The Victoria Hospital Foundation announced Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Russell Mirasty as its Honorary Patron on Monday.
As Chairperson Lyle Karasiuk explained, their motto of ‘Enriching the Heart of Northern Healthcare’ fit perfectly with the lieutenant-governor’s connections.
Mirasty was born and raised in La Ronge and is a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian band. His first language is Woodland Cree.
“We hope that with His Honour’s support, we can continue to enrich the northern healthcare, which is so vital for our hospital here in Prince Albert,” said Karasiuk.
“Many of our northern residents, this is the first stop for them in healthcare outside of their clinic or nursing station they might have in their home community. This truly is their first stop for that vital healthcare, which all of us so badly need.”
Karasiuk said having Lt.-Gov. Mirasty’s support for the foundation’s work will help enhance their services that are possible with donor dollars.
“It is absolutely critical for us to be connected with our northern communities and especially our First Nation communities,” he said. “We’re just thrilled in so many ways and grateful.”
He said the Victoria Hospital Foundation has been pondering the idea of having an Honorary Patron for several years.
Karasiuk said having Mirasty as that person came about simply through discussion.
“Somebody said ‘Well, what about the lieutenant-governor? He’s from the north, he’s got connections to our hospital. He’s been with the RCMP, so he has some knowledge of the importance of healthcare in our province and we reached out to his office and lo and behold, he said yes.”
Mirasty was with the RCMP for 36 years, serving in a variety of roles, which include director general of National Aboriginal Policing Services and as “F” Division commander.
He was announced as lieutenant-governor in July after the death of former Lt.-Gov. Thomas Molloy. Mirasty was installed into the position on Thursday.
According to the Victoria Hospital Foundation’s website, the hospital serves Prince Albert, 40 surrounding communities and Rural Municipalities, as well as 12 First Nations.