SCHF shows off the renovated hospital lobby

Lobby upgrades, increased laboratory time and 10th anniversary of South Cariboo Health Foundation celebrated

South Cariboo Health Foundation board members

South Cariboo Health Foundation board members

Heather Nelson

Free Press

The ribbon was cut and the cake was enjoyed at the South Cariboo Health Foundation’s (SCHF) grand opening of the newly refurbished entrance and waiting area of the 100 Mile District General Hospital on May 12.

Locals, dignitaries, SCHF board members, Hospital Auxiliary members and lab staff joined the celebration of the grand opening, the foundation’s 10th anniversary and extended hours of the laboratory.

“In 2005, the foundation partnered with Interior Health and the Cariboo Chilcotin Health District to undertake a major upgrade of the emergency and laboratory facilities,” said SCHF public relations and fundraising co-ordinator M-J Cousins.

In 2011, she added, the foundation planned and funded the renovations to the hospital entrance and waiting area.

“Now, the work is complete.”

Cousins introduced SCHF board chair Mary Schennum who spoke of the wonderful support of the community, businesses and the partnership with Cariboo Regional District. She noted the foundation is celebrating a decade of supporting the health care in the 100 Mile House area, and since the incorporation of the foundation, it has dispersed approximately $1.5 million throughout local care services.

“We need $80,000 to $100,000 a year to continue these services, and this year, we have already reached the halfway point of about $50,000.”

Cousins said the SCHF reached one million points with the Save-On-Foods Pointing the Way campaign that was launched on April 7, and noted store customers are welcome to donate their points to the foundation until the end of June.

When the points reach a certain dollar value, Save-On-Foods will match the dollar amount and donate it to the SCHF.

Acute Services manager Deb Runge spoke about the changes to the waiting area, including the addition of the new entrance doors, the mural of the original hospital, the collection of photos of four seasons taken by Shane Gunn and enlarged by Heritage Signs. She noted it is so much more inviting to people.

“The brightness of the lobby, with new paint, the photos, everything reflects the pride we have in this facility.”

Runge added the refurbishing included an after-hours phone.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett recognized all the board members, saying that without their commitment, the renovations would not have been done.

“It has come a long way since 1966, and without the people who started this, without their and your great vision, it would not have been accomplished.

“We are lucky to have the great facility. You cannot believe the condition [of hospitals] in other towns.”

She added the hospital and staff in 100 Mile House is second to none and the local Hospital Auxiliary members work with their hearts and souls.

Foundation board member Chris Nickless discussed the funds raised from the sales of Paul Luft’s book, One Day at a Time – the Story of Ainsworth Lumber. The books were donated to the foundation, Nickless said, adding the bonus was Luft was present to autograph books.

All the speakers thanked the work done by Becky Pincott, and her efforts in securing the extended lab hours. The announcement was made by Interior Health laboratory chief technologist Iwona Szczepanski who travelled from Kamloops to attend the ceremony.

The lab is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is now open on Saturday by appointment only from 8 a.m. to noon.

“We wanted to improve the access for people who work during the week,” said Pincott.

“We hope they will take advantage of the Saturday opening.”

She added this may alleviate the lineups for the morning hours during the week.

For Saturday laboratory appointments, call 250-395-7600.