By Kenneth Brown
The Kindersley Clarion
An estate worth more than $1 million has been donated to the Kindersley and District Health Centre by a former Brock-area resident.
Donnie Duncan Donald, a farmer who lived in the Brock area, named the health centre as the beneficiary of his entire estate. The total donation was $979,562 before the estate had been finalized, but the total is now more than $1 million after interest, according to an official.
Gayle Riendeau, who was the acting CEO of Heartland Health Region at the time of the donation, said the former health authority was contacted by the executor of Donald’s estate to let officials know about the bequest.
She noted that estates of that nature often take time to be finalized and the process took about one year to complete with the Donald estate. In that time, interest accumulated and the total ended up cresting the million-dollar plateau. The money will be used to complete capital projects at the health centre.
Members of the Space Planning Committee for the health centre will embark on a review of facility needs to determine priorities and make recommendations for the use of the bequest. The committee consists of facility officials, Riendeau said.
The provincial government passed legislation to proclaim the Saskatchewan Health Authority on Dec. 4, so there is no more Heartland Health Region. Riendeau said the full amount of the bequest will go to the local health centre.
She explained that if a donation was made to a specific facility and accepted under those terms, it was Heartland’s policy to ensure the money would support the specific health centre. The policy will be honoured despite the transition to a new health authority.
Riendeau, whose new title is executive transition lead for health services, said there are several areas facility officials will want to consider for the capital improvements and they want to make sure the right investments are made when looking to the facility’s future needs.
The Kindersley and District Health Centre had been identified by Heartland officials as a site worthy of a a capital project, so any investments would take long-term plans into account, she said.
According to Riendeau, the Donald bequest represented the single largest personal donation to Heartland in the health authority’s 15-year history. She noted that the support would go a long way to help the health centre.
“It’s just so generous and so thoughtful of Mr. Donnie Donald to consider the needs of health in the community,” she said, adding that the facility serves the Brock area. “It’s really quite overwhelming. We’re just going to make sure that we put it to its best use and that it becomes a lasting legacy for Mr. Donald.”
A nephew of Donald’s who wished to remain anonymous said his uncle lived in the Brock area his entire life and was never married. He believes it was nice of his uncle to donate to the health facility.