Thanks to the Selkirk and District Horticulture Society, the palliative care memory tree has a new home on the second floor of the Selkirk Regional Health Centre. On January 4, 2019, members of the Selkirk and District Horticulture Society, members of the Interlake Eastern Health Foundation and staff of the Selkirk Regional Health Centre gathered at the tree to acknowledge this generous donation.
The former Selkirk Hospital has been home to the palliative care memory tree for over 30 years. Hundreds of loving and meaningful messages, from friends and family remembering their loved ones, cover the tree.
Shortly after the new 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 which 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 honor past donors by relocating the Selkirk Hospital donor tree,” LM’s interior designer Lindsay Biberdorf said, “Our design was a tribute to and reused many elements of the previous display, but 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 $5000.00 in 2005 to the fund that helped move the tree. “Since then we have given 10% 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 says, “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 that gave in remembrance of their family members.”
The palliative care memory tree is a touching tribute piece that we are proud to showcase in the new hospital says Tammie-Lee Rogowski, Clinical Team Manager Palliative Care and Home Care Nursing Services.
Rogowski says “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.”
Executive director Pamela McCallum says the foundation remains committed to finding ways to acknowledge our palliative care donations.
“We are currently exploring unique ways to showcase future palliative care donors,” McCallum added, “We look forward to announcing an innovative palliative care memory piece for the new hospital in the very near future.”
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