…Since assuming the role of Lieutenant Governor I’ve attended many events in support of wonderful organizations throughout the province, but seldom does it give me as much pleasure as it does to meet with you today.

Having spent much of my own professional career in the company of really remarkable volunteers, I’m honoured by the work that you do as volunteers.  You so generously support excellence in healthcare in communities throughout the province and you do a lot of fundraising for much-needed medical equipment.  And you also, very importantly, serve as advocates and guides for many people who are in challenging life circumstances…

I thank you for the compassionate support that you provide which greatly enhances the ability of our professional health services… I was really impressed that you raised more than 10 million dollars last year throughout the province — that’s amazing — and that you’ve given over 1.2 million volunteer hours.  So this is clearly a group of wonderful citizens that is making a special contribution to our communities.

I am honoured to serve as your Honorary Patron and I will continue to be a champion for the work that you do — so just let me know what I can do for you.  You can feel very proud of the work that you do and I want to share that I feel very proud of you.

I hear, as well, that this is the 100th anniversary of the Prince George Auxiliary, which was formed in 1919 and has contributed to the development of three hospitals and has done so many wonderful things.  So can we give a little round of applause for them?

It’s great to see you getting together to have this conference.  It’s an opportunity to share best practices, to seek guidance and advice from each other and, as importantly, to think about the future of your provincial organization and also your individual organizations in seeking the best way to answer the question: how can we best adapt to changing circumstances and continue to provide a service and respond to the needs of our community?

Thank you for all the work you do and I wish you all the best for a successful conference.

Her Honour, the Honourable Janet Austin
Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia

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…This is the testament of the strength of caring hearts and willing hands.  Auxiliaries have been supporting their communities for a very long time and I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the 100-year anniversary of our very own Prince George Hospital Auxiliary.  One hundred years is an incredible accomplishment and milestone…

Now if I pause for a second and just imagine how much health care has changed over the last 20 years, much less over the last 100 years, that, too, is daunting.  The changes have been tremendous but the auxiliaries have been a consistent thread throughout and have kept a focus on the most important thing — the people and the families that are here for us to serve.  Whatever is happening in the world of health care, Auxiliary members have maintained a steadfast focus on people, always striving to make what is a challenging time for many, as comfortable as possible.

So on behalf of the Board of Northern Health, the leaders, the staff and the physicians, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the current and past volunteers.  Your success supports our success.  I wish you all the best in the work that you do that makes such a difference to so many.

Penny Anguish
Chief Operating Officer, Northern Interior, Northern Health Authority

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Never before has the Auxiliary been needed more!  You help to fill the gaps.  You help to reduce costs by donating money.  You save the organization millions of dollars by volunteering…

Medicare was introduced in Saskatchewan in 1961.  At that time, the annual national budget was $22 million.  Canada spent $253.5 BILLION, last year – $6,839 per person.  In 1968, 700 drugs were covered by Medicare nationally.  Today, Medicare pays for more than 35,000 drugs.

Baby Boomers (1945-1966) – a massive tsunami of people all aging together; the largest generation known in history.  B.C. has the fastest growing population of seniors in Canada.  Currently, 16.9 per cent of our total population is 65 or older.  In 2011, seniors in Canada represented 14% of the population but 40% of acute hospital stays.  Seniors accounted for about 45% of health spending.  Nearly 1/3 of the current workforce will be eligible to retire over the next 5 years assuming a retirement age of 60 – 65.  63% of physicians are over 50 now!  The #1 issue is one of sustainability…

Volunteering is on the rise among all sectors.  In fact, about 50% of the entire population volunteers.  Volunteers want to do something meaningful, soulful, and to be inspired.  Volunteers want to make the world a better place.

Let’s talk about you… ALL of YOU are Amazing!  How much money have you raised since 1990?  $150 Million Dollars.  How much more before 1990?  Never before has the Auxiliary been needed more.  You make life better for people in crisis.  You change lives!

See yourself as a fabulous, incredible organization with unlimited potential.  Build better relationships with your municipalities, provincial and federal governments, hospitals and health authorities, hospital foundations, and with the volunteer departments in the hospital.  You need to collaborate, you need to have friends, and you need to work together…

Expand your opportunities!  Become more visible.  Share your organization more with the general public.  Show everyone who you are and what you do.  Spend some $$$ to build your brand so you are showcased for the next 50 years.  Get a promotional company to “sell” you. Spend money to secure your future.  Join social media.  Rave about your organization to everyone, everywhere.  Stand up for your organization.  Be positive!  Make your purpose, your passion!

Janice Perrino
Chief Executive Officer at Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation

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Conference Photos