Help for those in need

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September 22, 2016 12:00 AM

TERESSA KRUECKI, executive director of the Thorpe Recovery Centre, signed a deal with the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation for a new treatment fund foundation. The foundation will be managed by the LRHF and help people struggling with addiction and finances get into the centre for treatment. SOURCE file PHOTO

The Thorpe Recovery Centre (TRC) recently inked a deal with the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation (LRHF) in an effort to help those in financial trouble get proper addiction treatment.
The agreement sees the birth of TRC’s treatment fund foundation, which will be managed by the LRHF and allow people to donate money that’ll help those struggling get into the centre for the help they need.
“We have basically joined with the health foundation and formed a partnership in order for them to help facilitate a treatment fund for us; so the requirement is we need a foundation in order to do that, and of course with us out at the centre, we didn’t think it was a feasible option,” said Teressa Krueckl, executive director of the TRC.
“So we approached the health foundation and they happily agreed to manage the fund for us and do the receipting around the treatment fund.”
Krueckl explained the TRC already has a board of directors, and to manage the foundation in-house it would have to create another level of board and recruit a fresh group of volunteers, both of which would be too much for the TRC to take on while still maintaining day-to-day functions.
The way the new agreement works is people can donate directly to either organization and the LRHF will do the receipting on TRC’s behalf—as funds become available there’ll be an application process showing the need for funding that’ll be used for residential treatment.
The recovery centre then gives notification to the health foundation and those funds are released back to those who meet the application’s criteria.
“We get to partner with another organization within the community that has healthcare first and that’s their mandate as well, so it was positive for us from that aspect, and the fact of just not having to manage another foundation board and all the legalities that go with that, was a complete plus,” Krueckl said.
“So we don’t view any negatives at all (within the agreement), it’s just strictly a positive partnership in our mind.”
The new deal couldn’t come too soon either, with Krueckl pointing out that the TRC will be reporting a significant deficit at its annual general meeting this week.
Within the last year the centre got close to 2,000 calls for help, but because of the available funds only 22 per cent could get into medically supported detoxification or residential addiction treatment programming.
The rest of those callers were left with three options: find another place with beds funded by Alberta Health Services or the Prairie North Health Region, wait the six to 10 weeks for a healthcare funded bed to open up at the centre, or pay the cost of a fee-for-service bed at the TRC, which comes with a hefty price tag.
The fee-for-service beds are so pricey that it’s not even an option for many callers and the two month wait for healthcare funded bed can be fatal to those who need immediate help.
“So just that fact that we’re getting some potential additional funding to help people seek treatment and come in and experience 42 days here at the centre, that’s pretty significant for us,” Krueckl said.
“I think obviously we have a lot of people locally that require treatment and just can’t afford it, so it’s a very positive step for both the Thorpe Recovery Centre, the health foundation, and of course for people in the community.”
Wendy Plandowski, chief executive officer of the LRHF, said the two organizations had been in discussions in the past and the new partnership is a natural fit.
“We’re both local not for profit organizations, it’s nice to be collaborative in a small community and one of the things that came up was there’s a lot of work to setting up a foundation with regards to charity guidelines, and that’s the business the Lloyd Region Health Foundation is in,” she said.
“We accept donations, we receipt, we provide our donors with stewardship; the Thorpe Recovery Centre is in the business of treatment and so when we got talking about the need for this fund, a tuition scholarship fund, it just seemed to make sense that we would partner on it so we could provide the centre with resources we already have in existence at the health foundation.”
Plandowski added at the end of the day, what both organizations are trying to do is help the community in a meaningful way.

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