Community generosity shown via Festival of Trees

The immensely popular fundraiser brought in a tremendously successful $1.2 million

Tis the season of giving, and one example of where that shines through brightly is via the annual Festival of Trees, which was held late last month in Red Deer.

The immensely popular fundraiser – hosted by the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation – brought in a tremendously successful $1.2 million. Organizers announced the results during a breakfast meeting on Tuesday. Over its 24-year history, the Festival of Trees has raised a whopping $15,080,513. But of course these funds don’t just benefit those living in Red Deer – the Red Deer Regional Hospital serves a far wider territory via a number of specialized services, too.

So it’s hard to think of a more worthwhile cause to support, which of course ultimately also has such a profoundly far-reaching effect. Proceeds from this year’s Festival of Trees are used to purchase medical equipment or programs for the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

This year, the Festival announced it will be directing fundraising efforts to support the purchase of new technology and equipment in two laboratory departments – hematology and microbiology, which are responsible for procuring and analyzing lab samples to assist physicians in the diagnosis of disease.

Any new equipment for the hospital is always welcome news, particularly in a time when the Red Deer Regional Hospital is being stretched to the maximum degree in terms of space and the ability to handle the patient load as mentioned from not just the City, but from the surrounding areas as well.

To that end, rallies and meetings have been held to pressure government officials to more closely examine the needs of the hospital. Going forward, hopefully that message will be heard and services will be greatly expanded for our region.

In the meantime, it’s time to celebrate the fact that Central Albertans supported the glittering Festival of Trees to such an amazing degree. As we all know, these aren’t brisk economic times we are living in these days, so to see folks come out and give their support to such a worthwhile cause is heartening. Time and again, we here at the Express hear about the generosity of the local community even in tough times; that local residents can be continually counted on to help with any number of causes.

Plans are already in place for next year. According to the Festival of Trees web site, the 2018 Festival of Trees funding will be used to support the purchase of the Pyxis automated medication dispensing systems for placement in emergency, ICU/CCU, NICU, operating room, recovery room, unit 22 (cardiology) and select outpatient areas.

​”In our hospital, over 1,000 new medication orders are written by prescribers and processed every day (and) 13,000 units of medication are dispensed on the care areas every 24 hours.

​”Currently all processes are paper based and manual. The Pyxis automated system has numerous electronic features for safety and efficiency to accurately dispense patient medications, reducing the likelihood of human error.”

​The entire Central Alberta community can look forward to help fund this extremely important cause for all Central Albertans in 2018!

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