New campaign supports cancer clinic

Okotoks: Health Trust kicks off new frundraising effort

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 12:13 pm

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Officials with the Sheep River Health Trust have kicked off a new fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $20,000 in a month to support cancer treatment in the foothills.

The health trust’s new Drive for Five campaign is raising the funds for the Cancer Clinic at the High River Hospital.

Tanya Thorn, Sheep River Health Trust Fund development officer, said the clinic ensures cancer patients who live in the foothills are able to receive their treatments closer to home.

“We felt that it was a good tie for our communities to support something that would be a far easier commute for our residents to be able to go to High River than it is to drive up to the Foothills hospital,” she said.

The clinic is a satellite centre for the Tom Baker Cancer Centre at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary.

The clinic provides chemotherapy treatments. Patients are first seen at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary and can receive their treatments in High River, depending on the type of cancer.

The clinic sees approximately 125 patient and provides close to 1,000 treatments per year.

The clinic currently has six treatment spaces, but space is tight.

There are plans to expand the clinic and AHS officials are in the process of working on a feasibility study to determine what is needed and the price tag for the expansion. The study is expected to be complete this spring.

The High River Hospital Foundation is looking to raise $1 million by 2015 to expand the cancer clinic.

“We felt as the Sheep River Health Trust that it was something that we needed to support because cancer doesn’t know any boundaries,” said Thorn.

The health trust’s goal is to raise $20,000 this month and the Drive for Five campaign will close with a one day radio-thon fundraiser on The Eagle 100.9 FM, tentatively scheduled for April 17.

“That would be a great achievement for us, it’s less than a dollar per person in the community the Sheep River Health Trusts supports,” said Thorn. “It’s for a significant asset to our community.”

She said the health trust has local schools participating to help raise money.

Thorn said they are hoping students can contribute $2 each to the campaign.

The school that raises the most money will receive $1,000 back from the health trust for a wellness program.

“One of our mandates as a trust is to promote health and wellness, so it’s a great way to deal with that on the youth side,” she said.

The Drive for Five campaign will become an annual event for the health trust and each year the health trust will support a different initiative.

The health trust supports programs and facilities for the Okotoks Health and Wellness Centre and the Oilfields Hospital. It also supports local programs and initiatives in five different areas: families, youth, seniors, medical equipment and community programs.

For more information and to donate call 403-995-5400 or visit sheepriverhealthtrust.com. Donations are also being accepted at Okotoks Sobeys.


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