An upcoming charity ball hopes to raise money for Hearts For Health Care while educating the public about an international brotherhood.
The third annual Masonic Masquerade Ball is scheduled for Jan. 23 at the Lakeland Inn.
“The idea behind the ball was to make the town aware the masons existed and what good we do within the community,” said Shawn Lamothe, Senior Warden of Astra Lodge #179.
“The reason we picked Hearts for Healthcare as our charity was because everybody from newborn to an old man or old woman in long term care benefits from the money raised.”
A limited number of tickets are available to the event, which will feature a five-course meal, table service and entertainment from the 4 Wing Band and other local musicians.
“We have some speeches and stuff going on, we have silent auction items, we play a few games to raise some money,” Lamothe said.
“It’s well-received in this community and well-attended.”
All the money raised gets donated back to charity.
“The masons keep absolutely no money. We give all the money that we collect that evening, we give it all away, we give it back to them,” Lamothe said.
“We benefit nothing except putting the word out there that the masons exist in Cold Lake for those people who wish to join.”
Lamothe said the Freemasons are an international fraternity open to men of all religious and political backgrounds.
“We are a non-religious organization so all people of all religions can join, we are non-political, we do not allow religion or politics to be discussed in our lodge, so there is never any argument in the lodge over the stuff we try to stay away from when we try to build character,” Lamothe said.
Many believe the masons are a cult, or have other conspiracy theories about the group.
“None of it’s true,” Lamothe said. “The Freemasons are the oldest fraternity in the world,” Lamothe said.
“It started in 1717. It’s a character-building organization where we take good men and make them better.”
The City of Cold Lake met with Alberta Health Services (AHS) on Oct. 6 to discuss the ongoing Code Red concerns, but since then they have received no further correspondence.
Code Red is when there isn’t an ambulance available to service the area.
“They haven’t gotten back to us and it’s very frustrating. This has been going on for more than just a month, this has been going on for years,” said Mayor Craig Copeland.
“And don’t get me wrong, the ambulance service out of Bonnyville and Cold Lake do a tremendous job but it’s the bureaucracy of AHS that is the issue.”
According to council’s report on the Oct. 6 meeting, the City of Cold Lake and AHS had a difference of opinion with regard to the ambulance service issues.
The two groups had conflicting standpoints in terms of the service levels being delivered (what Cold Lake Ambulance Society is actually delivering), what the service levels AHS feel is necessary for the community, and what service levels are expected by the City of Cold Lake and CLAS).
“There should always be an ambulance in our city and we want AHS to be on the same page as that and they won’t commit to it. They’re comfortable with a 96 per cent test on meeting that goal and it’s the other four per cent that happens and where this fails,” said Copeland.
Cold Lake has faced several Code Red situations over the past few months.
According to Copeland, the extent of time that the city has been without an ambulance has ranged from 15 minutes to longer than three hours.
“I mean what people in Cold Lake and Bonnyville should realize is that there’s no guarantees right now that you will have an ambulance available. And so right now the way central dispatch is out of Edmonton, our ambulances can be tagged anywhere and everywhere,” said Copeland.
“Having an ambulance sitting in Ardmore or in Bonnyville to cover Cold Lake is unacceptable. But AHS seems to be comfortable that Cold Lake has had over 100 hours of Code Red - meaning no ambulance in our city - and they seem to think that that’s ok.”
Over the Oct. 24 weekend, Cold Lake was hit with another Code Red involving a single vehicle collision at the corner of English Bay road and 1st Ave.
Three people were ejected from the vehicle, and while the incident happened within walking distance of the hospital, first responders had to wait several minutes for the ambulance to arrive to ensure the victims were moved safely.
“We had two ambulances already out of the city on calls and our third ambulance was a flex car which means AHS only pays CLAS 10 hours of pay but the ambulance has to be available 24 hours. So while the workers are not on pay they are on standby, but they can be at their house. The workers had to go to the station and get in the car and bring the ambulance to the call,” said Copeland.
The first ambulance that arrived was the flex car, 17 minutes after the call went out. The other patients had to wait for vehicles to arrive from Bonnyville.
“So the issue is that the other ambulances were getting dispatched out of Bonnyville for this call when we were asking for the fourth car to be instigated right away,” Copeland said.
The city has written to the province on several occasions to address the ongoing issue and has detailed each of these Code Red instances.
Despite these constant efforts, AHS and Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman have provided minimal correspondence and have yet to take any positive action to alleviate the issue.
“I don’t know what we’re supposed to do. The big issue for us is to get an answer on that call that just happened a few nights ago. We haven’t gotten anything back from them but I just basically wrote an email to these two AHS people that we’ve met with and said ‘hey, look at this call, 17 minutes to get an ambulance out’,” said Copeland.
“You could actually physically see the hospital from where the accident was. So the level of service is deteriorating and we’re just trying to shine the light on it.”
A Cold Lake nurse has been recognized for excellence in patient and family-friendly care.
Shane Campbell, a nurse on the acute care floor of the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre, is the first recipient of the patient and family care award.
He beat out 34 other nurses from across the North Zone for the honour.
On Oct. 8, Shelly Pusch, Chief Zone Officer, AHS North Zone came to Cold Lake to present Campbell with the award.
Campbell was surprised he won.
“I really didn’t expect to get it to be honest,” he said.
“My peers were the ones who actually nominated me. Whenever I’m taking care of someone in the hospital, it’s nice to have recognition for it because it just shows that my patients really appreciate what I’m doing.”
Campbell said building good relationships with families is “really important.
“I get more job satisfaction, and half the battle is gaining a good relationship with patients and their families. Once you can, it’s kind of like you gain more information about what the patient wants.
“The whole idea behind patient-centred care is getting the patient what they need, pushing aside your own medical knowledge and your own views and making sure you’re doing what’s best for the patient to make sure they’re getting the medical care they want.”
Campbell wasn’t the only one surprised by his win.
Cold Lake site manager Cathi Garon wasn’t even aware that Campbell was nominated.
“The Staff that work with him got together... and told the nomination committee the things that Shane does to put patients and family first,” she explained.
“When he initially makes contact with the patient, his whole purpose for being there, that 12-hour shift, is to put the patient’s needs first, and to advocate between that patient and other disciplines like occupational therapy or physical therapy.”
Garon said the award is an indication hospital staff have embraced the new patient- and family-centred care initiative.
“Health care has changed in that it used to be all about the patient, and now it’s about including their family and putting them first in the decision making process,” she said.
“One of the things that we do is the day they’re admitted we try to figure out a path home for them. We have white boards at the end of the bed that help them understand and orient them to the day and time and who their nurse is, but also a path home. Because when people come into the hospital they want to know how will I get home? When will I get home? How does this work?”
Garon said that even though Campbell is new to nursing, “I knew when I interviewed him that this kid’s good. He’s that kind of person that when you meet him you just like him. He’s a natural-born nurse, and he just seems to excel at being able to foster a relationship with someone quickly, and having them trust him. They seem to just adore him, and it seems that the staff do too.”
Campbell decided to go into nursing after volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House.
“I was looking after patients and families with sick kids,” Campbell said.
“One of the people I was looking after said I’d make a great nurse. I’d never really thought about it before, but I enjoyed what I do and I’m really happy I made the change.”
Campbell was a biology student - he was allowed to transfer his credits over to nursing school and take an accelerated program which he finished in just two years.
He came from out East, and when Garon interviewed him, she knew he was the right fit for the job.
“I was just anxious to grab him and get him on board. I wanted him before anyone else got him,” she said.
“He came on board and he’s just excelled. He’s phenomenal. We have lots of the staff up here that are that way. What it means for us is that we’re a shining star, and according to AHS, we’re leading in this patient care initiative. I’m pretty excited about it.”
When families visit their loved ones on Acute Care, 3rd Floor, at the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre, often times, they are stressed, worried and tired.
The furniture in the room was worn out and the décor unwelcoming.
In February, Dianne Winship, Administrative Assistant to the Site Manager, approached Furniture Galaxy asking them to consider donating new furniture for the waiting room and they didn’t hesitate for one second.
Murray Murphy and his sons Teegan and Trevor are the owners of Furniture Galaxy.
Along with a design team they visited the waiting room with the Site Manager, Cathi Garon, in their effort to understand the hospital’s needs and make a plan.
The results are gorgeous and everyone loves it!
The room is filled with comfortable, high-end quality leather furniture including two couches, two arm chairs, end tables, mood lighting, reading lamps, wonderful paintings, greenery and a 50” big screen TV!
Now, visitors can find a few moments of comfortable peace and families can gather in times of happiness and sorrow.
We thank the good people at Furniture Galaxy for their support and generosity and appreciate their generous donation very much.
Article in Cold Lake Sun By:
Cathi Garon, Site Manager, Cold Lake Healthcare Centre