Council gets Airdrie Health Foundation update

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Michelle Bates, chair of the Airdrie Health Foundation (AHF), and Allan Hunter, vice chair, provided Airdrie City council with an update on the foundation’s activities at council’s Feb. 20 regular meeting.

According to Bates, the AHF has recently shifted its focus from advocacy to fundraising.

“Seeing as advocacy for 24-hour health care has happened, we have now changed our focus,” she said. “Since AHF started, it has raised over $530,000 to help improve and enhance local health care.”

The AHF began seven years ago after Bates lost her five-year-old son, Lane, who suddenly became ill in the middle of the night. With no access to urgent care after 10 p.m., Lane passed away before the family could get him help.

The AHF was initially formed to advocate for 24-hour health care, which was achieved when the Airdrie Urgent Care Centre began operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week on April 3, 2017. Since then, Bates said the facility sees between 20 and 25 patients per night.

According to Bates, the AHF holds two fundraising rounds per year with one closing Feb. 1 and the other closing Aug. 1.

The AHF is holding its annual Light Up the Night gala fundraiser Sept. 29 at the Genesis Place Recreation Centre. The theme for this year’s black tie affair is A Midsomer’s Night Dream. Last year’s sold out gala raised $108,000.

Bates said the foundation recently approved funding of $120,000 over two years to help support the mental health liaison program with the RCMP and Alberta Health Services.

The funds will be used specifically to pay a portion of the nurse clinicians’ budget.

The AHF also supports a Pregnancy and Beyond program.

“It works with a dietician as well as a nurse and (North Rocky View) Community Links to help moms that are either pregnant or after pregnancy,” Bates said. “(It provides) prevention and support for vulnerable populations in Airdrie and surrounding communities.”

Bates said the AHF was pleased to be able to step in to help support this already existing program which recently lost its funding.

Council unanimously approved a request from staff to rescind the existing Council Reimbursement Policy.

According to Lucy Wiwcharuk, director of finance, the policy is outdated and has been subsumed by the Fiscal Sustainability Framework, developed in the past two years. The current Council Reimbursement Policy will be replaced by the Administrative Business Travel Policy and PCard Policy, which will come to council for approval shortly.

Council was asked by staff to endorse the Council Budget Committee’s recommendation and approve a new Council Procurement Policy.

According to Wiwchurak, this policy outlines how the City prepares requests for proposals, accepts quotes for services or goods and awards contracts.

As with the reimbursement policy, the existing procurement policy is being subsumed by the Fiscal Sustainabilty Framework.

Council unanimously approved a motion to approve adopting the new Council Procurement Policy.

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