Building Community Health Care through Outreach and Volunteer Support

Ann Keith and her husband moved to Canmore in 1998, shortly after their son and his wife. She didn’t waste any time diving into the community.

Keith said when she moved to the Bow Valley, she asked herself, “where can my time be well spent, where can my skills be used?”

Years ago, Keith and her husband – an avid golfer – started volunteering at the Canmore and Area Health Care Foundation’s annual golf tournament. It’s an event she’s now chaired for the past couple of years.

“I realize that the government can’t do it all and in every town the community decides what it needs most,” said Keith, who is secretary of the CAHCF’s board.

Keith’s “resourcefulness has helped recruit some solid Board members to the CAHCF,” said Soulafa Al-Abbasi, Executive Director of the Canmore and Area Health Care Foundation.

“She also helped bring on board many of our golf tournament’s loyal sponsors,” said Al-Abbasi.

Keith, who moved her mother to Canmore about five years ago, has seen the hospital’s quality care. She said the hospital has been a huge support to her mother.

“It is important, especially for a senior who may not feel completely comfortable and maybe is extremely worried to have friendly faces and if you go there more than once or twice you do seem to see the same nurses, the same doctors in emergency,” said Keith, whose mother is now in her 90s. “Everyone has treated my mother very well…she feels completely safe in that environment.”

While her mother is healthy and only needs to go into the Canmore General Hospital occasionally, Keith said it’s reassuring to know they are just minutes’ away from getting her mother into emergency care.

Keith said she’s seen a “real value in and results from” her involvement with the CAHCF. In addition to years of volunteer hours at the golf tournament and on the foundation’s board, she herself is also a donor.

Al-Abbasi described Keith as “a role model to many in our community; a true community-builder, especially in the area of healthcare.”

Serving on the CAHCF’s board for six years now, Keith’s support and efforts are valued by the foundation.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have her as part of the CAHCF team,” said Al-Abbasi.

The golf tournament, hosted by the Silvertip Golf Resort, is the foundation’s largest fundraiser, bringing in an average of 90-100 thousand dollars annually. All proceeds from the tournament support what the Canmore General Hospital’s administration identifies as the hospital’s area of greatest need. In 2016, money raised went towards updates to the hospital’s long-term care unit, Golden Eagle View.

Keith’s goal is to get more community members on board in whatever way she can. When people consider how they can make donations in the Bow Valley, she said the CAHCF should be on the list.

“If we can increase the support for the hospital it benefits ourselves of course, but the entire community,” said Keith.

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Ann Keith, current CAHCF secretary, has volunteered at the foundation’s golf tournament for years. Over the next three years, the CAHCF aims to raise $1.5 million through the tournament and generous donors.

ken Pillipow