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Selkirk and District Horticulture Society donation funds new home for palliative care memory tree at Selkirk Regional Health Centre

Thanks to the Selkirk and District Horticulture Society, the palliative care memory tree that hung in the old hospital for 30 years has a new home on the second floor of the Selkirk Regional Health Centre. On January 4, 2019, representatives from the Selkirk and District Horticulture Society, Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation and staff of Selkirk Regional Health Centre gathered at the tree to acknowledge the horticultural society’s generous donation.

Shortly after the Selkirk Regional Health Centre opened in June 2017, the decision was made to move the tree over to the new hospital. The move was a team effort that included the original architects of the building, LM Architects, who designed the new shadow box, Quality Design Inc. who created the new shadow box and Handley Machine Inc. who recreated the missing leaves.

"We were excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation, and our main objective was to honour past donors by relocating the Selkirk hospital donor tree,” LM Architects’ interior designer Lindsay Biberdorf said. “Our design was a tribute to and reused many elements of the previous display but we redeveloped them to work within the new Selkirk Regional Health Centre."

Diane Mitchell from the Selkirk and District Horticulture Society recalls an initial donation of $5,000 in 2005 to the fund that helped move the tree.

“Since then we have given 10 per cent of the profits from our plant sale in May to the fund. At that time it was to help establish an outdoor garden area for palliative care patients and their families to enjoy,” she said. “However, in 2017 we voted unanimously to have the funds used to save the memory tree and we are very happy to see it installed in the new hospital. It means a lot to the many donors who gave in remembrance of their family members.”

Hundreds of loving and meaningful messages from friends and family remembering their loved ones cover the palliative care memory tree. It’s a touching tribute piece that Interlake-Eastern RHA is proud to showcase in the new health centre said Tammie-Lee Rogowski, clinical team manager palliative care and home care nursing services.

“The memory tree has held deep meaning for those who contributed at the previous hospital and this meaning is what motivated us to ensure we found a way to move this important tribute piece to our new facility.  I look forward to working with the Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation to continue to acknowledge donations going forward,” Rogowski said.
Executive director of the Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation, Pamela McCallum, said the foundation remains committed to finding ways to acknowledge palliative care donations.

“We are currently exploring unique ways to showcase future palliative care donors. We look forward to announcing an innovative palliative care memory piece for the new hospital in the near future.” McCallum said.

For more details on the Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation’s work, contact Pamela McCallum at pmccallum@ierha.ca or visit the foundation on Facebook or their website at www.iehf.ca.

 Memorytree
Representatives from the Selkirk and District Horticulture Society, Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation, staff of Selkirk Regional Health Centre and staff of Interlake-Eastern RHA palliative care program gathered at the palliative care memory tree to acknowledge the horticultural society’s generous donation to move the tree to the new hospital.

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