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Auxiliary boosts rehab in Cold Lake

Image provided by Alberta Health Services
Striking a pose with their new arm ergometer bicycle at Cold Lake Healthcare Centre are, from left: Nichole Lang, therapy assistant; Charmaine Cantwell, occupational therapist; Wayawaya Manuel, therapy assistant; Sue Carter, president of the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre Auxiliary; Trudy O’Shaughnessy, physical therapist; Britainee Kellar, occupational therapist; Wendy Arsenault, admin support; and Shelby Pollock, therapy assistant.

Equipment donations improve healthcare for area patients

Story by Sara Blake

Donations through the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre Auxiliary continue to improve healthcare for area residents. The auxiliary’s latest contributions — with a focus on rehabilitation after injury — include a new Monarch Arm Ergometer bicycle as well as a variety of short-term loan equipment to help patients return home after their hospital stay.

“The arm ergometer bicycle is used to help rehabilitation clients with limited use of their legs or feet,” says Sharon Winik, Allied Health manager for the area, who works closely with the auxiliary to identify areas where funds will have a positive impact.

“It’s similar to a regular exercise bike, but users do the pedaling with their hands instead of their feet. This motion promotes better heart and lung health and is particularly useful for people who use mobility aids, like wheelchairs or walkers.”

Equipment purchased for the short-term loan program include walkers, a tub-transfer bench, raised toilet seats and wheelchair parts. Now available through Cold Lake Community Health Services, these generous additions provide clients with equipment to increase their safety and independence at home. Auxiliary funds also helped to refurbish short-term loan wheelchairs. In total, more than $6,100 was donated.

Auxiliary President Sue Carter, who’s been involved with the group for more than 25 years, says representatives from various departments now attend auxiliary meetings to share what they need for their area.

“That’s been so helpful, because often we get a list and wonder what the equipment is for,” she says. “Getting that extra information and hearing about what equipment patients would really benefit from, in particular, has been really great for our members.”

Winik adds: “We’re so grateful for the auxiliary’s contributions and fundraising efforts. It goes such a long way towards enhancing the healthcare experience for our clients and patients.”

The Cold Lake Healthcare Centre Auxiliary has been raising funds to support healthcare initiatives in the community since 1986. Their seasonal bake sales have proven very popular and often raise upwards of $2,000 per event.

Meanwhile, the auxiliary is always on the lookout for new members. Meetings take place the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. in the healthcare centre cafeteria.

“Besides our monthly meetings, we have bake sales and opportunities to work in our Gift Shop at the healthcare centre, which is solely run by volunteers. We truly appreciate all our volunteers!”

(If you’d like to join, or hear more about, the Cold Lake Hospital Auxiliary, please call the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre at 780-639-3322, then ask for the Gift Shop.)