REM Lee Foundation launches 'Closer to Home' fundraising campaign
On June 3, the Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital foundation announced the largest fundraising campaign in its history to create a crucially needed Tier 3 level Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Special Care Nursery at the new hospital in Terrace.
The need for such a facility is vitally important: over the last four years, 104 mothers with complicated or pre-term births were transferred from Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) to facilities capable of a higher level of care. Sixty infants and their mothers made often hazardous journeys to other hospitals-with two-thirds of them leaving the region.
"Although not originally a part of the MMH rebuild, this is a once-in-a generation opportunity" said Foundation Chair Ron Bartlett, a member of the Kitsumkalum nation.
Dr. Anita Adlam, a pediatrician responsible for acute pediatric care at MMH, concurred, "If newborns need anything more than rooming in with their mum, we just don't have the capacity to look after them, and we often end up sending patients out to other facilities."
Currently mothers and infants that need emergent care, must experience often stressful and weather-dependent medical evacuation to either Prince George (Tier 4) or Vancouver (Tier 6.) Having care closer to home means mothers and babies will be surrounded by the people they need and their families less burdened by the financial and emotional costs of travel and long-term stays in unfamiliar settings.
MMH's level of neonatal and maternal services will increase from Tier 2 to Tier 3. There is no other facility that offers Tier 3 level services in the Northwest Health Services area.
"This project is an investment in Northwest B.C. families, the future of our First Nations communities and our young workers," said Bartlett. "Our fund raising committee members are committed, with your help, to achieving this vitally important goal."
Donations to the Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation in support of this project can be made by calling (250) 641-5526 or online at remleehospitalfoundation.org
Donations are tax-deductible, Charitable Registration Number 11923 0399 RR0001
The Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation, a volunteer charitable organization, was created in 1988 to raise funds in support of Mills Memorial Hospital and Terraceview Lodge. Our mandate is to increase and improve the provision of medical care to those who live in the area of Terrace, British Columbia, whether through direct medical services and facilities or medical and educational research which enhances those services and facilities.