Persistence can pay off! That’s the underlying message from the Expanding Community Cancer Care (ECCC) project committee in the Russell area whom, after several years of dialogue between the provincial government and Prairie Mountain Health (PMH), finally received notice that the Russell Health Centre chemotherapy unit space expansion plan would be able to proceed.
ECCC President Gloria Tibbatts says through all the project highs and lows, the announcement acknowledging the chemotherapy unit would undergo a much-needed physical space expansion, with a building addition, is a positive day for the entire area serving clients from 15 communities.
“We are delighted that this project will finally get the green light. It’s been a long time coming, there were certainly some hurdles to overcome. But, this is a testament to all the hard work by the committee and all the support and contributions from our area. We again thank everyone for their continued support, we could not have got to this stage without you!”, Tibbatts said.
The plan calls for construction of added building space at Russell Health Centre, estimated to be about 2,300 square feet. Once completed, the chemotherapy treatment area would move into the new space, which will be about four times larger than the current unit. The ECCC has agreed to raise all the necessary funds for the expansion, which will still need to be coordinated by the PMH’s Capital Planning and Infrastructure department. To date, the ECCC has raised about $1.8-million. PMH will be meeting with the group to discuss project parameters, including construction timelines and costs, in the near future.
Throughout the past few years, several fundraisers have taken place to help raise money for the expansion. Some of the larger ones included the Crop of Hope, Walk of Hope, the Spring Gala, the Russell Trojan hockey games and Tim Horton’s Smile Cookie campaign.
“We’ll continue to push forward to raise more money so that we can finally see this project through. Our group started out on a dream to expand the existing unit to provide better care and a more positive environment for clients and staff. We started with $50 dollars from the hospital’s drink fund in 2014 and it is great to see how far we have come, although we have a little more work to do yet and a lot more pies to make!”
As fundraising efforts continue, donations to the ECCC can still be mailed to: Expanding Community Cancer Care (ECCC), Bag Service # 2, Russell Health Centre, Russell, MB. R0J 1W0. Tax receipts are issued for any donation over $20.
A much-anticipated plan to expand space for the chemotherapy unit at Russell Health Centre has received approval from Manitoba Health. The cost of the building addition will be covered by funds raised through the Expanding Community Cancer Care committee.