July 12th, 2024

Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation radio-a-thon to benefit hospital care


By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on February 9, 2023.

Herald file photo A past year's Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation Care from the Heart Radio-a-thon.

The Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation is hosting its 13th annual ‘Care from the Heart Day’ Radio-a-thon today from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Six local radio stations will participate, conducting on-air chats with doctors and nurses, administrators, donors, and front-line staff who can speak to the impact that donations made to the foundation have had.

A Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation news release stated, “The generosity of our donors is felt throughout the hospital. In every department, on every floor, and in the care of our community’s most vulnerable, supporting world-class programs and patient care right here in Lethbridge.”

Support is vital to ensure patients have the best possible experience.

“Thousands of people walk through the hospital doors every month. Whether it is staff, the public or patients, everyone benefits from your donation; we all deserve to have the very best experience, and with your generous support this is possible,” said Allan Bartolcic, executive director of the Foundation, in the release.

The event has raised over $3 million since its inception 13 years ago. The Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization, unconnected to provincial funding.

“Our objective is to raise funds for tools, equipment, and services needed here at the hospital. So, if something doesn’t get funded by the government for whatever reason, we certainly step in and assist wherever we possibly can. We basically fill in the gap,” Bartolcic told the Herald. “One of the biggest areas that we funded here in recent years was we spent $2.5 million on the mental health renovations. There wasn’t necessarily funding or dollars that were available for that area, so we, through our initiatives at the Foundation, really were able to raise funds and contribute to the retrofitting and renovations of the mental health unit.”

Many areas of hospital care have benefitted.

“To give you some idea of the things we have funded: a hand held vein finder, ultrasound (equipment), you name it-we’re there to assist in any which way we possibly can,” he said.

The CRH recently introduced a new program called Schwartz Rounds, led by Dr. Dionne Walsh.

“The program offers healthcare workers a regularly-scheduled time during their fast-paced day to discuss the social and emotional issues they face in caring for patients and families, to connect with one another, and find respite from the many stressors that challenge the healthcare workforce today.”

Shared experiences and understanding are hallmarks of the program.

“What that program does is it heals the healer,” Bartolcic said. “As you well know, during the pandemic, our frontline staff at the hospital had been through a tremendous amount and this is an opportunity and time where they get to share their experiences with other colleagues and move forward and speak to those who can understand the experiences that they went through.”

The Foundation provided 100 per cent of the funding to implement the program.

The Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation encourages corporate challenges for local businesses who want to donate. Donations can be made on Feb. 9 by calling (403) 388-6001 or visiting their website crhfoundation.ca.

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