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Mountain View County's health funding allocations total $13,195

Seven groups applied for funding under Mountain View County's health support program
Members of the newly-formed Olds Health Professionals Attraction and Retention Committee pose during their initial meeting in Olds council chambers.

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has approved a total of $13,195 in funding for two groups – the Olds & Area Health Professionals Attraction and Retention Committee and the Sundre Hospital Futures Committee – under the municipality’s health support program. 

The move came by way of motion at Sept. 20 council meeting, held in person and online.

Funding under the program is directed to support health programs and services for enhanced and sustainable health care.

“Any allocated funding for health-care initiatives must have a direct benefit to residents of Mountain View County,” chief administrative officer Jeff Holmes said in a briefing note to council. “Projects-programs shall support health initiatives in a capacity such as promotion, prevention, treatment, continuing care and/or rehabilitation.”

Seven groups requested funding in the second round of allocations: the Bethany Care Foundation, Burden Bearers Counselling, Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre, Olds & District Hospice Society, Padnoma Support Services, and the two committees.

Bethany Care Foundation - Bethany Didsbury requested $579.63 to help fund the Opening Minds Through Art program, an intergenerational art-making program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders. 

Burden Bearers Counselling requested $8,900 to support the Mental Health Outreach program, which will “promote counselling within the local region, plan preventative workshops and learning opportunities with the listed organizations as well as suicide prevention awareness with groups such as The Conversation Has To Happen in Olds.

The Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre requested $5,000 for its parenting education program, which addresses risk factors such as “adverse childhood experiences due to poor life skills and parenting behaviours, and poor self-esteem and mental wellness for parent and child.”

The Olds & District Hospice Society requested $10,000 to help provide “support for improved hospice palliative care within the county; specifically to offset monthly lease expenses on two hospice suites in an assisted living facility.”

Pandora Support Services requested $4,010 to provide support services to individuals with developmental disabilities. 

The Olds and Area Health Professionals Attraction and Retention Committee requested $5,000 to support its activities.

“This newly formed committee is focused on attraction and retention of health-care professionals to the community of Olds, as such they are estimating their anticipated costs.”

Those estimated costs include $2,500 in professional fees, $1,500 in marketing and advertising, and $2,500 in welcome packages/food/refreshments.

The Sundre Hospital Futures Committee requested $10,000 to support a proposed upcoming project.

“The committee plans to complete a health needs assessment of the Sundre Hospital region, which will include study of the urban and rural areas of Sundre as well as north and west in Mountain View County.

“The study will provide the source data for both program development and infrastructure planning, working towards a rural health campus within the community.”

During council discussion the matters, Coun. Jennifer Lutz said, “The Olds and Area Health Professionals Attraction and Retention Committee have a really good bunch sitting at the table and they do really need some help with start-up costs. 

“Just getting set up is costing some money and they don’t have any. I’m hoping we can help them to get going.”

Deputy reeve Greg Harris said, “My position would be that when this (health funding program) was originally formed it was about physician attraction and retention. The Olds committee is just starting and I think supporting that would be important.”

He noted that Olds & District Hospice received funding in the first round of funding allocations.

Coun. Alan Miller said, “I think whatever we can do to try and attract doctors in Sundre and in Olds would be dollars well spent.”

Council approved $5,000 for the Olds and Area Health Professionals Attraction and Retention Committee, and $8,195 to the Sundre Hospital Futures Committee for the health needs assessment.

All council members were present at the Sept. 20 council meeting and all voted in favour of the motion.

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