It’s been a pleasure to watch the new health centre rise from its foundations throughout the winter, getting closer to completion every day. I can only imagine the satisfaction felt by those who have been involved since day one, when it was little more than a wish to help the community and an empty bank account.
It’s been a long road, spanning two decades and millions of dollars, comprised of many fundraisers, letters to government, plan A’s and plan B’s and it’s not over yet. In addition to finding a doctor (no small feat as Kamloops and regional residents know), the empty shell must also be equipped with everything needed to make the clinic functional.
As Canadians, we’re not used to privately raising funds to cover our medical expenses. Universal health care is part of our national identity and history, enshrined in the Canada Health Act. But as residents of a unique village and relatively new municipality, like many other issues, the normal rules don’t really apply. In true Sun Peaks style, we’ve taken matters into our own hands and worked for a solution.
The provincial government has kicked in significant funds, but the clinic will be operating outside the regional health care system. This final stretch of fundraising is really up to us. Local businesses have rallied, contributing what they can. As the clinic will help retain much needed staff and grow the community and therefore revenue, it’s not just philanthropy— it’s good business sense. Many residents have also contributed large sums and their generosity will be truly appreciated by those who find themselves in need of medical attention in Sun Peaks.
While the new building will also house ski patrol, privately raised funds will only help outfit the public clinic, separate from Sun Peaks Resort LLP funds for their floor.
After a car accident three years ago, the existing Sun Peaks clinic became my primary point of health care. While the small trailer doesn’t seem like much, it became crucial to my recovery. And I know I’m not alone; most residents and temporary staff find themselves in need of the clinic at some point. Many guests have also been helped with injuries or illness sustained on, and off, the mountain.
In addition to helping Sun Peaks, the clinic will service the entire Heffley Creek and rural area, taking strain off overwhelmed Kamloops walk-ins. Kamloops residents will be invited to use the clinic in the summer months when our population shrinks to numbers too low to sustain the facility.
To help complete this much needed community improvement, Sun Peaks News has partnered with the municipality to create an online campaign. People interested in donating any amount, even $10 or $20, can use their Paypal account or credit card. If all staff, residents and even repeat guests kick in what they can spare, we can help put the finishing touches on this project.
To donate click here. The community of Sun Peaks and the local region thanks you.