On hand for the $8 million fundraising campaign launch for JoeAnna’s House, a housing project for out-of-town Kelowna General Hospital patients in need of specialized care, were (from left) Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, Creston mom Lisa Dear, Interior Health vice-president of medicine and quality Dr. Michael Ertel and Kelowna Hospital Foundation executive director Doug Rankmore. Photo Credit: Barry Gerding/Black Press

Accommodation plan revealed for out-of-town Kelowna hospital patients

KGH Foundation launches $8 million fundraising campaign for JoeAnna’s House.

Kelowna General Hospital will join the ranks of some of the most advanced health care facilities in the country by the fall of 2019 when on-site, short-term accommodations will be available to families of patients travelling for specialized medical care.

The KGH Foundation officially announced the start of a two-year Better Together campaign today to raise the $8 million necessary to open JoeAnna’s House, an urgently needed home away from home to keep families together when they need it most.

“It’s no longer the case that patients and children requiring advanced care are travelling to Vancouver, Calgary or Victoria,” said Dr. Michael Ertel, a longstanding Emergency Department physician at KGH and vice-president of medicine and quality for Interior Health.

“As the leading referral hospital for over 750,000 residents in the Southern Interior, at any given time, one in four beds at KGH is occupied by a patient from outside the Central Okanagan.”

JoeAnna’s House will be a home with approximately 20 rooms to house up to 20 families.

“I was told to pack my bags for two days,” recalled Lisa Dear, a mother from Creston, whose newborn son Zacharias was transferred to KGH unexpectedly in the spring of 2016 at seven weeks premature.

“I had no idea we would be in Kelowna for five weeks while Zach was in the NICU. Having JoeAnna’s House would have meant the world to me and my family and would have alleviated so much of the hardship we experienced during that incredibly difficult time.”

As Kelowna General continues to expand its capacity to provide advanced care in an increasing variety of medical specialties, housing the families of patients travelling for care has become a matter of growing concern.

“Finding accommodation for these families can be very challenging,” noted Gail Harrison, past president and grant coordinator of Cops for Kids Charitable Foundation, an organization that has previously assisted in helping families like the Dears.

“Hotel vacancies are at an all-time low, and often the financial burden without our assistance is simply too overwhelming.”

“We are thrilled to finally announce this campaign,” added KGH Foundation chief executive officer Doug Rankmore.

“We know it will be a real barn-raiser in our community, and are so grateful to the Huber family and Prestige Hotels & Resorts for their leadership in initiating the project.”

The Kelowna-based Huber family has committed $1 million to support the construction of JoeAnna’s House in honor of their late parents, Josef and Anna Huber.

“Kelowna is a caring community that always pulls together in difficult times,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. ”I know we’re going to pull together for JoeAnna’s House so that families going through a difficult time have a sanctuary where they can be together when they need it the most.”

The KGH Foundation is an independent, volunteer-driven charitable organization committed to enhancing the delivery of healthcare to the patients of Kelowna General Hospital and its associated facilities.


@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Supporting survivors of breast cancer

Survivorship shows there is life beyond cancer

Foreigner feeling like the first time after 40

Foreigner doesn’t miss a beat after 40 years

Octoberfest is the toast of the town

Eighth annual night of fun, music and brews

Vees lose 4-2 to Wenatchee

The Vees face the Wild again Wednesday, on home ice

Search continues after human remains located

The search of the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road enters its fourth day

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

A golden opportunity

Orthodontist offers sweet deal for the pocketbook

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Reel Reviews: Nothing left to lose

We say, “Grieving Quan kicks butt”

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Most Read