By Linda Verlinden
The Eastern Shore’s Musquodoboit Harbour and area is fortunate to be home to Twin Oaks Memorial Hospital and The Birches. These healthcare facilities are very important to the area’s residents. The Birches, built in 1979, has 42 long term care beds. Twin Oaks Hospital (replaced in 1979) has 14 beds and a very busy out patient department.Most families in the facilities’ catchment area have been touched by the Twin Oaks and the Birches in some way.
The Twin Oaks Birches Health Care Charitable Foundation is a community-based registered charity run by volunteers. It raises funds for patient / resident care improvements at both Twin Oaks Hospital and The Birches.
Since 1991, when the Twin Oaks Hospital Foundation and the Birches Foundation amalgamated, local supporters have helped us provide a long list of items for the healthcare facilities. While the government pays for the bricks and mortar (the buildings and their operations), staff have regularly identified opportunities to enhance the care and comfort of the residents and patients at both facilities. The Foundation is the steward of the community’s generous donations.
Over the years we have hosted many fundraising events, beginning with the “No Supper Supper” (which replaced the Twin Oaks Hospital Supper), the Spring Gala Auction and Dinner, planned giving, Trivia Nights, The John Fraser Fall Classic Golf Tournament, Fund-a-Need, and much, much more.
For those of you who have been in the waiting room of the hospital, you have sat in the new chairs and looked at the Memorial Donation wall featuring the picture of the Musquodoboit River, which your donations helped purchase. You may have noticed the wanderguard system on the nursing doors designed to ensure patient security. If you have been in emerg, you would have laid on one our donated stretchers. If you have had a loved one in Palliative care at either site, you would have seen the comforting Palliative care rooms.
The Foundation has also created the Harland Dooks Memorial Bursary that offers bursaries to students attending Eastern Shore District High or École secondaire Mosaïque.
The newly created Kim Young Memorial Dignity Fund will help pay for items that patients and residents may not be able to afford themselves, such as dental care, medical aids, orthotic shoes, glasses, etc. The Kim Young Memorial Dignity Fund honors long-serving Director Kim Young, who focused on the respect and value of our communities elderly and those needing services, and was the recipient of services during her own on end-of-life journey.
The Foundation appreciates the community's donations of time and money. While activities are currently suspended due to Covid, we have a new website and active Facebook page. Please visit www.twinoaksbirches.ca and https://www.facebook.com/TOBHCC for more information about the Foundation and opportunities for you to be part of our effort by making a donation.
If you are interested in contributing your time and skills, we are currently looking for members to sit on our Foundation Board. Please email us at [email protected] to express your interest.
[Editor’s note: Linda Verlinden is the chair of the Foundation Board.]