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OUR VIEW: Helping the helpers

The Canadian Red Cross program that lends equipment to people is named HELP (Health Equipment Loan Program).

Ironically, it is the program that is in need of help at the moment as it doesn’t have a permanent home in Grand Forks.

Maintenance issues forced it out of its previous home at Hardy View Lodge and it is currently operating out of Boundary Hospital, where it was housed prior to the move to Hardy View because it needed more space.

Lack of space is also the reason why it can’t be permanently housed at the hospital, according to hospital officials.

Should the HELP program be looking for another place to provide its services at all, though?

Maybe the best place for HELP to operate is the location it is currently, temporarily, set up at – Boundary Hospital.

It’s understandable that the hospital may have little space but the hospital is also the perfect place for HELP.

By definition, a hospital is a place where sick and injured people are treated and the HELP program is one that complements hospital services as it provides something that has a hand assisting in people’s recovery, by allowing them to rent (by donation) equipment that will aid in that recovery.

According to the Canadian Red Cross, therapists and physiotherapists can speak to the value of the program to the community.

Besides the aforementioned items, such as crutches and wheelchairs, HELP lends out other hospital-related items such as intravenous poles on wheels or for beds and accessories (safety rails). People who have had medical procedures done, like hip replacement, often need multiple pieces of equipment for recovery.

Wouldn’t the hospital be the place to pick up such equipment?

If you’re looking for further proof of the value of the community-based program, it has been in operation in the province for over 60 years and in the southern interior of B.C. last year, it helped out over 16,000 people.

Members of the community are said to be calling with suggestions for potential locations for the program to relocate but the HELP program shouldn’t have to look for another location.

The perfect place for HELP is the hospital.

– The Grand Forks Gazette