(From left) Executive director Richelle Belzerowski and administrative assistant Terisa Matejka at Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre are excited the hospital is on AHS’s instructure list. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Friends of Red Deer hospital say being on AHS’s priority list means raising more money

Now that the Red Deer hospital is on Alberta Health Services’ priority infrastructure list, Friends of Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre want to be prepared for what may be coming.

That’s why raising their profile by teaming up with events such as the 2019 Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off is exciting.

Friends of Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre will be the recipients of money raised by the dance off in April.

Richelle Belzerowski, executive director of the Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, hopes for $400,000 from the event, and more if possible. Last year, the event raised about $420,000.

The money will go toward equipment for the hospital, such as commode chairs, TVs, stoves, fridges, IV poles, and so on, that helps with patient care and comfort.

Belzerowski said the organization received a wish list for 2018-2019 in May that was over $1 million.

“All we could obligate was $250,000, so with the dance off, we plan on giving other items that each (hospital) unit needs to cover some of the shortfalls,” said Belzerowski.


Friends of Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre to benefit from Dance Off

Terisa Matejka, administrative assistant at Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, said the organization buys equipment that’s under $5,000, which is its mandate.

“(We buy) everything from vein finders, and blanket warmers and fridges to make life easier for nurses and patients,” Matejka said.

Matejka said being back on AHS’s list is exciting and the expansion is long overdue, but the news also means the organization needs to raise more money for the hospital.

“Because there’s going to be more needs,” said Matejka, adding that more equipment will be needed after the expansion.

“There’s going to be more demand with more areas and departments.”

Both employees hope central Alberta residents will be generous and come together to raise the money for the dance off. Matejka said the region relies on the hospital because there are services that Red Deer offers that may not be available at the outlying health centres.

The two agreed their favourite thing about the Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off is the profile it’s raising for the organization, which has roots going back to 1904.

“People think raising money for the hospital is working with the foundation and Festival of Trees, and that’s great, but we have a place as well. We may not give the big things, but we give the little things that make everyday life easier and things that matter,” Matejka said.

Eight community leaders have accepted the challenge to step onto the dance floor for the dance off 2019: Dr. Isaac Day, April Ferguson, Rhonda Hamill, Coun. Ken Johnston, Vinnie Taylor, Vanessa Higgins- Nogareda, Trevor Sopracolle and Alex Wood.

Tickets to the event will go on sale Jan. 28.


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