Delta Hospital Foundation's Cooper to leave post
While it's not going to take place for a couple of months or so, Teresa Cooper knows that saying "goodbye" as Executive Director of the Delta Hospital Foundation will be tough.
After seven years on the job, Cooper says she's moving on to new challenges that have yet to be determined. What is more sure is the future will take her out of Delta.
But she's proud of her time and accomplishments here and confident the coming months and years will see the continued commitment of the community to support its hospital.
"I've been chewing on this for probably six months and I really truly got to the point where I believe that I'm very proud of what we've done in the seven years I've been here," said Cooper who announced last week she was leaving. "I've done what I came here to do. We've built a great team here, got a great board and now I'm going to put a big red bow on it and pass it off to the next person."
Among the highlights of her time with the Foundation was seeing the completion of the expanded ER.
"I had the honour of thanking all the (expanded ER campaign) donors and getting to know them a little better," she said. "That was my first highlight, seeing how truly committed the community was to its hospital."
As a longtime Ladner resident she was aware of the challenges Delta Hospital had faced over the years, including the planned downgrade of its service levels as an acute care facility and proposed reduction ER hours. But Cooper said she didn't fully appreciate the attachment the community had to the facility when they rallied to defend it.
"That was a real 'aha' moment for me," she said. "From that came a tag line I really have come to believe and that is the foundation is really just a bridge between a wonderfully supported community and a great community hospital."
With that, Cooper said she set out to be the person tasked with reminding Deltans why they had fought so hard to keep their hospital.
And now as the master plan for the hospital is nearing completion, she said the time is right for new leadership at the foundation.
"It's (master plan) going through its final approval process and then we're going to have this plan that says this is what the hospital should look like in 20 years to meet the needs of the community and here's the 10 to 15 plan to get us there."
While that will serve as a good transition point, that looming final day on the job will be a difficult one.
"I tell you the day I walk out of here is gonna be hard," she said. "There are so many wonderful people I have worked with in the hospital and in the community.
"It will be difficult to leave, but I am very excited for the organization and I think you'll wonderful things happen here over the next few years."