Airdrie Health Co-op receives large grant
Tuesday, Jul 18, 2017 06:00 am
The Airdrie and Area Health Benefits Co-operative (AAHBC) is the recipient of the largest Community Grant handed out this year by The Calgary Foundation. The grant of $145,000 will be used to further the aims of the AAHBC.
“We are honoured and grateful to The Calgary Foundation and the 70 volunteers on the selection committee for this grant and for recognizing our common mission and values, including facilitating sharing, collaboration and learning, as well as inspiring a community with citizens engaged in community building,” AAHBC CEO, Dr. Tom Feasby, said.
“The alignment of our goals is remarkable. We are pleased the Calgary Foundation recognized this and chose to partner with the residents of Airdrie and area to support our intent to become Canada’s healthiest city.”
The AAHBC – formally incorporated as a co-operative in Alberta in December 2016 – will provide primary and proactive healthcare and emergent/urgent care to residents of Airdrie and area.
Senior healthcare, mental health and addiction services, secondary health such as physiotherapy and acupuncture, as well as dentistry and eye care, will be offered through the health co-op and membership is free. Feasby was hired and began work in January.
The City of Airdrie provided a total of $450,000 to the AAHBC in start-up funds in 2016 and 2017, which the AAHBC will pay back over time. Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown said he was pleased the organization was successful in receiving funding from The Calgary Foundation.
“The city administered the application as we strongly believe in the evolving role of AAHBC in furthering our efforts for community building and integrating our existing health-related programs, organizations and charities, which are already focused on making us an even healthier community,” Brown said.
“Only so much can be done through the provincial healthcare system. The foresight of The Calgary Foundation will help all of us in Airdrie increasingly own our own health while reducing the need for ‘sick care’ in hospitals,” he said. “This community continues to amaze me – any time they set their minds to an opportunity or problem, a made-in-Airdrie solution emerges. I am proud the foundation has recognized this.”
According to Mark Seland, AAHBC spokesman, the Community Grant from The Calgary Foundation will be used for “community engagement to have a dialogue about health and healthcare and owning your own health.”
The AAHBC is also currently fundraising with a total of $300,000 raised to date in private donations. The organization has a goal of raising $2 million by the end of the year. A website was launched June 12 at airdriehealth.ca
“The scale and positive community impact expected through the City of Airdrie and AAHBC’s community building as a foundation for a proactive approach to community health is impressive and unique,” Calgary Foundation President and CEO Eva Friesen said. “We are pleased to support such a bold community-led initiative. We look forward to seeing this progress and watching the citizens of the greater Airdrie area collectively work toward such a worthwhile goal.”