The Aberdeen Health Foundation celebrated another successful year during its annual general meeting last Thursday.
The event featured guest speaker Ryan Sommers who is the regional medical officer of health for this area as well as a practising family physician. Sommers focuses on population health in his career and shared a bit about what that is and what it means during his presentation.
Sommers began by noting that the average person would spend approximately $6,105 a year on health care. He referred to the 2015 Nova Scotia Health profile that brings to light some statistics about obesity, smoking and other ailments in the province. Looking through the population health perspective meant having to shift from looking at that person as an individual to looking at everything in their world rather than just them. he said.
“Solutions lie outside of the healthcare system,” he said. Sommers said those who have more resources have better health outcomes. One way this was shown was a preschool project study done over about 40 years. Students that might have been considered to be living in an underprivileged area were given access to the very best preschool experience and it made a significant difference in the statistics of those individuals, even 40 years later.
To be successful in population health, however, he had three keys: patience, understanding, collaboration and engagement.
After Sommers’ presentationthose gathered heard the financial state of the Foundation, with guidance from John Morrow.
The Aberdeen Health Foundation Society saw a year-end balance of $44,328,770 compared to last year’s $41,090,969 balance. Revenues for the year totaled $4,497,936 with money coming from donations, investments and capital gains. Expenses were $3,237,801 with money going to education programs, health programs and hospital equipment.
The retirement of the Foundation’s executive director of 20 years, Susan Malcolm, was also celebrated at the AGM where Malcolm was presented with a $5,000 donation which allows her name to be put on the wall of donors. She remarked it was a sentiment she was very touched about.
From left, Robyn Eaton, Susan Malcolm and Kim Martin display the cheque that was given to the Foundation on behalf of Malcolm to have her name put on the donor’s list. (Brimicombe photo)