Weekend Ribfest Tickles Taste-Buds

Photo by Colin Powers

Regina’s Prairie Smoke and Spice picked up a pair of awards at this weekend’s Living Sky Casino Ribfest for the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation.

What originally began as a three-team competition was whittled down to two before beginning as an unfortunate windstorm prevented one of the Ribbers, Boss Hog’s BBG, from making it to the Living Sky Casino for the weekend.

That left Regina’s Prairie Smoke and Spice going head-to-head against Gator BBQ out of Simcoe, Ontario.

The celebrity judges included MLA Everett Hindley; Living Sky Casino Regional General Manager Trevor Marion; Karla Wiens, CEO of the Swift Current and District Chamber of Commerce; Deputy Mayor and Swift Current Council Member John Wall; and Iowa Wild Goaltender, Joel Rumpel.

The award for best ribs went to Gator BBQ, while both the best sauce award and the people’s choice award went to the Regina contestant.

In total, the weekend event raised $9,000 dollars towards the purchase of a Fetal Monitor for the Obstetrics unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital on behalf of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation.

Story via Swift Current Online 

Written by Paul Figueiredo

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Don’t Forget The Bibs for Weekend Ribfest

Photo Provided By Swift Current Online

Southwest residents will finally be able to break out their fancy bibs as the Living Sky Casino Ribfest rolls into the casino parking lot for the weekend.

The casino and the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation’s popular event is making a return for another year with the proceeds going towards the purchase of a Fetal Monitor for the Obstetrics unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital.

As previously reported in the original announcement, the Co-Operators & Robynn’s Insurance have come on board this year’s event as presenting sponsors.

A pair of “Ribbers” will be feeding hungry residents this year: Gator BBQ, a travelling family of ribbers from Port Dover, Ontario; and Regina’s own Prairie Smoke and Spice.

Also announced last week, a celebrity panel of judges will be on hand on Sunday to determine the best sauce and best ribs.

  • Trevor Marion | Living Sky Casino
  • Karla Wiens | Swift Current & District Chamber of Commerce
  • John Wall | Deputy Mayor
  • Everett Hindley | MLA
  • Joel Rumpel | Former Wisconsin Badger

The celebrity judging will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, while Living Sky Casino Ribfest is underway today.


Story Via Swift Current Online 

Author: Paul Figueiredo 

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Get Ready To Get Your Rib On

From left to right Raul Rojas (Living Sky Casino), Jim Dekowny (Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation), Robynn Schous (The Co-operators/Robynn’s Insurance Financial Group), Kim Pierce (The Co-operators/Robynn’s Insurance Financial Group).

Residents will once again be able to get their rib on this summer with the return of the Living Sky Casino Ribfest taking place August 6th through 8th.

The Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation and Living Sky Casino are proud to introduce The Cooperators/Robynn’s Insurance Financial Group as Presenting Sponsor for this year’s Ribfest.

There will be three ribbers in attendance as Executive Director of the foundation, Jim Dekowny explains.

“Right now we have three confirmed ribbers. The first is Boss Hogs, the second ribber is Gator BBQ and the third is Praire Smoke and Spice.”

Dekowny also wishes to thank this year’s Half Platter Sponsors: City of Swift Current, Melhoff Electric, Flyer Electric, and Duracon Concrete.

Dekowny provides details on where the proceeds from the event will be going this year.

“So all the proceeds for Ribfest this year will go towards a fetal monitor for the Obstetrics Unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital.”

In a press release sent to Swift Current Online from the Foundation, Dekowny says “We are excited to be a part of a large outdoor Community Event coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be a great event to get your family and friends together come out and enjoy some delicious ribs while supporting a worthy cause.”

Sask Health Authority have also confirmed that they will be on-site on August 7th and 8th  from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm and will be available to vaccinate anyone who is willing and wanting to get vaccinated.


Story via: Swift Current Online

Author: Tara Garcia

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Golf Classic Helps Dr. Noble Irwin with Obstetrics Unit Project

Nearly 150 golfers took to the links in support of a trio of Swift Current organizations late last week at the Emergency Services Charity Golf Classic.

The 15th installment of the event put on by the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation Inc. was held at the Chinook Golf Course on Friday.

“I think it was a great event,” Jim Dekowny, the executive director for the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation Inc., said. “Mother Nature was an absolute treat on Friday, it was just an amazing day. It got a little hot and then the cloud cover came over. Lots of money raised for not only the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation but emergency services with the firefighters and ambulance people.”

No dollar amount for the event has been released yet but the healthcare foundation will receive 60 per cent of the proceeds with 20 per cent going to each the Swift Current Fire Department and Hutch Ambulance Service.

“They (Hutch’s) take the money and spread it throughout the community and donate a little back to the Noble Irwin, as well as the firefighters,” he said. “The firefighters have the burn unit and that type of stuff they send their money to, so it’s great for everybody.”

Dekowny said the funds the healthcare foundation ends up with from the event will be used towards the Cypress Regional Hospital’s obstetrics unit for a fetal monitor.

“That’s kind of where our event money goes this year,” he said. “This being our second event, we’re probably halfway there (toward the fundraising goal).”


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Chase the Ace for Health & Education Won!

The Chase has come to an end on May 6, 2021. The Chase the Ace for Health & Education that kicked-off on on January 13, 2021 has come to an end on the 16th week of draws! The winner Brad Bakken chosen envelope #16 on week 16 and founds the Ace of Spades! Congratulations to Brad on winning the $7,202 Ace Jackpot!

Chase the Ace for Health & Education was run through a partnership between the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation and Great Plains College. The funds raised will to towards keeping healthcare strong in Southwest Saskatchewan and the Entrance Scholarship program at Great Plains College.

Although this round of the Chase was short, the Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation is looking forward to starting the Chase again in the summer of 2021!

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Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Health Care Foundation Reflects On Challenging But Successful Year

Last week the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation held their annual AGM and spent the time reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the future.

Executive Director of the foundation Jim Dekowny says overall they were happy with the foundation’s success over the past year.

“Myself and the board of directors and everybody is very happy with where we ended up and you apply for government subsidies and those types of things, so those help you. So I think it was a really successful year and really that goes to show that people in the southwest and donors in the southwest are still behind us.”

Dekowny adds that things went well considering we are in a pandemic. It was a tough atmosphere and raising money wasn’t easy and they had to adapt a lot of their events and activities.

Overall the donation rate was down last year according to Dekowny but the actual donations were larger. Evidence of this was the foundation’s successful radiothon where for the first time they reached and exceeded their fundraising goal.

Within the last year, the foundation has also brought in some new staff members who Dekowny says will help to approach things a bit differently this year.

“We really are approaching lots of things differently. I think it has a little bit to do with the pandemic but I think it has to do with the staff we have. I’ve got a great staff here and they are eager to get out there and talk to people and do things a little bit differently then has been done before.”

Dekowny adds that the foundation has a number of events coming up including the Urban Cellars Black Tie Hockey Draft on May 17th and their 15th Annual Charity Golf Classic which will be taking place at Chinook Golf Course on June 4th.

Other items discussed at the AGM included the foundation’s scholarship committee. The committee meets twice a year and distributes $15,000 twice a year. Since its start up the scholarship committee has distributed close to $690, 000 in scholarships. The foundation’s scholarships tend to be distributed to those working towards being a CCA or LPN.

Dekowny adds that two new members were also added to the foundation’s board. Nicole Friesen and Ashley Peterson were welcomed onto the board and Dekowny says that they are both eager to be involved and both know what it takes to do things and make things successful.

In closing, Dekowny wished to thank the people and donors of the southwest for continuing to support and believe in the foundation, whom without their support the foundation would not survive.

Story via: Swift  Current Online 

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Swift Current staff receive Salus Global moreOB recognition award

​The team from the Women and Children Health Service department at the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current has been honored with the Salus Global’s moreOB Recognition Award.

Salus Global is a specialty consulting and implementation firm focused on helping healthcare organizations improve performance and quality outcomes through increased interprofessional collaboration, and moreOB is one of their programs. MoreOB (Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently) is a comprehensive patient safety improvement, and professional development program offered for caregivers and administrators in hospital obstetrical units.

“In the midst of the pandemic, this team went over and above to reduce fears and uncertainty there by improving the patient experience,” stated Nicole Vance, department manager. “This team turned a stressful and difficult year into an opportunity to show resilience and highlight the exceptional team they are.”

The purpose of Salus Global’s Recognition Award is to celebrate Milestone achievements and recognize high performance. The criteria for the award are the same as what Salus Global has identified as key elements to the moreOB program, which was instituted at Cypress Regional Hospital in 2015. These elements include core team effectiveness; leadership support and involvement; effective, high-quality communication; engagement and involvement of all professions and application to practice.

The team at Cypress Regional Hospital was notified that they received this award for their work to improve the teamwork, collaboration and processes related to identifying and managing pre-term labour.

Over the past year, a transformation has occurred during Core Team meetings as members have stayed focused on their goal and what needs to be done to accomplish it.

“The team is a multidisciplinary team consisting of physicians, a midwife, LPNs and RNs from women’s and children’s and critical care, as well as paramedics from the local ambulance service,” stated Brandi Zacharias, Nursing Unit Coordinator for the Women’s and Children’s department. “Everyone worked together to collaborate between departments and improve patient care. Staff from all units were engaged and excited to make changes to better care for patients in pre term labour on the women’s and children’s unit, the ER department as well as for transport to tertiary centers. The teamwork and collaboration between units was really amazing to see.”

“You truly perform as a team, as you share responsibilities, perform within your roles and strengths, and add to your team the members needed to accomplish the goal,” said Heather Coutts, lead facilitator for Salus Global. “You have also demonstrated that there is trust, an ability to engage in a healthy debate and commitment to each other and your patients. You have demonstrated effective communication with clarifying and reviewing next steps and responsibilities at the end of each meeting. You have also closed the communication loop with participants and other departments with changes that have been made as a result of activities.”

The unit has received support from leadership at the unit level and all the way up to the provincial level.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority supported the decision to implement the moreOB program across all 17 maternal care sites in fall of 2018.  This program, supported by both the SOGC and HIROC, helps the SHA establish a provincially standardized team approach to maternal care and decision making.  The Program is supported by the Maternal and Children’s Provincial Programs and Maternal Child Outreach Coordinators, such as Christina Santo, who help to support to program here in the province.

 The Core team members for the moreOB team in Swift Current pose with their award.

According to Salus Global, “While you do not have all professions active on your Core Team, this Milestone attracted the interest of the different professions. This shows that you are choosing topics that people see as relevant and applicable to their roles. By adding ad hoc members to your team from other departments, you are showing that you recognize that importance of interdepartmental and interprofessional relationship and the connectivity/reliance that there is throughout the healthcare system.”

Utilizing approaches such as practice simulations helped to reduce fear at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and is something to acknowledge and celebrate, Salus Global added.

“There was so much fear and uncertainty at the beginning of this pandemic. As a team, we did weekly simulation to better prepare and work through processes together as things were ever changing. I really can’t say enough about the nursing staff and physician’s on our unit, everyone was so eager to prepare and patient with all the changes that were happening. They really are a great team,” stated Zacharias

“You are consistently excelling at applying knowledge into practice safely by utilizing simulations, and inviting all applicable roles to contribute,” Salus Global stated. “You review activities to identify opportunities to improve processes and identify lessons learned. You effectively monitor staff engagement and the impact of the activities through confidence survey’s, not only within your unit, but with other applicable units as well.”

Story via Sask Health Authority 

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Community Comes Together To Support Local Family

The Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation recently partnered with the Deobald Family to help raise funds to purchase a wheelchair-accessible van for Madison, a ten-year-old girl with severe complex special needs.

Jim Dekowny. Executive Director of the Foundation says purchasing the van was a team effort and mentions two key players.

“The hero’s in the community right now are Telemiracle and the Plewis Automotive Group. We have a young girl now who can go around. She hasn’t left the house in a year and a half. It’s pretty remarkable to see what just happened. It’s pretty emotional and pretty cool.”

Madison was diagnosed on February 28, 2018, with a rare disease called Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood.

Along with this diagnosis, Madison also deals with other medical issues, such as Microcephaly Spasticity, Strokes, Abnormal Detention, Chronic Pain, Constipation as well as Brain Atrophy

In a press release sent to Swift Current Online from the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation, Cherie Deobald, Madison’s mother said “A wheelchair accessible van would change Madison’s life for the good in so many ways.
I need her to be safe and comfortable but I also want to be able to give her the best life I can,”

Dekowny adds that the plan was always that Telemiracle would pay half and the Plewis Automotive Group found the other half and it’s a remarkable story.

Source: Swift Current Online

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Continued Support from Hutterites in the Southwest

Hutterites around southwest Saskatchewan continue to support the Dr, Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation, but also the healthcare of the area directly.

At the Foundation’s recent annual general meeting, it was revealed that Hutterites are responsible for around $110,000 to $120,000 for the Foundation’s Close to the Heart Campaign for the purchase of a digital mammography machine.

They have also looked to support Swift Current and area through producing masks to help foster health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The masks are being distributed by Bumper to Bumper – Great West Auto Electric Ltd, Swift Current.

Leanne Tuntland-Wiebe is the office manager at Bumper to Bumper – Great West Auto Electric Ltd in Swift Current, and is also a director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation.

Tuntland-Wiebe said that Andrea Carol Miller helped to facilitate the distribution of the masks made from double-ply cloth and elastics.

“It worked really well, [Carol Miller] had more colonies come on board than she though, they’ve been going to a couple of places. A couple of the main colonies are Ponteix and West Bench. West Bench has been sewing like crazy, I’ve had thousands of masks from them.”

“It grew so that we had colonies in Manitoba at Steinbeck and I had a box of 500 come here from Steinbach Colony.”

One organizing member of the mask-making group from West Bench Hutterite Colony shared how they got the idea to help support those in need of masks.

“There was a write up on Swift Current Moms [Facebook page] that they need volunteers to make masks. Then I asked our ladies if they would be interested in helping me make the masks. We all got together one day and made them! We all pitched in with bringing the materials that we needed! We enjoyed making them, there was such joy in that room.”

Tuntland-Wiebe added that some masks were shipped to Toronto via Bumper to Bumper. Other masks have been shipped to Ontario, Regina, Germany and the Philippines.

“This week I had a lady in from the Philippines and she asked if I had any cloth masks left,” Tuntland-Wiebe said, “I said ‘yes I have some left, how many do you need?’ and she said ‘could I have 20?’ and I looked at her and said ‘yes I think I have 20’ and she had tears in her eyes.”

“I said ‘where are they going to?’ and she said ‘we’re sending them home to the Philippines, they have nothing, they have absolutely nothing there.’”

The masks are available for pick up at the Bumper to Bumper location for free, but they are accepting donations for the Dr. Noble Foundation there as well.

“If you feel the need that you’d like to pay or like to help in some way,” she said,” please make a donation to the mammography fundraiser.”

Masks from the Hutterites have been distributed to nursing homes and pharmacies in Swift Current in addition to anyone who picks masks up from the Bumper to Bumper location in Swift Current.

While they have helped distribute around 4,000 masks, Tuntland-Wiebe noted that production has hit a roadblock.

“I have just about run out, and from what I know, the colonies aren’t sewing right now because there’s a shortage of elastics because everyone is doing this.”

She added that they would happily accept donations of elastics for the production of more masks.

There is also another provincial mask producer in Saskatchewan Sews, who are creating personal protective equipment for those in dire need, such as those in northern Saskatchewan and first responders.

Tuntland-Wiebe said that she believes in spreading the word about donations from Hutterites, hoping they are able to show the appreciation from the community.

“The colonies, maybe some of them might have a Facebook page, but they’re basically going unnoticed or unappreciated because they don’t see it unless Andrea or I tell them and thank the colonies.”

“The people that come in and pick up the masks don’t have a direct line to the colonies. If we can get it out there that the colonies help like this, at least they know they’re appreciated. I’m not kidding when people come in with tears in their eyes because they’re compromised, they’re immune systems are down, and they don’t know where to get masks.”

She said that Bumper to Bumper was enacting their community philosophy by helping to support the area during the pandemic. She said that they are asking people to remember to support local people and businesses as many smaller aspects of the community are going through a tough time financially.

Tuntland-Wiebe said that Hutterites were following past precedent they have set when supporting healthcare. They have been constantly providing financial help to the foundation this year, as well as previous years.

“They all make use of the hospital, they all make use of the health system, and it’s something that they really believe in, and they get together and set a standard with one colony [for donations] and they want all of the other colonies to meet that standard and make the donation.”

“We’re in need of it for the mammography machine, it’s a pricey piece of equipment.”


Source: Swift Current Online


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Successful Start To Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Radiology Campaign

The Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation is busy with its next campaign to raise money for a new digital radiology system in Cabri.

Thanks to a few generous donations the campaign just kicked off and they have already raised $60,000.

Both the Lions Club of Cabri and the town itself each donated $25,000 and $10,000 came from the RM of Riverside. The major sponsor for the Cabri Lion’s Club farming project is SWT and that is where the majority of the donation is coming from.

Executive Director with the Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation, Jim Dekowny details the importance of the campaign.

“Knowing the Sask Health Authority and their goals of keeping people closer to home and making sure they are looked after in their areas of the province. I think this is a big thing for Cabri and a big thing for the Cabri community and surrounding areas.

In regards to the RM of Riverside donating, Dekowny says that Cabri is not just Cabri but the surrounding area as well and he hopes that this donation inspires other RM’s to come forward.

The Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation has joined forces with the Cabri Hospital Auxiliary on this campaign and Dekowny says they have been a huge asset.

Colleen Wallis, president of the auxiliary says that Cabri no longer has a hospital as it is now a long-term care home that has a lab and various machines such as the x-ray machine they are raising money to replace. The current machine still uses film and so there is a dire need to get an updated digital x-ray machine.

Wallis stresses the importance of the new x-ray machine to the town.

“We thought to keep the healthcare center viable, keep the clinic viable and keep the community alive, we needed to get this x-ray machine just to make it a hub where people can come from the area.”

Wallis adds that the Cabri clinic draws people from Pennant all the way up to Lancer

The hospital auxiliary is no stranger to raising large funds as they were able to raise $100,000 for a handi-van in just eight months.

We have already raised $60,000 and the letter has not even gone out to residents yet says, Wallis. She hopes that when this happens they will continue to grow towards their $250,000 goal to purchase the new digital radiology system.

Source: Swift Current Online

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