Health Foundation: In pursuit of providing world-class health care

The Government of Alberta recently released its health-care priority spending list. Of note was that the Red Deer Regional Hospital was not included on that list.

Firstly, as a Central Albertan I am disappointed: I feel for the physicians, nurses and other health-care workers looking for tools to do their jobs to their maximum potential. I feel for people facing wait times in excess of 10 hours while trying to access medical treatment. I feel for patients who must travel great distances to get the health care those in major cities already take for granted. I could go on.

However, as the chief executive officer of the only major charity funding the Red Deer Hospital, I have another perspective.

I see this as an opportunity … a responsibility … to step up the funding we provide to the Red Deer Regional Hospital.

Our board of directors recently made a minor change to our vision so that it is now an action statement:

“Dedicated to the pursuit of providing world class healthcare”

These volunteer board members, those who set the tone for our organization, have doubled down on their commitment.

They chose to add “Dedicated to the pursuit of” to what was previously “World-class health care for Central Albertans”.

They are increasing their resolve to fulfill our mission to the hospital.

New equipment, services and programs need to be added to the hospital, of that there is no question.

However, there are plenty of programs, services and pieces of equipment that can be improved, modified or upgraded.

Central Albertans can help to make sure that what we do have is the best it can be.

You, your family, your neighbours and fellow Central Albertans can ensure that health care workers in the Red Deer Regional Hospital have the best equipment for the programs and services they currently provide.

You can make sure that our health care workers come to work knowing that the equipment they have is the best available so they can provide world-class health care.

Here is a recent example of a system that works:

Dr. Horne of Laboratory Services at the Red Deer Regional Hospital said: “We would never be able to purchase this equipment without funding from the Festival of Trees, and the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.”

Laboratory services was the recipient this year of Festival of Trees proceeds. Given Dr. Horne’s department budget, there would not be enough money to purchase the equipment provided by Festival — not in the short term, and likely not in the long term.

So thanks to you, Central Alberta, you have funded equipment for the Red Deer Hospital that likely would have never otherwise been purchased. You have made an impact on the care Central Albertans receive — potentially saving lives! Your support has made it possible for staff in the lab to process samples more efficiently and provide results quicker to our physicians. This improved efficiency will save lives.

You can continue to ensure that the Red Deer Regional Hospital has access to the best equipment for the current services and programs they run. You can donate funds or time to the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.

Either way, you will be contributing to the pursuit of providing world class healthcare for Central Albertans.

On behalf of the board of directors, volunteers and staff of the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, I thank you for funding or volunteering with us in the past, and I thank you for considering our foundation in the future.

You can make an impact on the health care provided to Central Albertans.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer please call 403.343.4773, email foundation@ahs.ca, or visit www.rdrhfoundation.com.

Iaian Park is the executive director of the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.

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