With 2024 well underway, the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation (DNIF) is reflecting on a bountiful 2023. 

Throughout the course of the last 12 months, the DNIF was able to once again fundraise for and purchase a variety of healthcare essentials and upgrades. All of this work is focused on Southwest Saskatchewan, helping the region to stay ahead of the medicinal demands of the public. 

Speaking about the wonderful year had by the non-profit, DNIF Executive Director Chris Martens was proud of the work he and everyone else involved were able to accomplish. 

"We're very grateful for that. Support behind our events has been wonderful for each year that we've done it and you know 2023 was no different. 

Martens took over as Executive Director in August and has been leading the DNIF through different events ever since. The last couple of months have seen them raise money for new beds at the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current, along with a PIC Line and an as-of-yet-to-be-delivered Thulium Fibre Laser. 

"We may fundraise for something in 2023, and we might not see it till later in the year or two years from now," said  Martens. "So a great example is we had a few pieces that showed up this year that we did fundraising for all the way back in 2021. We managed to actually get ultrasound units in both Maple Creek and Leader."

Of course, these purchases for the southwest wouldn't be possible without the massively successful fundraisers organized by the DNIF. This year saw the annual DNIF Pharmasave Radiothon for Healthcare shatter its goal of $150,000, soaring to a record-breaking $172,493. 

"Our 15th annual radiothon at the end of October went over very, very well," he said. "Those are just the event side of things. We also do a lot of little things throughout the rest of the year as well."

Another big component in 2023 was giving back to the community in other ways. The DNIF hosted another great outdoor classic, which saw various different ages of hockey players take to the ice in Riverdene Park in Siwft Current. 

Of course, they also gave back to local nurses with a nurse appreciation night at the Living Sky Casino. 

"A lot of really great partnerships continued to be pushed forward and grew in 2023," commended Martens. "And we're very grateful for that." 

Yet another strong event hosted in part by the DNIF in partnership with the Living Sky Casino was the newly reborn Rib Fest. This sauce-riddled venture sauce three Rib Trucks come to town, showing off Carolina, Texas, and other big BBQ State flavours for the crowd to enjoy. 

None of these events would be possible without the support of the communities that make up Southwest Saskatchewan, as well as the individuals who make up the foundation itself. 

"Kris Johnson, Crystal Imrie, and Scott Anderson. Those are the staff members that we have at the foundation," said Martens. "Our housekeeper that does a lot of the cleaning and everything for Rotary House, Cora Gerlach and then we've got our gift shop employees, Joanne Dickey, Viola Potter, and Corrine Hanson as well, too."

In the end, Martens is hopeful they can keep up the energy and see 2024 be another tremendous year for healthcare fundraising in SOuthwest Saskatchewan. 

"We are very grateful and fortunate to have a continuing group of supporters that come out for us when we need them," said Martens. "The [DNIF] is lucky that it has strong support in the Southwest, but we're also lucky that we're able to provide the different pieces of medical equipment and help to improve healthcare in the Southwest that we do. 

"That's what we're here for, to ensure that when that time comes that you need healthcare, we are able to do our fundraising and be able to support you and those you love by providing improved healthcare and various pieces of medical equipment that are going to aid you and aid all people in the Southwest."