Health trust chair steps down
Health: Frances Jackson Dover helped build organization
By: By Tanya Kostiw
| Posted: Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 01:13 pm
Strong volunteers and dedicated individuals wanting to make a difference are the centre of every community and its successful projects. For the Sheep River Health Trust, Frances Jackson Dover has been one of these hard-working, inspirational figures whose contribution knows no bounds.
After serving as chair of the trust for four years, Jackson Dover is stepping down from the role, saying it is “time to get a breath of fresh air.”
Lucky for the trust, Jackson Dover isn’t completely stepping back from the organization, which has flourished under her leadership.
The trust’s executive director Sarah Hughes said Jackson Dover is responsible for raising the capacity and capability of the trust.
“She’s taken the Sheep River Health Trust from being a very well-meaning, great community organization into a charity of choice,” she said.
Jackson Dover has helped to triple the trust’s operating budget by raising awareness and helping people realize they can raise money locally and keep it local, said Hughes. She has dedicated many hours to the board and participated in everything from committees to acting as secretary, she added.
“Her contribution is just immense to the board,” she said.
For an avid volunteer like Jackson Dover, giving back to the community sure beats resting on one’s laurels.
An owner of an industrial health company for nearly 20 years, she had an interest in health care, Jackson Dover explained. She has also spent a lot of time volunteering with children and wanted to do something in a rural community.
“So often funds are concentrated to the urban areas but it’s the rural areas, especially the growing ones like Okotoks, that really needs support,” she said.
For the past six years, Jackson Dover has dedicated her time with the trust to raise funds for programs and equipment such as a pediatric cart and X-ray chair. She is proud of the trust’s major projects such as the Foothills Children’s Wellness Network and building a kitchen at the Rising Sun long-term care facility that helps keep seniors active.
Another project important to Jackson Dover is developing the trust’s archives – an idea she developed and is pursuing with former trust chair Elizabeth Campbell. For this initiative, she has been interviewing past members who started the trust to document its history.
“It’s got to be written down because it’s a real success story,” she said.
The trust originally began as the Oilfields Health Foundation 20-some years ago and was similar to a women’s auxiliary that held bake sales and ran tack shops, she explained.
When the Okotoks Health and Wellness Centre was built, the trust was given an office and now supports an area from Priddis to outside of High River, to Black Diamond, Longview and DeWinton.
Moving forward, the trust will need to keep up with the growing communities it serves, Jackson Dover said.
Her successor Harlene Day has been working with the trust for 10 years and has been the chair of the trust’s Golf 4 Wellness Tournament for the past three years. Meanwhile, one of the new incoming directors and chair of the governance committee Janice McDougall brings a tremendous amount of government-related knowledge to the board, Dover said, adding it is time for the board to adopt a more formal governance model.
But Jackson Dover also finds inspiration in some of the board’s older, dedicated members such as Campbell and Al King.
“I have nothing but admiration for them,” she said.
Jackson Dover explained how vice-chair Dianne Harvey described the trust’s evolution over the past four years with her at the helm.
“We were a teenager and we’re now first-year university and it’s up to the board now to take us through graduation,” she said.
For more information on the Sheep River Health Trust, visit http://sheepriverhealthtrust.ca/