Red Deer resident Edward Thomas Skoreyko who goes by Tom is spreading the word about an ongoing petition to enhance cardiac services at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Red Deer resident Edward Thomas Skoreyko who goes by Tom is spreading the word about an ongoing petition to enhance cardiac services at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre started handing out petitions to enhance cardiac services.

They’ve distributed thousands of them asking residents to support a cardiac catheterization lab.

Now, at least one Red Deer resident is furthering the cause.

Edward Thomas Skoreyko, who goes by Tom, was in the local hospital recently visiting a relative with a heart problem.

There, Dr. Gustavo Nogareda handed him the petition to sign and send off to various Alberta Health Services department heads, as well as Premier Rachel Notley and Health Minister Sarah Hoffman.

Skoreyko signed the petition himself and sent them off to various municipalities in AHS’s central zone.

“I just feel like helping,” he said recently. “Because you know governments don’t move easy.”

The goal is to swamp the government with the letters, Skoreyko said.

The longtime Red Deer resident has taken it upon himself to distribute the petitions in the community.

Those looking to sign the petition can call Skoreyko at 403-343-2387.

“You can’t move a five-ton rock by yourself, you will need help and so do our medical professionals – they need our help,” Skoreyko states in a letter that has the petition attached.

The petitions are addressed to people with decision-making power.

“Please send copies that I have attached. Send and send and send until we have our zone covered,” the 83-year-old writes.

SEE RELATED

Red Deer’s cardiac catheterization lab petition goes online

Nogareda, a specialist in cardiology and head of cardiology at the hospital, calls the Red Deer resident a “champion.”

“He is helping his community in a way that he may not fully understand,” he said.

“Because we’re dealing with the leading cause of death in the developed world and individuals in central Alberta are not receiving standard care with the leading cause of death,” the doctor said.

In 2016, local doctors reported that not being able to treat blocked arteries locally, and the long transfer times for the treatment elsewhere, mean central Albertans have a 60 per cent higher rate of death or disability than people in Calgary or Edmonton.

After start-up costs, it would not cost any more to treat patients in Red Deer than it does in Calgary and Edmonton, and it would save on transportation costs, health-care professionals argue.

Although the doctor doesn’t know how many petitions have been handed out, at least 2,377 people have supported the cause online at centralabcathlab.ca as of Tuesday afternoon. The open letter listed on the website goes to the legislative assembly.

“We hand them out to people who come to us saying ‘we want to help,’” Nogareda said, adding that the petitions get passed out at the hospital to patients and their families who access the services there.

Since the doctors started the petition, Nogareda said the requests have gone from being ignored to having a face-to-face meeting with Hoffman.

The petitions have also involved and educated the community on the importance of a cath lab and the lives it will save at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Two reports released by AHS around October support enhancing cardiac services in Red Deer, including cardiac catheterization.

But the reports did not say when services would be enhanced.

“I think it’s very slow,” the specialist said about the reports and bureaucracy, referring to the lives that are at stake.

“Lots of people getting together in a room get paid to generate a report that doesn’t change anything, so we keep wasting resources that do not impact the people,” he said.

Ted Braun, vice president and medical director for Central and Southern Alberta said AHS is aware a cath lab would help Red Deerians.

“We also know that establishing such a service is a complex process that requires a number of foundational elements to be in place before interventional cardiac programs can be created in centres outside Calgary and Edmonton,” said Braun.

Referring to the findings of the two reports, Braun said Red Deer and Lethbridge are able to begin considering what health services, programs and infrastructure would be necessary for specialized cardiac programs.

People can also find the petition online or can stop at Healthy Heart Institute on 50th Avenue in Red Deer.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A representative for the office of Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu says the new Red Deer drug treatment court is expected to be operational by the middle of 2022. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer drug treatment court expected to be up and running no later than mid-2022

The Government of Alberta expects the new Red Deer drug treatment court… Continue reading

Environment Canada says rain Tuesday evening will turn to snow. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Expect wet snow Tuesday night central Alberta

Heavy wet snow could accumlate with the potential for broken tree branches

FILE - In this Thursday, April 29, 2021 file photo, giant bucket-wheel excavators extract coal at the controversial Garzweiler surface coal mine near Jackerath, west Germany. A report by the International Energy Agency on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 says immediate action is needed to reshape the world’s energy sector in order to meet ambitious climate goals by 2050. This includes ending investments in new coal mines, oil and gas wells. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
Energy agency: End new fossil fuel supply investments

IEA report sets out 400 steps to transform how energy is produced, transported and used

A man inspects the rubble of destroyed commercial building and Gaza health care clinic following an Israeli airstrike on the upper floors of a commercial building near the Health Ministry in Gaza City, on Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Strike from Gaza kills 2 as Israel topples 6-story building

Latest attack from Gaza on Tuesday hits packaging plant

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. A review by the national spy watchdog has found inconsistencies when it comes to federal efforts to ensure information sharing with foreign agencies does not result in torture. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Spy watchdog calls for changes to ensure information-sharing does not lead to torture

Differences in federal departments stances when dealing with the same foreign agency creates concern

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

Sheffield United’s Daniel Jebbison celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Sheffield United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday, May 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Alex Pantling/Pool via AP
Canadian teenager Daniel Jebbison turns heads with Premier League goal

Jebbison, 17, is the youngest player in Premier League history to score on his first start in England’s top tier

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie makes a comeback this summer

Last year, summer earnings were $176 million, down 96% from 2019

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, exile Tibetans use the Olympic Rings as a prop as they hold a street protest against the holding of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in Dharmsala, India. Groups alleging human-rights abuses in China are calling for a full boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which is sure to ratchet up pressure on the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors, and sports federations. A coalition of activists representing Uyghurs, Tibetans, residents of Hong Kong and others, issued a statement Monday, May 17, 2021 calling for the “full boycott,” eschewing lesser measures like “diplomatic boycotts" and negotiations with the IOC or China. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia, File)
AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

Canada's Eric Lamaze riding Fine Lady 5 during the CP International competition at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Canada's most decorated show jumper has withdrawn from consideration for the Tokyo Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse questions a foul call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday, April 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Nurse says it was the COVID-19 outbreak in March that spiked his team's chances for a post-season run.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris O'Meara
Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Goyette speaks to reporters during a press conference in Toronto on Friday, November 10, 2017. Goyette has been named director of player development for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and their American Hockey League affiliate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Most Read