Park: “Cannot put a price on the care …”

Patients often look for ways to thank health-care staff for the amazing care and compassion that they receive while at Red Deer Regional Hospital.

The Red Deer Regional Health Foundation looked for ways to help patients let their health-care providers know how much they appreciated everything that they did for them. Patients would come into our office with cards, food or other gifts asking us to get them to their health care providers. We decided we needed to come up with a better way to help patients show their appreciation. The result was a Grateful Patient program that allows patients to make a donation in their health-care providers name or the team of health-care professionals that worked with them.

The following is a story about Laylane, a patient that wanted to let her health-care team know how much they meant to her.

Twenty hours into what would ultimately be a 25-hour labour, one thing kept Laylane Chagas calm: the sense of teamwork she got every time she looked around the delivery room.

“I felt we were working as a team – me as a patient, the doctor, and the nurses,” she says. “There was communication all the time – especially in the end.”

Laylane had originally hoped to deliver her son naturally, without medication or induction. Now, she turned to her physician, Dr. Cheryl Phillpot, for options.

Feeling reassured that both she and the baby were doing fine, Laylane agreed to be induced due to her worry about the stress the lengthy labour was placing on her unborn child, and because she could no longer stand the pain.

Having access to the latest equipment helped put her mind at ease, as Laylane was able to know how her son was doing throughout the entire process. When her son, Samuel, finally arrived at 1 a.m. June 27 Laylane was able to reflect on the experience. She also began looking for a way to give back. She found an opportunity with the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation’s Grateful Patient program. The program allows patients (or their loved ones) to make a donation to the foundation in the name of caregivers and other health-care workers who provide exceptional care. The foundation, in turn, recognizes the staff member with a certificate of appreciation and a pewter pin acknowledging their contribution.

The donation helps purchase top of the line medical equipment to better serve the residents of Central Alberta.

“I cannot put a price on the service they did in the hospital, but I wanted to reward the whole staff,” she says.

To make a donation in honour of great care, contact the Foundation at 403-343-4773 or email

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

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