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Home News Buckler stepping down as Victoria Hospital Foundation CEO

Buckler stepping down as Victoria Hospital Foundation CEO

Buckler stepping down as Victoria Hospital Foundation CEO
Victoria Hospital Foundation CEO Sherry Buckler (centre), shown here with a group of children at a foundation fundraiser, will step down from her role on March 4, 2022. -- Submitted photo.

After nearly eight years as CEO of the Victoria Hospital Foundation, Sherry Buckler is stepping down.

Buckler led the foundation through several major fundraising campaigns, including efforts to build the new Malhotra Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which will open later this year. She said it’s difficult to leave the role, but she’s confident the good work will continue.

“It’s bittersweet, because this has been our home for so long,” Buckler said during a phone interview on Wednesday. “It’s hard to leave, but I do feel very confident that the foundation is positioned better today than it’s ever been to move forward.”

Buckler said foundation volunteers, staff and board members have become like family to her since she started. She credited them for the organization’s ability to organize and implement fundraising projects, and thanked the community for its tireless support.

“Championing local healthcare alongside everyone here for the past eight years has honestly been one of the most important and rewarding experiences in my life,” she said. “Together, we’ve raised nearly $10-million in eight years for local healthcare, and that is not something I did by myself.”

Buckler plans to stay with the foundation until March 4. Afterwards, she’s headed to Saskatoon to take over as Director of Advancement with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine.

Former St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation CEO Bruce Acton will take over as interim Victoria Hospital Foundation CEO on March 7 while the board searches for a new candidate. Buckler called Acton a class act, and said the foundation is in good hands with him on board.

Victoria Hospital Foundation board chair Lyle Karasiuk said it would be great to have a permanent replacement ready within the next 12 weeks, but added that they won’t limit themselves to a specific timetable.

“There are so many variables in picking who that next person might be,” Karasiuk said. “We’ll take our time and we’ll rely on good, sound council in looking to fill the needs of the foundation.”

Karasiuk added that they’re excited to have someone with Acton’s credentials stepping in to help out while the board finds the right candidate. Acton retired as St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation CEO in 2021, but plans to come out of retirement to help the foundation prepare for its next major campaign.

Karasiuk said the foundation has had plenty of success during Buckler’s tenure as CEO. He’s sad to see her leave, but emphasized the good work will continue.

“We’re sad to see her leave,” he said. “Sherry’s been, for the past eight years, an integral part of the growth of the foundation.

“This is not a sign of bad things to come. It just means that, like any organization, we go through phases of growth, and Bruce will continue to grow the foundation and keep us on the path that Sherry charted.”

Raising funds to rebuild and re-purpose Prince Albert’s new hospital will be the foundation’s next major fundraising campaign. Karasiuk said they’ve already hired a consultant to start making plans, and he’s excited to get started.

Buckler too said she’s excited to see the foundation’s next fundraising project get underway. She’s also confident Prince Albert residents will stand up and support it, just like they always have.

“What’s nice to see is how passionate our community is about local healthcare, and how important their hospital is to them,” she said. “I wish the next CEO and the foundation all the best of success as they prepare for the new hospital campaign which is coming in the very near future, and I know they will be successful.”