THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Driving down Highway 61 in Thunder Bay it’s impossible to miss the Resolute Forest Products pulp and newsprint mill. A proud part of our region’s history, it’s still an integral part of our local economy.
In Northwestern Ontario, Resolute Forest Products employs 795 employees, with over 2,500 indirect jobs as a result of their operations. In Canada, Resolute employs over 5,200 people; essential jobs in more than 650 communities that rely on forestry.
Resolute provides more than ‘just a job’, however. They are dedicated to maintaining the health of communities in which they operate. This year, that took on a new meaning for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario as Resolute Forest Products became the presenting sponsor of the Save a Heart Ball – a gala event dedicated to fundraising for cardiac care services at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Resolute Forest Products, Richard Garneau, explained, “ We all know people with cardiac issues and their care is always at the back of our minds. It’s important for us to invest in local economies to provide more accessible care so that when someone is in need of care, they can receive it. Northwestern Ontario is particularly challenging because it is so far removed from a bigger centre, like Toronto, but that in no way diminishes the level of care that should be available. Our support of the Save a Heart Ball is our commitment to developing care that is equitable and that puts patients first.”
To be held on Saturday, October 22, the Resolute Save a Heart Ball will feature an exquisite gourmet dinner, dancing to the sounds of Viva and spectacular auctions. Now in its 11th year, the Ball has been and continues to be essential to raising funds for cardiac care in Northwestern Ontario. Specifically, funds raised from the Ball have recently contributed to a new C-arm (specialized x-ray equipment) for the Cath Lab. This equipment is critical in the ability to provide 24/7 angioplasty; the gold-standard of care for treatment of heart attacks. The future looks bright too, with the addition of full cardiovascular surgery services in the next few years.
Unfortunately, residents in Northwestern Ontario tend to be sicker than other areas of the province, and even the country. Risk factors for heart disease are very prevalent in the population and the need for cardiac care is greater now more than ever.
Georjann Morisseau, Director, First Nations Relations and Aboriginal Affairs, Resolute Forest Products stated, “As a company we want to continue our commitment to improving health care in Northern Ontario through cardiovascular research and improvement. Heart disease is a threat to all Canadians, in particular Indigenous people who are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to develop heart disease than the general population. Our commitment at Resolute is very real, because we know the impacts will be meaningful and support all communities in obtaining state-of-the-art health care in Northern Ontario. We want to be part of these solutions and see Northern Ontario thrive with healthy people to build healthy communities. We are proud to support this very important cause.”
Thanks to the support of sponsors like Resolute Forest Products that help to cover the expenses associated with hosting the Resolute Save a Heart Ball, more funds can be directed to the Northern Cardiac Fund to maintain and improve the cardiac care services at our Health Sciences Centre.
Tickets for the event are still for sale, although are selling quickly. To reserve your spot, please buy online at healthsciencesfoundation.ca/ball or call 345-4673. Tickets are $150/person. Tables of 8 are available.