Representatives from the Calgary-based oil and gas exploration and production company presented members of the Hospital Foundation with a cheque for $5,000 towards the “Extreme Maternity Makeover” campaign. Specifically, the funding will be used to purchase blood pressure monitors and washable rocking chairs for the unit.

“It’s very important that we are involved here in the community,” said Mark Hobbs, field manager in northwestern Canada for Apache.  

His company is relatively new to the Dawson Creek area, having acquired properties previously owned by BP about one year ago, with a focus on the Noel gas field in the One Island Lake area south of the city.

After seeing the current state of the maternity ward firsthand – with some areas being more than 40 years old – Hobbs said there is no doubt the renovation is needed to make the unit a more inviting place for mothers and their newborns.

“It’s not particularly conducive to a calm and comfortable environment for women to come in and give birth,” he said. “It’s a difficult time for them – but also a really happy time – and they need to be in an environment that’s comfortable, so that’s why it’s really important there is a makeover process underway, and Apache is really pleased to be involved in it.”

With the support of the community through some recent fundraisers and donations, the Hospital Foundation is now less than $50,000 away from raising the $430,000 needed to complete the maternity makeover. Jerimy Earl, communications and events coordinator for the Foundation, said they hope to announce shortly the dates for start-up and completion of the project.

It has been a great week so far for the Foundation, as it was the benefactor of the fourth annual Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction hosted by Chances Gaming Centre on Tuesday evening. That event raised nearly $7,000 through the sale of dinner tickets, silent auction items and a 50/50 draw. That money will be used to purchase an End Tidal CO2 Module that collects detailed respiratory measurements during critical stages of care, and will be used in the hospital’s emergency ward.