Registered nurses Sylvie Tanguay (left) and Wendy Imhoff (right) adjust the existing infant resuscitation warmer at Penticton Regional Hospital, while obstetrics nurse manager Maureen Spinks looks on. The Sandra Schmirler Foundation is donating $35,000 for a new infant warmer at PRH prior to their telethon on TSN this Sunday during the Scotties ladies curling championship at the SOEC. Submitted photo

Schmirler Foundation gives warmly for newborns at Penticton hospital

The Sandra Schmirler Foundation has arrived in the city with a gift for the Penticton hospital

While Canada’s top women’s curlers seek a national title in Penticton, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation has arrived in the city with a $35,000 gift for the nursery at Penticton Regional Hospital.

“At the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, we believe that all champions start small. We are delighted to make this donation to the Penticton Regional Hospital in memory of Sandra Schmirler and her love of family,” said Brad Sylvester, chair of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation Board.

The donation, to be presented on Saturday, Jan. 27 during the opening weekend of the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, will fund a new neonatal infant resuscitation warmer for PRH.

Each year, the national foundation supports neonatal programs across Canada in honour of Sandra Schmirler, the late Olympic and world curling champion who died of cancer at age 36 in March 2000.

Related: Closer look at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts field in Penticton

Since its inception in 2001, the Schmirler Foundation has donated millions of dollars to 48 different hospital newborn intensive care units – including more than $500,000 to six hospitals in B.C. The money stems from their national telethon on TSN, this year being held on Sunday, January 28th.

“These funds helped purchase equipment that is saving the lives of babies born premature and critically ill right across Canada,” said Sylvester.

An average of 550 babies a year are born at PRH – some of them prematurely.

Maureen Spinks, the hospital’s nurse manager of obstetrics, said the infant resuscitation warmer supports the needs of premature and sick newborns by providing controlled heating to maintain a baby’s body temperature, while supporting breathing and oxygen delivery, and monitoring the infant’s heart rate.

Spinks said the PRH nursery’s current infant resuscitation unit is now more than 15 years old and definitely needs to be updated.

“It’s been on our capital equipment acquisition list for a period of time now. The timing of the Schmirler Foundation gift is fantastic,” she said.

Carey Bornn, executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation, noted the Sandra Schmirler Foundation funding comes while PRH is undergoing a major expansion.

“The infant warmer was not included among the new medical equipment we’re acquiring for the new hospital tower,” Bornn said. “This is a real bonus.”

Related: Scotties Tournament of Hearts a stone’s throw away

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit also praised the Schmirler Foundation gift.

“The contribution from the Sandra Schmirler Foundation to Penticton Regional Hospital was a welcome surprise and an unexpected benefit of our sponsorship of Scotties,” said Jakubeit. “We’re thrilled to see Penticton added to the list of communities that have benefitted from the legacy of the remarkable Sandra Schmirler.”

The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be held from Jan. 27 to Feb. 4 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Just Posted

Jerri & the Cheap Dates take the stage at Nest & Nectar

Catch their live performance Mar. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Princeton man charged in thefts from volunteer fire hall

A Princeton man appeared in circuit court here February 14, facing charges… Continue reading

Find your freaky side at Army of Sass’ SIDESHOW

The 360 degree circus-themed production comes to Penticton Lakeside Resort Mar. 23

Okanagan weather watch: Snow on the way

Flurries have been predicted for most of the Okanagan Valley today

VIDEO: A glimpse into OneWorld Penticton

Hear from performers and presenters at the annual multicultural festival

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

One of B.C.’s newest citizens reflects on the value of immigration

“People who come by choice to another country will do everything to contribute to that country.”

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Team BC sitting 4th at Canada Winter Games after 1st week

Team BC ringette featuring Kelowna’s Brooklyn Keller finished 4th

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Salmon Arm Silverbacks fall to Penticton Vees in third-period upset

Early lead disintegrates into 5-2 finish for Penticton

Most Read