Goal of $2.5M set for “Cardiac Care Campaign” by The Hospitals of Regina Foundation

Hospitals of Regina Foundation has launched a new cardiac care fundraising campaign and are getting a boost in the process from Municipal Hail Insurance.

The Cardiac Care Campaign is set to raise $2.5 million to upgrade the technology in the Regina General Hospital’s second Catheterization Lab, located in the Mosaic Heart Centre. Municipal Hail Insurance has pledged to match donations upwards to $1 million in support of the campaign.

A big reason why Municipal Hail Insurance is getting involved is because of their strong connection to the ag sector. According to data from a US study tracking the cause of death farm workers between 1994 and 2019, a total of 70 per cent of farmer deaths were related to heart disease. It’s been theorized this is connected to the stress, number of hours worked and physical exertion from farming.

“This means a lot to Municipal Hail to be able to help people, help rural Saskatchewan and help of course this exciting project,” said Rodney Schoettler, CEO of Municipal Hail Insurance.

Dignitaries at the launch of the Hospitals of Regina Foundation campaign include Rodney Schoettler of Municipal Hail Insurance, Dr. Andrea Lavoie (lead cardiologist), Mayor Sandra Masters, Health Minister Everett Hindley, SHA CEO Andrew Will and Dino Sophocleous, CEO Hospitals of Regina Foundation. John Cairns

“The connection between heart disease and farming is one of the reasons Municipal Hail is so interested in partnering with Hospitals of Regina Foundation. We’re extremely proud to celebrate our new partnership and the creation of the Saskatchewan Municipal Hail, Insurance Cardiac Care Fund, which will support the foundation’s Cardiac Care Campaign… it gives me great pleasure to note that Municipal Hail, an organization operated by farmers for farmers, will be part of the guaranteeing that essential cardiac care is available to everyone in Saskatchewan. It is indeed an honor.”

“This is an exceptional commitment,” said Dino Sophocleous, President and CEO of Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “$1 million is quite a bit of money, a matching $1 million dollar gift is very significant to this foundation… This is an exceptional commitment by Municipal to our collective health, and it means that every donation from this community for this project will have twice the impact.”

The announcement was made at Regina General Hospital in front of dignitaries including Minister of Health Everett Hindley, Mayor Sandra Masters and SHA President Andrew Will. 

Hindley noted this was personal for him: his father had farmed in the Melfort area and had also suffered a heart attack. He survived, but it “hits pretty close to home,” he said. 

He thanked Municipal Hail Insurance and Hospitals of Regina Foundation for their efforts.

“Announcements like today’s ensure that cardiac teams are well supported in the reference to provide exceptional care right here in Saskatchewan. And further access to the most current technology will allow Saskatchewan to be an attractive place for healthcare professionals, to live, work, and raise a family.”

The Catheterization Lab is used to diagnose and treat coronary artery disease, and critical heart problems related to the blockage of blood vessels to the heart. According to the Hospitals of Regina Foundation, last year almost 2500 procedures were completed in the Cath Labs in Regina. Those include 88 TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation) procedures, up 300 per cent from when it was first offered in 2016.

This campaign follows on the heels of the upgrade of the first Cath Lab in Regina in 2020, which received a $2 million donation at that time from the Hospitals of Regina Foundation. According to Dr. Andrea Lavoie, lead cardiologist at Regina General Hospital, the upgrade included a state of the art new medical imaging system to provide real time imaging of patients’ arteries and the heart.

“Now, Cath Lab 2 must receive an upgrade to ensure our cardiac specialists have the latest technology available to them,” said Lavoie. She said the $2.5 million campaign “means a lot to us and so we send a very heartfelt thank you to all of you.”

For more information on how to donate go to www.hrf.sk.ca, or call 306-781-7500.

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