our hospital, our stories Donor Support Leads the Way to a New Model of Care for Edmonton’s Most Vulnerable

The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation’s $4.25-million campaign for Inner City Health and Wellness received resounding support from individuals and organizations that were inspired and gave generously. 

The Royal Alexandra Hospital’s Inner City Health and Wellness Program has proved to be a real game-changer for treating patients who need treatment for addictions and mental health issues or assistance with finding stable housing as a first step towards a better future. The Program requires significant resources, both financial and personal, in order to be successful. The great success of the program is reflected in the talents of the compassionate and dedicated medical and clinical staff, as well as in the unwavering endorsements from the Edmonton community.

One of the leading corporate donors to the Inner City Health and Wellness Program is Canadian Western Bank (CWB). Their generous commitment was shepherded by Douglas Pratt, Assistant Vice President of CWB, and a member of the board of directors of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation. Pratt was inspired by the novel approach of the Inner City Health and Wellness Program, which he saw as a new solution to an old problem.

“I was very impressed with the whole concept of the Inner City Health program,” says Pratt. “The Royal Alexandra Hospital is situated in the heart of the city, so it’s definitely the right place for a new approach to these significant health and addiction issues. The passion that the ARCH team has for their work and their belief in collaborating with community partners to identify new ways of treating patients was very inspiring. I’m proud that CWB was able to get behind this important program.”

“Canadian Western Bank has had a relationship with the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation for several years,” says Michael Halliwell, CWB's Senior Vice President and Regional General Manger, Northern Alberta Region. “In that time, we’ve witnessed the significant impact this hospital has had in our community, and specifically with the inner city residents of Edmonton. The ARCH team is undertaking the important work designed to reduce the number of emergency room visits by providing customized support for the vulnerable individuals in our community who suffer from complex health issues. We’re very proud to have the opportunity to support another hospital initiative like the Inner City Health and Wellness program.”

The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation’s $4.25-million campaign for Inner City Health and Wellness received resounding support from individuals and organizations that were likewise inspired and gave generously. The three-year pilot program has changed attitudes, both in the community and within the hospital. Now, healthcare teams work more cohesively and more compassionately in treating those who may have a combination of urgent healthcare needs. The two key outcomes have been radically improved access to treatment and significant cost savings to the healthcare system. Since July 2014, more than 1,400 individual patients have been seen at the ARCH clinic, with over 80% receiving a substance use intervention and 44% receiving assistance with social stabilization. For such a small clinic, ARCH is having a huge impact on the community.

“On behalf of the entire team, I want to thank our donors for their generosity,” says Dr. Kathryn Dong, Director of the Inner City Health and Wellness Program. “Community support is helping the Inner City Health and Wellness Program to change the way in which healthcare is delivered to some of Edmonton’s most vulnerable patients, and for this I am deeply grateful.”

(Left to right): Dr. Kathryn Dong (Director, Inner City Health and Wellness Program), Michael Halliwell (Senior Vice President & Regional General Manager, Northern Alberta, Canadian Western Bank), Lacey Jansen (Community Investment Coordinator, Canadian Western Bank), Angela Saveraux (Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Canadian Western Bank), Douglas Pratt (Assistant Vice President, Canadian Western Bank), Andrew Otway (President & CEO, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation).

The Addiction Recovery and Community Health team (ARCH) at the Royal Alexandra Hospital has been changing lives from the time they began seeing patients in July 2014. Since then, this innovative program – ground-breaking in approach and compassionate in nature – has been making a real difference in treating some of Edmonton’s population that is most at-risk due to addiction, poverty, and mental illness.