After hunkering down the past couple of months, it’s great to emerge from our anti-virus cocoons, says John Moorhouse. (Phil McLachlan - Western News - File)

Column: Penticton Regional Hospital returning to ‘new normal’

If we’ve learned anything over the last few months, it’s how important good health is in our lives.

John Moorhouse, Submitted

After hunkering down the past couple of months, it’s great to emerge from our anti-virus cocoons.

At Penticton Regional Hospital, elective surgeries have resumed and we’re starting to return to the “new normal”. We’re also pleased to say the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation office in the main lobby of the David Kampe Tower at PRH is now open again.

The reopening comes as we start our latest campaign – raising $3 million towards a new CT Scanner to be located near the PRH Emergency Department. Actually, the total project cost is $5 million, which also includes the cost of the major renovations required.

READ MORE: Penticton woman to ‘load up the cart’ with toys for local hospital

READ MORE: Local construction company makes $1.7 million donation to Penticton hospital

The Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District is funding 40 per cent of the total bill – leaving the SOS Medical Foundation to fund the remainder. As has been well-publicized, Peters Bros. Construction has agreed to donate $1.7 million which leaves $1.3 million to be raised from others in our region. Huge kudos to Peters Bros. as they continue to prove what a fantastic community supporter they really are.

If we’ve learned anything over the last few months of social-distancing, it’s how important good health is in our lives. Here’s an opportunity to show your support for PRH and further improve local healthcare. To donate, visit our website Sosmedicalfoundation.com.

Speaking of support, we’re definitely smiling over the kind words the frontline staff at PRH have received from the community during our recent White Heart Project. So many people responded with messages of appreciation which are now posted on White Hearts on the walls in the hospital. It’s not too late to add your voice to the chorus. Just email a short message (10 words or less) to sosmedicalfoundation@interiorhealth.ca which we’ll then post in the hospital.

Another positive sign for the community is the reopening of the Care Closet thrift store at 574 Main St.

READ MORE: Shoppers line up hours early for reopening of Penticton’s Care Closet Thrift Store

Net profits from the Care Closet go to its three partner organizations – the Penticton Hospital Auxiliary, Penticton & District Hospice Society and the SOS Medical Foundation. Run by two staff members and a small army of volunteers, the Care Closet fills a real need in our community while supporting local hospice and health care. Last year alone, it generated about $180,000 shared by the three organizations. A bigThank You to Care Closet customers, volunteers and staff.

It was certainly disappointing to learn that this year’s Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. The race was going to take on a new look this year as the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and Summerland Rotary Club prepared to join the Summerland Yacht Club in hosting the 6th annual bathtub event at Powell Beach in Trout Creek.

Over its first five years, the Yacht Club raised more than $125,000 for PRH through the Bathtub Race. It’s an incredible success story – looking forward to the 2021 event.

John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. For information on donating, please call 250-492-9027 or visit our website sosmedicalfoundation.com.

READ MORE: Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

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