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New executive director for Hospital Foundation

Portage District General Hospital Foundation supporters greeted the Foundation’s new executive director at the fundraising gala on Friday night.

It was announced Erin Miller-Simpson, from Portage la Prairie, will be taking over the post from Murray Graham who is retiring from the position.

Miller-Simpson said she is excited to be taking over the role as the new executive director for the Foundation.

“I have been involved in lots of community events, and planning many events — so I think that will be an asset to the job,” she said.

Miller-Simpson has worked at Portage District General Hospital for many years and is passionate about starting her work with the Foundation.

“What attracts me to the job is number one what it does for the community, and the people in it,” she said. “Our health is our number one asset.”

Miller-Simpson said she plans on working to raise the profile of the Foundation to build up the number of supporters.

One task she will start with is establishing a website and presence on the web for the Foundation.

“That will be probably one of our first goals,” she said.

When she addressed the large gathering for the gala dinner, Miller-Simpson said she also appreciates that so many people came to the fundraising event.

“Without this kind of support, the Foundation would not be as strong as it is today,” she said.

Miller -Simpson will start her job on Nov. 1 and will spend a month with Graham to get up to speed on the details of her new position. Graham will be leaving his work with the Foundation at the end of November.

Jim Knight, chairman of the board for the Portage District General Hospital Foundation, said he is pleased to see Miler-Simpson has been selected for the position of executive director.

“We are enthusiastic with her and I am sure she will do a good job,” he said. “She has a background in (health) and she works at the hospital.”

Graham said the net proceeds from Friday’s gala would be around $10,000 for the Foundation.

In the past year, the Foundation has committed $300,000 to Portage District General Hospital and $50,000 to Douglas Campbell Lodge for equipment and furnishings.

During the gala, Knight said the work of Graham has been well appreciated during the time he has spent with the Foundation.

Graham was presented with a special gift to recognize his service to the Foundation.

Graham said he has enjoyed his time with the Foundation and helping the community.

“I’ll miss working with the people, with the public – that’s the best part of the job,” he said.

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