White hearts are posted in the lobby of KBRH. (Submitted photo)

Heart-filled messages for Kootenay Boundary healthcare workers

The White Heart Project sends appreciation to frontline healthcare workers

The health foundation at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) has launched the White Heart Project to support the frontline healthcare teams at KBRH, Poplar Ridge, Columbia View Lodge and the Kiro Wellness Centre, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The White Heart Project is a growing movement initiated by the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation and supported by many hospital foundations across Interior Health.

Using an online form on the KBRH Health Foundation website, the public can send their words of gratitude for the doctors, nurses and all frontline medical staff working at the regional hospital as well as the immediate care facilities.

The foundation staff will write those personal messages on a white heart, and each heart will be posted in the lobby of KBRH so all of those working at the regional hospital during this challenging time can see the public’s words of appreciation.

“The KBRH Health Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the White Heart Project to recognize, support and encourage our frontline healthcare teams,” said Lisa Pasin, director of development.

“The foundation’s work is grounded on improving delivery of health care in the Kootenay Boundary and supporting our healthcare teams to do their jobs to the best of their ability.”

The KBRH Health Foundation works in collaboration with all of the hospital foundations within Interior Health on regional healthcare initiatives, and this project is meant to show solidarity for healthcare teams in local communities.

“We hope that the public will participate in the White Heart Project with messages of support to be displayed on site at KBRH,” said Pasin.

“This project is a wonderful complement to the display of colored hearts that is already occurring at homes and businesses to recognize all frontline workers during this global pandemic.”

Despite this challenging time reverberating throughout the community, the foundation is absolutely committed to providing support to the healthcare workers of the Kootenay Boundary region, Pasin shared.

“The foundation is also working closely with KBRH to determine funding needed for priority equipment and other supports during this uncertain time,” she explained.

“Financial support can be provided through the KBRH Health Foundation with donations directed to the Greatest Need Fund.”

In order to adhere to social distancing recommendations, the foundation office is closed to the public.

Staff asks supporters to make their donations online at www.kbrhhealthfoundation.ca or by mailing them into the foundation office.

If making a donation online is not an option, supporters are asked to call the foundation office at 250.364.3424.

Since 1988, the KBRH Health Foundation, formerly the Trail Regional Hospital Foundation, has raised over $18.3 million to advance healthcare in the Kootenay Boundary. The foundation’s revenue is generated through gifts from donors.

The COVID-19 situation in British Columbia is continually evolving.

As of noon on Saturday, April 18, the total confirmed provincial cases stood at 1,647, including 150 confirmed cases in Interior Health.

Since the novel coronavirus touched down in B.C. in January, 81 people have died (as of April 18), with a majority of those fatalities linked to ongoing outbreaks at long-term care homes.

The median age of those who have died is 86.

“We can’t lose sight of the fact we continue to have people who are affected by this, we continue to have transmission,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “We are not at a point where we can let up.”


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