Recent History – 2002
June 27, 2002, By Jamie Dirom, Daily News Staff
A campaign designed to let Northern Health Authority know residents don’t want to see health services cut in Dawson Creek has gathered more than 800 responses in its first three days.
The letter campaign, started by local resident Trudy Lord, has seen letters distributed around town at doctors’ offices, schools and businesses. The first 800 responses are from a run of 3,000 letters circulated throughout the city.
Lord said it all started just over a week ago, when she was asked to attend a meeting at Peace River Haven.
That residents’ meeting was closed to the public, and concerns about the future of health care services in the area remained a concern.
Plans to cut seven acute care beds at the local hospital as well as rumours about bed closures at the Haven spurred Lord to start the campaign, so health officials could see the public opposition to such service cuts.
She said she was also inspired by a letter by local doctor Peter Boronowski encouraging residents to speak out about their health care concerns.
Lord said she’s been overwhelmed by the amount of support she’s seen from the community Ñ after pounding the pavement for hours and talking with local businesses, she says almost everyone she’s talked to has been supportive.
“It’s wonderful,” Lord said. “What’s really given me lots of heart is the amount of people who have said, ‘Thank you.’”
The campaign also has a personal angle for Lord — she lost her father, an Alzheimer’s sufferer, to a heart attack a month ago. It took her family a while to get him into a home, but they were thrilled with the level of care he received when he was admitted.
While her father did get care late in his life, Lord said it’s unfathomable to think that families wouldn’t be able to get care for relatives like her father.
“We couldn’t have done it at home,” she said. “If (the service) is not there for some of these other people, you can’t send them home.
“(This campaign) is out of concern for other people,” she said, adding that one day, she and her other family members will need health services.
Lord said that given the response so far, the 3,000 letters currently in circulation may not be enough.
The first 800 letters were sent via courier to Prince George this morning and were expected to have arrived by this afternoon.
The letters ask health officials to respond to local concerns.
The letters are available at numerous locations around town. A central pickup and drop-off location, L&T Lock Services, has also been established. The letters can be picked up and dropped off there to be sent to Prince George.
Lord said anyone who wants to help with the campaign or wants more information can call her at 782-8308 or email her at email@example.com.