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Watch: Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital the focus of 2019 Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off


In 2019 the Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital are hoping to deal with a problem that’s been plaguing the organization pretty much from the beginning.  Due to the nature of what they do, the “Friends” tend to fly way below the radar.  While the Foundation raises millions for critical services, the Friends offer a different type of support… raising smaller amounts of money for medical furniture, fixtures, comfort equipment and even personal grooming items.

The Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital kind of fill in the gaps.  Items the group purchase have a cost cap of $4,999.00 and that’s a major reason most Central Albertans don’t know too much about the organization.  Although these comfort items tend to be smaller and less “news worthy” than critical equipment purchases, there’s no doubt they contribute immensely to the way Central Albertans experience their hospital.

This lack of recognition is something the Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off is pretty good at helping with.  With dozens of celebrity dancer / fundraisers, Dance Off has helped bring attention to important groups like Red Deer Hospice, Aspire, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer.  Every year the celebrities do an amazing job not only raising money, but also raising the profile of the charity partner.   Dance Off Chair Christine Moore always finds at least one or two celebrities with a special connection to the charity partner.  This year one of those special people is Vanessa Higgins-Nogareda.  Vanessa has worked as a nurse at Red Deer Regional for 15 years.  See this video profile to learn about Vanessa’s very special understanding of the role played by the Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.


Edmonton community members explore using the Emergency Room as an entry point to transitional housing



Is there a better way than simply releasing a person experiencing homelessness from the hospital back onto the street? It creates an endless cycle of emergency room visits and escalating costs, not to mention the challenges the patients face in having a successful recovery.

As we continue to look for solutions to homelessness in our city, a group of community members from different fields and backgrounds met recently to brainstorm and discuss alternatives to the practice of releasing patients into a state of homelessness.

That’s a long way of saying that if someone experiencing homelessness comes to an emergency room with a need for medical aid, the only alternative once treated is to release the patient back onto the street.  The chances of recovery are greatly diminished, while the probability of return visits increases.  The costs are severe, both to the person experiencing homelessness and to our ever-more expensive health care system.

Spearheading the initiative is Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, a veteran emergency room physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and a Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.

Watch this short video to hear from some of those involved and to better understand the concept and learn why there is a growing groundswell of support for this idea.


There are many ways that people can get involved with this initiative.  It’s common sense that housing and health are interconnected. Finding solutions to chronic homelessness and easing pressure on our health care system is something we can all get behind.

Please contact Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti directly to learn more about the project and how you can help:

Phone 780.932-7187


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Fort Normandeau Days August 24 and 25



Fort Normandeau

Post Submitted by Tanya Wells, Public Programmer & Special Events Coordinator, Kerry Wood Nature Centre & Historic Fort Normandeau

The rain has made everything so beautiful and green. It has been a little cool but this is the type of weather that can make for some great outdoor adventuring and family time!  We have some amazing events coming up at both of our sites.

Join us this weekend at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre for our Trash to Treasure program that runs from 10:00a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Join us at our Fort Normandeau site for Fort Normandeau Days, our biggest party of the season as we celebrate life at the crossing, circa 1885.  There will be battle demonstrations, performers, vendors and activities for the whole family!

Fort Normandeau Days is happening Both Saturday and Sunday, August 24 & 25 from noon until 5:00p.m. each day.

So many great events and programs to choose from.

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august, 2019

tue06augAll Daysun29sepHot Mess - Erin Boake featured at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery(All Day)

sat24augAll Daysun25Fort Normandeau Days(All Day) Fort Normandeau, 28054 Range Road 382

sat24aug10:00 am12:00 pmRed Deer River Naturalists Bird Focus Group Walk10:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Three Mile Bend Recreation Area