This fall, all central Okanagan Shoppers Drug Mart locations joined together to raise $37,490 to help build a home away from home that will allow mothers to stay close to their babies while they grow healthy and strong in the Kelowna General Hospital neonatal intensive care unit.
During September and October, customers had the opportunity to donate at the till to the KGH Foundation’s Better Together campaign to build JoeAnna’s House, a very special home that will allow the families of KGH patients from out of town to stay close to their loved ones while they are in hospital.
Priority will be given to the families of infants and children.
Every year, hundreds of women from outside the central Okanagan must travel to KGH in for their newborns to receive advanced medical care.
Creston mother Lisa Dear’s son Zacharias was born seven weeks premature.
“When my nurse told me that Zach needed to stay for several weeks in the KGH NICU but that I was being discharged, I was stunned. I had no idea where I would go. Having JoeAnna’s House would have been so, so helpful.”
“When a child is sick, the added hardship of leaving home to travel for care can be completely overwhelming,” says Laura White, a social worker at KGH. “Having JoeAnna’s House will significantly reduce the emotional and financial burden on these families.”
It is for this reason that local Shopper’s Drug Mart stores embraced the cause as part of their Growing Women’s Health initiative, an ongoing commitment to advancing women’s health care across the country.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the campaign to build JoeAnna’s House,” says Chase Nickel, pharmacist at the Mission Shopper’s location. Holly Sumner, pharmacist/owner of both Mission locations, adds, “Ensuring that women are able stay close to their children while they are at KGH is essential to the well-being of both mother and child.”
“Shoppers Drug Mart has a reputation for incredible generosity in helping Canadian women be their best,” says Chandel Christie, annual programs director at the KGH Foundation. “With their support, we advance our ability to deliver world-class care to women from across the southern interior of BC.”
The KGH Foundations’ Better Together campaign has committed to raising the $8 million necessary to build JoeAnna’s House.