Local well-known doctor Don Klassen says he can’t imagine his work without the support of the Boundary Trails Health Centre Foundation.
He notes there are always more requests for funding from the Province than there is the ability to pay for those requests.
“This is often where the foundation comes in,” he says. “In particular in funding those items and equipment that go over and above.”
Equipment like bariatric beds and lifts, ultrasound machines, furniture and other comfort items for palliative care wouldn’t exist without the support of donors and the work of the BTHC Foundation.
He says it’s often the comfort-related items that make the biggest difference to people who spend the most time in the hospital like dialysis patients with more comfortable chairs.
“It’s really important that our communities donate and invest in our hospital,” BTHC Foundation Executive Director Shannon Samatte-Folkett explains, adding the foundation funds the entire Palliative Care Program, two part-time nurses and a palliative care volunteer coordinator, as well as the spiritual care coordinator.
“Right now that is so important because of the visitation restrictions,” she explains “People from their own clergy can’t come to visit, so our spiritual care coordinator steps in to be that person to connect them or just be there for them.”
Klassen explains this month is part of a three-month ‘Donation Conversation’ campaign.
“We’re doing this in the throes of a pandemic,” Klassen says, adding they hope the campaign can match the kind of donation they’ve received in years past.
The foundation’s annual golf tournament raises around $30,000, while their fall banquet has raised up to $90,000. This year both events had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
However, kick starting fundraising efforts this year, local donors have committed $35,000 in matching grants for the campaign this fall.
“If those of us in the public can come up with $35,000 we’ve already got $70,000 spoken for and we can just go up from there,” Klassen says.
October’s theme during the ‘Donation Conversation’ is Equipment. November features Spiritual Care, and December the Palliative Care Program.