By Andrew Stuckey

I’ve built a little intangible performance recognition into my life. I declare for myself “dividend days.”

A dividend day is the day all of the hard work I’ve put toward a particular project or exercise comes to fruition: a successful event is held, a project is completed and gains some level of approval, a cheque comes in the mail for a job well done.

I live for dividend days. I pause, think back on what I’ve had to do to bring about the accomplishment, then look forward to what lies ahead.

I was thinking about that this weekend as I pondered some of the momentous change that might be on the horizon for the South Okanagan community in the area of health care.

The musing comes on the heels of a couple of interesting political developments on which OsoyoosToday reported last week.

The first was information from the province that the Town of Osoyoos was going to receive $100,000 in rural dividend — there’s that word again — grant funding to review the state of health care services in the community and plot a direction forward.

The second was an effort on the part of MLA Linda Larson — now sitting in the Opposition benches — that appears to be drawing Adrian Dix, the provincial health minster, to the South Okanagan for a look-see.

Mr. Dix has promised to come to the area “within I think a week Friday.” His visit could be the first step toward additional health care funding to employ dedicated ER physicians at SOGH and perhaps, just maybe, a local urgent care centre for another Boundary-Similkameen community (like Osoyoos).

Both developments came out of grassroots efforts — predicated on complaint — to challenge the local health care status quo.

Last spring, a coalition of health care advocates gave public voice to a growing frustration among residents unable to find a family doctor.

Similarly, other complaints were circulated about irregular hours and service at the South Okanagan General Hospital’s emergency room.

And there was — and continues to be — substantial work undertaken at the Council level, both here in Osoyoos and in Oliver.

It appears those efforts are paying off.

I won’t name those people here — there’s far too many of them engaged in this effort and I’d likely miss someone — but you all know who you are.

The job’s not done yet, but take a few moments to celebrate what you’ve brought about — even if it is just the first stirrings of a bureaucratic effort. You have wrought awareness; you have set a foundation for change.

Where we go with these first stirrings remains to be seen, but for the moment think back on what you’ve had to do to bring about the accomplishment, then look forward to what lies ahead.

Raise a toast. Share a hug. Have yourself a dividend day.

Heaven knows, you’ve earned it.



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