The ninth annual Canmore and Area Health Care Foundation golf tournament has raised over $96,000 to go towards refurbishing the emergency room at the local hospital.
Co-executive director Ron Remple said the tournament at Silvertip Golf Resort was the most successful to date, with sponsorship at $80,000 before anyone even teed off last Thursday (June 9).
Currently, the Foundation’s goal is to raise $800,000 to refurbish the emergency room at the Canmore Hospital.
“What was done for the cancer clinic is what we want to do for the emergency room,” Remple said. “We want to make it more user friendly, inviting and better for staff to work.”
In 2008, the foundation challenged the community to raise $1 million to expand and upgrade the cancer clinic and saw immediate and overwhelming community support, with Silvertip developer Guy Turcotte pledging to match fundraising to the tune of $500,000.
Traditionally, the foundation has used its fundraising activities to support the hospital by purchasing items from its “wish list”, but the cancer clinic saw it step away from that model.
“The first time we moved away from equipment was for the cancer clinic and that took a lot of soul searching for the board,” Remple said. “The ER is the second time we are looking at the building instead of equipment and programming.”
As to whether or not by setting the goal to refurbish the emergency room it is undertaking what should be the responsibility of Alberta Health Services and the provincial government, Remple said he doesn’t think so.
“We exist because we see value in providing a better hospital than Alberta Health Services can provide,” he said, adding the foundation exists to supplement the level of care the province provides. “We want to keep our hospital vibrant and current so we keep our hospital.”
The effort and funds the foundation, one of 75 across the province, puts into the local hospital also ties into the economic development strategy of promoting Canmore as a health and wellness centre.
Remple said he sees the hospital as being a hub for health care and health and wellness in the community and with over 90 doctors with admitting privileges, more than any community of comparable size, Canmore is already on its way.
Future events for the Health Care Foundation include KO Cancer Round Two on Aug. 6 at the Canmore Rec Centre, a Canmore Charity Connection golf tournament on Sept. 9 and the Seventh Annual Murrieta’s golf tournament, with 50 per cent of the funds raised going to the Foundation.