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Cumberland Heath Care Foundation honours Duguay, Moss with major awards

Cumberland Health Care Foundation managing director Gwen Kerr (left) and chairwoman Katherine Hatheway present the foundation’s Volunteer of the Year Award Christian Duguay for his work on the Light the Way Campaign held each Christmas to raise money for the purchase of medical equipment.
Cumberland Health Care Foundation managing director Gwen Kerr (left) and chairwoman Katherine Hatheway present the foundation’s Volunteer of the Year Award Christian Duguay for his work on the Light the Way Campaign held each Christmas to raise money for the purchase of medical equipment. - Darrell Cole

Foundation showcases equipment recently purchased from fundraising activities

AMHERST, N.S. —

Each fall, no matter the weather, Christian Duguay can be seen outside at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre preparing for the Cumberland Health Care Foundation’s biggest fundraiser.

The manager of business productivity services at the regional hospital was recognized by the foundation with its Volunteer of the Year Award during an event at the hospital on Oct. 9.

“It’s really humbling and came as a huge surprise,” Duguay said. “Anytime you anything like this you don’t do it for recognition. It’s surprising and makes you feel appreciated.”

Working at the hospital since 2004, Duguay said he sees the impact of the foundation on health care and the equipment it has purchased through Light the Way and other fundraising events such as the spring gala.

“Light the Way is the biggest fundraiser of the year and the work I do is something that has to be done. I’m happy to be part of it,” Duguay said. “It’s very rewarding to see the children see the light display at Christmas.”

Foundation chairwoman Katherine Hatheway said Duguay was a great choice for the award. She recalled a story told her by foundation managing director Gwen Kerr about Duguay working in the Bryce Benjamin Memorial Garden one cold November day hooking up wires and extension cords or the displays.

“This man was digging in the snow, with his bare hands, to find, organize and connect all the wires,” Hatheway said. “He looked like he was freezing and it was later that Gwen discovered that he wasn’t only cold, he had pneumonia.”

Duguay has volunteered his time every year to get the show up and running, creating, assembling, testing and running the animated display. He also oversaw the purchase of a new light and music system that will serve the foundation for years to come.

The foundation also presented its Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Pippa Moss.

“Dr. Moss, or Dr. Pippa as we know her, is a woman with many talents, passions and commitments,” Hatheway said.

Moss trained in London, England and at Dalhousie University. In addition to her practice, she specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry and has worked on associations and committees at the provincial and national level. She has also presented to the Senate on autism.

The foundation has assisted Moss and her colleagues through the Mental Health and Addictions Fund.

Away from the hospital, Moss helped create Pippa’s Place in Nakuru, Kenya in 2009. Founded with support from the Fundy Peace Foundation, Pippa’s Place is a home for infants and children who have been abandoned or orphaned as a result of the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

She has also been a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her humanitarian work.

Moss’ colleague, Dr. Kara MacNeill, accepted the award on her behalf.

“I would love to say how much I appreciate the people I work with her. We have an incredible group of devoted physicians and I’m privileged to work with them,” MacNeill said, reading a statement from Moss. “A smaller group within the larger physician community, my colleagues in the department of psychiatry and the inter-disciplinary team I work with in the clinic have been very supportive of my work provincially, federally and internationally.”

Dr. Kara MacNeill (left) accepts the Cumberland Health Care Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award on behalf of the recipient, Dr. Pippa Moss, from foundation chairwoman Katherine Hatheway. Darrell Cole – Amherst News
Dr. Kara MacNeill (left) accepts the Cumberland Health Care Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award on behalf of the recipient, Dr. Pippa Moss, from foundation chairwoman Katherine Hatheway. Darrell Cole – Amherst News

Moss said the hospital foundation has been a huge resource in patient care, helping to address the determinants of health and ensure patients have equitable access to health care and the treatment they need.

The foundation also took the opportunity to showcase several pieces of equipment purchased from previous fundraisers, including Light the Way, such as a $65,000 portable X-ray machine that is able to go where it’s needed within the hospital and the province’s first wireless C-Arm that provides much clearer diagnostic images and requires a smaller footprint within the hospital and utilizes less radiation.

It was purchased with funds from last year’s Light the Way fundraiser and cost just under $200,000.

“Over the past 17 years, the foundation has spent more than $3 million on equipment for this hospital. For some equipment, the cost was shared with the health authority, so the value of the equipment is actually even higher,” Hatheway said.

The foundation also shared in the cost of installing wi-fi in the hospital earlier this year, something that has had a big impact on patient and staff experiences already.

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