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Rotarians Fund Infant Care Project Through Wildfire Relief Donations

- New Healthcare Technology to Enhance Infant Care -



Fort McMurray, Alberta – The Northern Lights Health Foundation is pleased to announce that the Rotary District 5370 Charitable Foundation – Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fund is donating $143,500 to advance infant care in our region.


The Northern Lights Regional Health Care facility provides maternity and infant care, and supports approximately 1300 births a year. Over the past few years, the Maternal/Child ward of the hospital has seen a number of renewal projects to offer increased health services for both pre-term and post-delivery patients. Thanks to a donation from the Rotary District 5370 Charitable Foundation – Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fund, the department will begin replacing the infant warmer and resuscitation units used by every newborn.

“The new standard for infant care is the Panda iRes Baby Warmer units,” said Juanita Pilgrim, Manager of Maternity and Pediatrics. “All newborns are placed in the unit for weighing, monitoring, and medical interventions and for additional support; the units provide technology to ensure local level 1 special care for pre-term infants. This means that we can provide care for babies who are born as early as 35 weeks gestation, and who require extra supports including respiratory (breathing) support, intravenous (IV) therapy, and other types of specialized newborn care.”

“We intend to replace all eleven (11) of the infant units that are currently in use on the Maternal/child ward”, said Cindy Amerongen, executive director of the Health Foundation. “This is a very costly replacement valued at approximately $400,000 and is taken with great care and selection of the best technology available. You can see how important the Rotary Fire Relief Funding is to enable the full replacement and get these new warmers onto the ward. Beyond the regular care of newborns the department often needs to stabilize infants who must be transferred to other hospitals for other specialized care. Infants who are returning from those specialized care institutions may also need transition time back in the infant warmer prior to heading home.”

“During and after the 2016 wildfire, Rotarians around the world donated thousands of dollars; we want them to know that thousands of babies will be born in this region over the next decade and those newborns and their families will benefit from this generous donation,” continued Amerongen.

“Rotarians strive to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world,’ said Dr. Julius Buski, President District 5370 Charitable Foundation. “Donations poured in from Rotarians who wanted to help the people of this region to recover and rebuild from the wildfire and, through an independent committee of Rotarians and regional stakeholders, we are allocating those donations to projects that have a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of everyone in the region. We are delighted to provide a $143,500 donation to the Northern Lights Health Foundation to assist the hospital with more specialized equipment in the Maternal/Child ward.”

About Rotary District 5370 Rotary Foundation

The object of the Rotary District 5370 Charitable Foundation is to support the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding through humanitarian and educational programs, focused on six areas:  Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution, Disease Prevent/Treatment, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Health, Basic Education and Literacy, and Economic and Community Development. In response to the 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire the Rotary District 5370 Charitable Foundation is assisting in the rebuilding of the city and enabling the region to bounce forward with through funding and volunteerism. For additional information, visit

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