(Leah Bousfield/RIMBEY REVIEW)

Former patient returns favour through donation to Rimbey Hospital Legacy Committee

It’s not what you receive in this life that matters the most, it’s what you give, and local resident Garry Sturm has been waiting since 2011 to do just that.

“Garry found himself in the hospital in 2011,” explained Rimbey Hospital Legacy Committee chair Patrick Rurka, who received the donation from Sturm recently. “He remembers that his bed was donated by someone. Although he didn’t have the funds at the time, Garry said he looked forward to the day when he could donate. He recently sold some land and was able to make that dream come true.”

Sturm donated $8,000 to the committee.

“Our sole purpose is to allocate funds donated to the hospital for things that benefit the patients,” said Rurka.

Previously, the committee had been known as the Rimbey Health Services Donation Committee, but the organization underwent a name change at the beginning of March 2022 to better reflect its new goals.

“We want to see the sustainability of the rural hospital,” Rurka explained. “We are helping individuals create that legacy for their family name in the hospital.” Not to mention the legacy it leaves behind for the residents of Rimbey and the surrounding area to have such an advanced healthcare facility.

“We are an arms-length group to help fill the needs identified by the staff to improve care,” said Rurka.

This year, the committee was able to raise over $160,000 for a portable x-ray machine. This machine allows the technician to bring the x-ray machine right to the patient’s bed, rather than having an immobile patient struggling to get to the x-ray machine, onto the x-ray table, off again and then back to his or her room.

“This is a game-changer for patients,” said Rurka. “Now patients can get information faster, the images will be better because the tech can view them at the bedside and the process will be easier.”

Anyone that donates to the hospital can allocate where their funds go, or it can be an open donation, to be used for whatever is currently needed and this is the option Sturm chose for his donation.

“The main thing right now is to finish putting a patient lift in each room,” said Rurka. A patient lift only requires one nurse helping the patient, which means mobilizing a patient can happen faster. The lift can move the patient out of bed and even right into the bathroom.

After the name change and revamping the board, the committee is determined to be more active in raising funds, hosting a golf tournament this year, a donor appreciation barbeque during the last week of August and an Oktoberfest celebration on October 22, including a supper, dance and auction.

If you would like to donate, visit rimbeyhospitallegacycommittee.com. Every dollar donated stays in the Rimbey Hospital.