Eden focused on community for future

Eden Health Care Services CEO Kym Kaufmann and Eden Board Chair Ben Fry at the AGM June 20. (LAUREN MACGILL, Winkler Times)

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Eden Health Care Services had another successful year, as reported at their AGM on June 20.

One of the organization’s biggest highlights was the hiring of a new CEO, Kym Kaufmann.

“She worked as a senior leader at Selkirk Mental Health Centre, so we’re very fortunate to have somebody of her calibre join the organization,” Eden Board Chair Ben Fry said.

The board took some time last year to evaluate their governance structure and policies as well.
“Eden has grown significantly over the last few years,” Fry said. “We’re spending time as a board to try to evaluate if there’s ways of changing our structure so that we’re more streamlined and more efficient.”

“We have a number of boards that do great work, but we also know Eden is impacted like other organizations with volunteer fatigue, with time constraints, with trying to ensure we are able to recruit the younger generation of leaders,” he added. “Looking at all those challenges we feel that it’s important for us to really look at our governance and ask ourselves, ‘Is this the right format going forward?’”

Fry said the board did a lot of work over the past year to make sure their links to the community and churches. He said another highlight was to participate where they could in regards to health transformation in Manitoba.

A major step forward for Eden was the addition of two security positions at Eden Mental Health Centre.

“It does provide more capacity for the health centre to support clients that may have behavioral issues or may have some challenges,” Fry said. “It also puts Eden on a platform to be able to be the type of service that can even support larger centres like Winnipeg and Brandon.”

Supportive housing is another major initiative managed by Eden, and Fry said it’s a big part of what they do.

“We know that for clients and family in recovery, one thing that can be a huge help is them feeling a connection to the community, having a place to live that’s safe, being able to get employment,” he said. “I think our employment programs and our housing programs are really important supports for people who are on their path of recovery.”

Moving forward, Fry said Eden wants to stay streamlined, but also maintain their connection to local churches and the community. “Sometimes when things are streamlined you actually lose touch with stakeholders,” he said. “One of the priorities is to do that in a thoughtful way.”

Fry said they also want to ensure their staff feel supported. “That’s a part of why we were advocating for security services at Eden Mental Health Centre,” he said.