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For Immediate Release
Thursday March 9, 2017

Imperial and Fort McKay First Nation join Gratitude Campaign

Fort McMurray, Alberta - Thursday February 23rd was a significant and special day for the Northern Lights Health Foundation’s Gratitude Campaign.  The $16 million Gratitude Campaign is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the foundation’s history with the goal of bringing world class health care to Wood Buffalo. Joining with our industry partners in the region will bring the vision of the campaign that much closer to reality.

On the afternoon of February 23rd, representatives from Imperial, Alberta Health Services, and the Health Foundation were on hand to publicly announce a $250,000 donation to the Gratitude Campaign and specifically to the Palliative Care Project which is now nearly fully funded.

The current palliative care area at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre consists of two standard hospital rooms with enough space for a patient bed, chair, and when required, a cot for overnight stays.  This exciting donation from Imperial to the Foundation’s Gratitude Campaign will ensure that renovations to the two existing rooms and the addition of a third will provide terminally-ill patients and their families a comfortable, home-like setting during end-of-life care.

The renovated suites will accommodate both the family and the patient, and enable health professionals to provide clinical care in a calm, serene environment. These new suites will improve the quality of life, dignity and respect, for patients so families have every opportunity to enjoy their time together at this very difficult final stage.

“We extend a sincere thank you to Imperial for their generous support of the Gratitude Campaign. Their contribution towards the long term health and wellness of families in the Wood Buffalo region is outstanding,” said Cindy Amerongen, Executive Director of the Health Foundation. “This gift from Imperial will allow the Health Centre to continue providing excellent palliative care and ensure families in Wood Buffalo have a peaceful environment to spend time and make cherished memories with loved ones.”

In addition to the Imperial donation, on Thursday evening, at the Fort McKay First Nation 30th Anniversary celebration, it was announced that the First Nation along with a consortium of partner companies, would be pledging $550,000 to the Gratitude Campaign’s general fund.  In a video presentation revealed at the celebration, Melanie Antoine, chair of the foundation’s Board of Directors, says that companies investing in healthcare in the region are really investing in their own business “They are investing in their workers, their families, their friends, and their loved ones.  It’s a win-win for everyone.” Fort McKay First Nations Chief Jim Boucher agrees. “I think it’s important that we all stand behind the hospital and support this important campaign”.

In recognition of the donation, the Medicine Wheel Room, located on the 4th floor of the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, will be renamed in honor of First Nations Elder Margaret MacDonald who spent time in the continuing care unit prior to her passing in 2015.  The Medicine Wheel Room is an important gathering place for Aboriginal patients and residents and provides a meaningful space to spend time with loved ones or hold cultural ceremonies. Margaret was very active in getting the room added and was also one of the first Aboriginal members of the foundation’s Board of Directors.

Thanks to the generosity of our partners like Fort McKay and Imperial, as well as our individual donors, every contribution improves the lives of our friends, family, and the future of Wood Buffalo.  Together, we will build a thriving and healthy community to be proud of for generations to come. Learn more about the Fort McKay First Nation's commitment to the Gratitude Campaign here.

About the Northern Lights Health Foundation
Established in 1985, the Northern Lights Health Foundation exists to provide funds to support health care priorities within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The Health Foundation is proudly accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. For more information, visit

About The Gratitude Campaign
The $16 million Gratitude Campaign is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the history of the Northern Lights Health Foundation. The Campaign is comprised of eight projects: Minimally Invasive Surgical Suites, the Multi-purpose Clinic, Palliative Care, Community Clinics, Health Centre Lobby, the Healthy Schools Initiative, Continuing Care and the Early Investments Project. For more information, visit


For more information, please contact:
Lana Luchenski
Donor Relations Officer
Northern Lights Health Foundation
Tel: 780-788-1715


Fort McKay gift.jpg

Pictured above: Fort McKay First Nation Chief Jim Boucher, Melanie Antoine, Chair of the Northern Lights Health Foundation Board of Directors, members of the Fort McKay First Nation group of companies and Health Foundation board members. This generous donation of $550,000 was announced at the First Nation's recent 30th anniversary celebration.


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