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Summer golf event splits funds with Portage and health foundation

Each organization received $22,820.74 in funds from the 2023 Healthier Communities Golf Tournament, which took place at the Lac La Biche Golf Course on July 7.

LAC LA BICHE - It was exact change for exactly the right reason recently when matching cheques were issued to Portage College and the Lac La Biche Regional Health Foundation for $22,820.74. The dollars and cents are the result of funds raised from the 2023 Healthier Communities Golf Tournament. The money will be put towards the improvement of healthcare and healthcare-related education in Lac La Biche County.

The golf tournament — an annual fundraiser in the community — took place on the greens and fairways of Lac La Biche Golf Club on July 7. 

A special cheque presentation took place last week.

Nancy Broadbent, the president of Portage College, said the post-secondary institution uses the proceeds from the golf tournament each year to support equipment in the college's Nursing and/or Paramedicine programs.

“The equipment is very expensive for these two programs, and it is critical that we keep it current to create the very best learning experience for our students,” Broadbent said,

This year, Portage College is looking at over $250,000 for these programs. The list of equipment includes an ambulance simulator, cut suits for trauma simulation, an ambulance simulator and cut suits, IV pumps and new high-fidelity manikins for the nursing programs. According to Broadbent, these manikins simulate wound assessments, peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line insertions, and monitoring of patient vitals.

Broadbent thanked the community for supporting the college and local healthcare. She also thanked organizers for hosting the tournament.

“We are very grateful for Lac La Biche County who organizes this event and for all those who donate and golf in the tournament,” she said.

Allan Sinclair with the Lac La Biche Regional Health Foundation said the local organization is appreciates the funds and the support it has received. He said money received by the locally-mandated foundation mostly goes to not only the purchase of equipment for the William J. Cadzow Hospital and the local health unit, but also for upgrades in infrastructure to accommodate new equipment at the 50-year old hospital.

“This is particularly needed when a new piece of equipment needs to tie in the existing hospital infrastructure like electrical and or plumbing,” Sinclair explained. “The CT scanner, for instance, required substantial renovation work and funds.

According to Sinclair, the Lac La Biche Regional Health Foundation board members get a list of equipment suggestions from Alberta Health Services (AHS) in April of each year. Along with their own local knowledge, the board then selects projects to raise funds and awareness towards.

“We could choose one large item like we did last year with replacement and upgrading to the operating room lighting system, or we could choose a few smaller items,” Sinclair said. “We have a significant amount of unrestricted funds on hand at any time to be used for the hospital's greatest needs as they arise.”

This year's Healthy Communities golf tournament drew a full roster of more than 140 golfers, many from outside of the area.

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