Spring looking for refuge, a slower pace of life, and a “healing” atmosphere. The rural nature of the island also means that there is plenty of open space where people who are mentally ill and homeless can camp out. Whatever the factors involved, it is clear that Salt Spring Island has a relatively large population of people with serious and persistent mental illness.”

Since that report was published, some important changes have taken place to address the gaps and provide better care for mental health patients on the island.


In September 2010, Anastasia Williams. B.Sc.N. was hired full time as the Mental Health Nurse for Lady Minto and provides coverage from Sunday to Thursday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Working in conjunction with our psychiatrist, Dr. Montalbetti, Anastasia sees emergency mental health patients who present at the hospital in crisis and provides discharge planning and follow up for up to six weeks after patients leave hospital. She also runs “The Core Program: Practical Strategies for Personal Change” which is a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy program to help people living with depression to create positive change in their lives. The program runs for eight weeks, with 2 hour sessions scheduled weekly, and is offered several times a year. An emergency mental health worker is available after hours between 4 p.m. and midnight through the Salt Spring Community Services Society.

“I love my job. I love helping people to help themselves. I feel very lucky to work in this field.”

The workload certainly goes in cycles, Anastasia says, but it is true that one of the most common diagnoses for admission to Lady Minto is mental illness. “Sometimes it feels like we are putting out fires when it gets really busy. Right now we have a client that requires transfer to Victoria and a new admission that came in earlier this morning. We also have two inpatients under treatment.”

Anastasia describes some of the challenges. “There is only one of me and I have to juggle priorities when it gets really hectic.” “Mental health patients often come to Salt Spring to get off the streets. We don’t have a fraction of the services available in the city such as occupational therapy for people with mental illness, adequate housing and day programs. In Victoria, there is a variety of supported housing facilities and day programs where activities such as yoga and art are offered. Here on Salt Spring, we have no real mental health housing, but we do have the Yellow Submarine which offers valuable but limited services for those with mental illness. In the winter months only there is a shelter “In from the Cold” program which is run by the Community Centre. The shelter provides overnight accommodation and a hot meal during the very inclement weather.”

When asked why the needs are so great here on Salt Spring, Anastasia believes that, “People are disenfranchised. Everybody is stretched. Kids are stretched. We have vulnerable seniors. Some clients with addictions have untreated mental health issues. The foundations for good health are shelter, food, clothing and security. People slip through the cracks, especially when poverty is a factor.”

“The nurses at Lady Minto are great and handle many emergencies at night,” she adds. “The doctor on call also handles mental health emergencies between midnight and 8 a.m. The nurses are really good and well versed in helping people through crisis.”

It takes special skills to work in mental health: excellent communication skills, healthy boundaries, lots of patience and good self-care.  Anastasia works closely with our psychiatrist, Dr. David Montalbetti, and together with our new psychiatrist, Dr. Sally Garbett, they form the mental health team here at the hospital.


Dr. David Montalbetti has practiced on Salt Spring since 1993. When I asked him what was on the top of his wish list at Lady Minto, he agreed that there isn’t any sexy equipment needs in psychiatry but having adequate and appropriate space in the facility has been a challenge. Coping with tight quarters in the emergency room has already been identified as a priority for change and the present location of the quiet room poses some challenges as well. Anastasia fills in a large gap as the psychiatrists can’t be at the hospital for all shifts. “We do the best we can with what we have,” Dr. Montalbetti says. “It would be great to have ‘more boots on the ground’ to handle the workload.” The need for a social worker trained in mental health and more psychiatric nurses was identified. Having two consultations rooms would be ideal.

The good news is that a new psychiatrist, Dr. Sally Garbett, joined the team in September and works full time at the hospital and at Community Services. With the help of a grant from the Foundation, Dr. Garbett was able to set up the community office and has already addressed the challenge of improved communications between community mental health and the health authority’s medical records system. The project will see all outpatients registered within Power Chart, an electronic charting system used for all clients within the health authority. Patients can then be tracked and care can be consistent. Having access to current data through the Power Chart will help to identify needs and assist with funding requests.

Trained in the U.K., Dr. Garbett came to Canada in 1995 and worked in northern B.C. for the Peace River Regional District. She helped to set up a dedicated centre for mental health in Dawson Creek. For rural psychiatry, the model of care is based on a team approach. “Modern psychiatry is family centred and it is important to keep patients close to families. Mental health patients do much better when the family is involved. The mandate includes care of the whole family.”

“I would like to leave a legacy,” Dr. Garbett tells me, so that it can be better for psychiatry in the future. “I wanted a new challenge and applied for the position here on Salt Spring. I had served in the process for growth and change in the Peace River District and worked within a challenging environment up north.” Dr. Garbett’s legacy was certainly a big part of the success at Dawson Creek where services were vastly improved during her nearly twenty years of service. To achieve this here, she tells me that we need more funding. We need to advocate for better services in the community, nearer to home.

We are also lucky to have access to psycho-geriatric services through Dr. David Leishman (Psychiatrist in the Department of Geriatrics, Royal Jubilee Hospital) who visits the island every two weeks. He is available to discuss difficult cases with the medical staff and is very approachable for consultations. Dr. Peggy Fishbrook, a Child Psychiatrist, also provides weekly visits to the island through the Community Services Centre.

Soul Matters Counselling, a professional counselling service founded by Elsje Hannah, for low-income individuals, children and families, receives some referrals through Community Services. For more information about this service, visit : www.soulmatters.ca