Late doctor's legacy continues to shine
High River: Points of Light campaigns kicks off at hospital
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Dec 05, 2012 12:23 pm
A former nurse at High River Hospital threw the switch to light the Christmas tree topped with a star in memory of a doctor who was committed to serving the foothills community.
Betty Mouser officially lit the tree to kick off the annual High River District Health Care Foundation Points of Light campaign Nov. 28 at High River Hospital. The star at the top of the tree is in memory of Dr. Len Senger.
“I worked with Dr. Senger the whole time he was here (High River),” Mouser said. “He was a great physician and a great friend with a wonderful sense of humour. He expected you to be on top what you were doing, but as a nurse that is always a good thing.
“I am very honoured to represent the family.”
The Points of Light campaign has Christmas bulbs being purchased in memory or in honour of loved ones. Proceeds raised through the campaign will go towards the hospital’s palliative care unit and its spiritual care program.
Senger died in the mid 1990s and Mouser said his legacy is the diabetic clinic in High River.
“His thinking was we were getting a lot of repeat diabetics showing up in emergency because of a lack of being able to ask somebody questions or teaching them proper habits,” Mouser said. “He established the clinic and I found it made a huge difference in the quality care of diabetics.”
It was Mouser who approached the hospital foundation in 1999 asking for the top star on the Points of Light tree to be lit in memory of Senger, said Cathy Couey, the foundation’s development and communications officer.
“That is why we have the lights turned on by a member of the Senger family or a representative of the family every year,” Couey said.
The proceeds have gone towards palliative care at the hospital for more than a decade. There are presently two palliative beds in High River and another two beds can be converted if needed.
She said the palliative care unit in High River complements the Foothills Country Hospice in Okotoks.
“We work together to meet the patient’s needs as much as possible,” Couey said.
She added often many clients wish to remain in the High River palliative care unit because they are familiar with nurses and staff as well it might be closer to their homes and families.
“We just re-did our two palliative care rooms to make it as comfortable for the families as possible,” she said.
The spiritual care program, which is funded entirely by donations, provides care for not only hospital patients but also their families if needed, Couey said.
The cost of a light bulb for the tree is $20 for one, three for $50 and eight for $100.
The names of the donor and the person being honoured will be printed in a thank-you advertisement in The Regional.
The campaign raised more than $27,000 last year. High River Hospital also officially opened its Candy Cane Lane light display with inflatable Christmas characters on Nov. 28. For more information concerning the Points of Light campaign call the foundation office at 403-652-0129 or go to its web site at www.highriverhealthfoundation.ca.