EDMONTON – A longtime Catholic health care volunteer and a former premier are the first two recipients of a new award being bestowed by Covenant Health.
Fred Barth and former premier Ed Stelmach, were chosen to receive the Service Through Christ Legacy Award based on their outstanding contributions to Catholic health care, and through their ongoing efforts to serve as inspirations to others.
Every year the award will be given to a person or team, regardless of their faith affiliation, who is widely recognized for supporting, advancing, and working tirelessly on behalf of Catholic health care and carrying on the legacy of the Sisters of Charity (Grey Nuns).
John Brennan, Covenant Health board chairman said Barth has been a volunteer for 40 years since joining the Misericordia Hospital board in 1972.
He helped the Misericordia fundraise $500,000 in 1980 and has served countless hours on various boards and committees, said Brennan.
Barth also played a key role in establishing structures to support the transfer of Catholic health care from the founding congregations to lay leadership.
He was also instrumental in founding Caritas Health Group in 1992 and Covenant Health in 2008.
Stelmach, a Ukrainian Catholic, served as premier from 2006 to 2011.
During his term he was responsible for eliminating health care premiums and, last year, shortly before stepping down, he unveiled a statue on the grounds of the Legislature that honours the contribution of religious sisters to health care in the province.
"We would not have any health care provided in most communities if it wasn't for the tenacity of the early sisters," Stelmach told the meeting.
"From his service on the Lamont board to his time in the legislature, Premier Stelmach's work and guidance for faith-based health care has had a profound effect," Brennan said.
Stelmach has recently joined Covenant Health's board of directors.