Paper Excellence donates to Victoria Hospital NICU

Photo courtesy Victoria Hospital Foundation

The Victoria Hospital Foundation had already raised the funds to build its new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and now, thanks to Paper Excellence, they have the some of the new equipment needed for the unit too.

Wednesday, the foundation announced a $25,000 donation from Paper Excellence, a gift initiated by employees from the Prince Albert pulp mill and the Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp facility.

“We were approached back in December by a local employee here in Prince Albert at the Prince Albert Pulp Mill,” Victoria Hospital Foundation executive director Sherry Buckler said.

“He felt very passionate about the campaign and chose to rally the company. He assisted us in the conversation with the corporate head office. As a result of that, they made a wonderful donation to our NICU.”

As the campaign to construct the unit has already been completed, thanks to an $800,000 donation from the Malhotra family, Wednesday’s donation will instead go towards furnishing the new unit with some new equipment once it’s built.

“We already have quite a bit of equipment in our current NICU, but with expansion, we’re going to need additional and newer equipment,” Buckler said.

“One of the first things we want to do is purchase urgently needed items…  resuscitation equipment for newborns in distress. This donation will absolutely pay for that.”

Buckler said the foundation will continue to fundraise for NICU equipment once the new unit is built. Until then, they’ll focus on other hospital priorities.

While Paper Excellence didn’t respond to a request for comment, a statement from CEO Brian Baarda was included in a press release sent out Wednesday.

“With two facilities in the province of Saskatchewan … we believe in supporting organizations that offer care to our communities,” he said.

“We take pride in this donation, which aids newborns requiring special care.”

The donation and the involvement of employees from two locations shows how important the Victoria Hospital is to northern Saskatchewan, Buckler said.

“What was remarkable about this donation is it demonstrates the far reach this campaign has in the north, as far as Meadow Lake even,” she said.

“It goes to show you that our hospital, which serves that entire region, when it’s stronger and operating better and we have the right equipment and the right space, impacts thousands of people.

“We’re very grateful to Paper Excellence.”