Thursday, November 18, 2010

Leslie Worth read greetings from Saskatoon Health Region at CARG's 25th birthday dinner

Regretfully neither Maura Davies, President and CEO of the Saskatoon Health Region nor I as the Vice President of Community Services were able to accept your kind offer to attend the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Coronary Artery Rehabilitation Group. It would have been a pleasure for both of us to be in your company for an evening of celebration of an important milestone. As we both have other commitments I have asked Leslie Worth (pictured right) to read this message to you aloud. It will not take the place of our attendance, but hopefully will assure you of our ongoing support and pleasure in working together.

Since its inception 25 years ago the Coronary Artery Rehabilitation Group has been an esteemed partner of the Saskatoon Health Region (or Saskatoon District Health, Tri hospital rehab. or any other previous iteration!). Those of us who are responsible for community health services have long recognized the importance of prevention and rehabilitation, in the spirit of community volunteerism and empowering people to make healthy choices and healthy decisions for themselves. CARG can take pride in the huge numbers of people who have found health through your programs and their own participation in activities to support them in their quest for healthier living. For those who have had serious health problems and want to take part in their own recovery, this program is and has been an ideal model which has been shared nationally and internationally.

Twenty five years is a long time. On behalf of the health region I want to take this opportunity to thank all the members of CARG and your wonderful volunteer base for your "STAYING POWER". Many programs emerge for a period of time and are not sustained because their approach is too heavily reliant on "the flavour of the day" or the subsidized services of a formal organization. CARG has taken the best of both community and volunteer involvement and the leverage with Saskatoon Health Region sponsorship and made a perfect partnership that has endured. You have provided support by organizing ongoing education and social events, in hospital visitations, offering the patient and family perspective at education days and conferences for health care providers, serving on regional, national committees and partnering with the Heart and Stoke Foundation. The list goes on and on.

The exercise program, had it's beginning in the bowels of RUH with participants walking the hallways and playing volleyball in the Ellis Hall gym and it would not be 800 strong and multi-site if it were not for the dedication provided by CARG. Over the years CARG Volunteers have devoted countless hours to collecting fees, tracking members, and purchasing equipment which has allowed the exercise program to continue beyond the initial phase of recovery with many members still attending the program faithfully three times per week since 1985.

You have changed over the years and adopted a current approach to stay with the times now offering an electronic newsletter called Heart A Facts, e-mail and website links as well. It is always important to stay relevant with the changing environment and you have done that in spades! HEALTH, FITNESS, and FELLOWSHIP -- a perfect combination of these three ingredients for life you have been able to achieve together.

On behalf of all of us within the Saskatoon Health Region please accept our best wishes for many more years of service and enjoyable satisfying healthy exercise programs at the Field House and the Shaw Centre. Thank you for being a strong and fit partner and collaborator for good health. Enjoy your evening together.


Shan Landry
Vice President Community Services, Saskatoon Health Region

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