Deals for wheels

RBC kicks in $20,000 for wheelchairs for East Kootenay Regional Hospital

With all the attention made to high tech equipment in today’s modern medical facilities, the public may be forgiven for taking something for granted that no hospital can do without.

The fleet of wheelchairs at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital serves an extremely important function, but wear and tear have taken their toll. Some chairs have simply just gone missing in action over recent years.

“I was attending an Operations Committee meeting and the subject of wheelchairs came up,” said Donna Grainger, Executive Director of the East Kootenay Foundation for Health. “There was an active discussion about how wonderful it would be if more chairs could be available.

“As a foundation our role is to link a need to someone with a belief in that cause. With that in mind I put in a call to a very special donor.”

The call went out to the Royal Bank’s RBC Foundation. Jennifer Cabeldu, Manager of Donations for RBC couldn’t have been more helpful, Grainger said. “An original request of $10,000 was actually doubled with an approved gift of $20,000 soon to be heading to EKFH to build the wheelchair fleet.

The donation means there is potential to increase the number of transfer and Broda chairs — possibly as many as 14-15 chairs — that will be available for patients entering the hospital lobby or moving through different areas of the facility. The wheelchairs are expected to arrive in the New Year.

“Over the years we have been able to assist the regional hospital in securing items that are extremely important but not so high profile,” Maureen Foxworthy, RBC Branch Manager for Cranbrook. “The purchase of these wheelchairs we know is going to make a huge difference in the quality of patient care.”