Upcoming radiothon raising funds for equipment at Prince Albert hospital

Mann Northway General Manager Mark Ripley (left) and Boreal Healthcare Foundation CEO Cody Barnett (right) accept a donation from Dr. Java’s, Ricky’s and Family Pizza for Give a Little Life Day in 2022. – Boreal Healthcare Foundation/Facebook

The Boreal Healthcare Foundation is preparing for a major fundraiser on Friday for equipment upgrades at Prince Albert’s Victoria Hospital.

The 18th annual Give A Little Life Day radiothon gets underway at Mann Northway at 6 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. During that time, anyone wanting to make a pledge can stop in at the showroom or go through the service drive-thru.

“This year, we’re raising money for a variety of equipment needs throughout the hospital, from a mobile C-arm for diagnostic imaging, to food service delivery units for the nutrition department,” said the foundation’s CEO, Cody Barnett.

The mobile C-arm provides real-time visuals to enhance precision in surgeries. Other equipment needs include a pediatric vein viewer to reduce discomfort for young patients, as well as a metro code crash cart for immediate accessibility in cardiac emergencies.

“(Some) is equipment that’s nearly 20 years old, in some cases. It needs to be replaced. Some other equipment, like that mobile C-arm piece, is actually an enhancement on past equipment so that we can have better diagnostics,” explained Barnett.

“That comes out of donation dollars because the health care budget just isn’t big enough in the province to support all of the needs in all of the facilities.”

The expansion of the Victoria Hospital will amp up fundraising efforts in the future.

While the provincial government is funding the building costs, the foundation needs to bring in additional dollars to make the increased space operational.

“The community share of the new hospital and the expansion goes to funding equipment, furniture, and fixtures, so very similar to what we’re raising money for now, just on a much, much larger scale. I think it’s north of $55 million is what the equipment needs will be,” said Barnett.

This year’s Give A Little Life Day has a target of $300,000, a jump from last year’s total of around $240,000.

“We’re really hoping that we’ll be able to get there,” he said.

Barnett encouraged the public to direct some extra money to health care because, ultimately, it’s something we all need.

“Often times we’re born here, and we spend our last days in the hospital, too. There’s all sorts of time and need in between those two major life events where the hospital is important,” he said.

“That’s, I think, why I do the work I do – because I think it’s important.”

You can also donate at givealittlelife.ca, or call 1-855-816-LIFE (5433) to make your pledge during the broadcast on Friday on 900 CKBI, 101.5 Beach Radio, and Power 99.

The Victoria Hospital Foundation rebranded to the Boreal Healthcare Foundation in October to reflect the outside communities it serves.