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Digital memorial wall preserves family stories at Hogarth Riverview Manor

New technology allows donors to keep their loved one's cherished memories alive for all to share.
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Annette Klement
Administrative assistant Annette Klement on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 demonstrates the new digital memorial recognition system installed at Hogarth Riverview Manor (Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com).

THUNDER BAY – New technology is allowing donors to the St. Joseph’s Foundation to keep memories of their loved ones alive for all to cherish.

On Wednesday, officials at the newly constructed Hogarth Riverview Manor unveiled the facility’s digital memorial recognition system, which has collected the names, photos and stories of up to 2,000 people whose families and friends have donated to the foundation over the past three decades.

Another 300 names are ready to be inputted into the system, which can be accessed at Hogarth Riverview Manor and online around the world for everyone to view.

Tracy Buckler, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Care Group, said it’s an innovative way to recognize donors.

“We traditionally had the plaques on the walls and that was great. People were acknowledged and recognized,” she said. “But eventually you run out of wall space. This was a really great technological innovation to acknowledge people who have made donations, but to do it in a more modern way.”

Similar memorial walls are in place at St. Joseph’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Heritage.

Buckler said most donors give back to the foundation because they’ve had a good experience with the care they received.

With more and more out-migration from the city, having the technology in place and allowing the donors to input the story of their loved one is a huge advancement over the previous system.

It’s important, she added.

“I think it’s a heart-level impact. I think people will really appreciate the acknowledgment of the loved one and it will keep that memory alive,” Buckler said. “That’s really important. We’re always grateful for donations, because it allows us to buy equipment and it allows us to provide extras for client care.

“We would hope that by having an appropriate donor recognition program that would also enhance that opportunity.”

Katrina O’Neill, executive director of St. Joesph’s Foundation, said they’ve been thinking of new ways to honor donors’ loved ones.

The old system just didn’t convey the significance of the families and loved ones who had made donations to the foundation.

“We wanted to find a system that would allow us to tell that story,” O’Neill said.

A company out of Winnipeg provided the template, while Tbaytel donated the equipment and art installation.

Tbaytel president and CEO called it a unique initiative, utilizing touch-board technology that should make it easy for everyone at just about every age to use.