For immediate release
May 20, 2014
Whitehorse - A new guest wireless Internet service has been launched at Whitehorse General Hospital for use by patients and their families. The introduction of the guest network is a partnership between the Yukon Hospital Foundation, Northwestel, the Government of Yukon’s Community Development Fund and the Yukon Hospital Corporation.
“The hospital is the heart of healthcare in the territory, and whether Yukoners are admitted for days, weeks or a few hours, it’s time they’re away from their families and their lives,” explained Yukon Hospital Foundation President Krista Prochazka. “The Foundation helps provide patient care beyond the basics, and we believe this has the potential to really enhance a person’s experience at the hospital.”
Across Canada and around the world, there is a trend in hospitals providing free, or modestly priced, WiFi to patients. The benefit to healing when they are able to keep connected to their families, and their jobs, is well recognized. For Yukoners, many of whom travel to get to Whitehorse General or have family outside, the opportunity to connect can be invaluable.
“Most of us have loved ones that live outside of Whitehorse,” explained Northwestel President and CEO Paul Flaherty. “Whether in a community or outside the territory, they are the support network that helps us through the best and worst times of our lives. Being able to connect, at least virtually, can provide a real boost during one’s stay at the hospital. Northwestel is proud to help Yukoners make that connection.”
“To more easily keep up with work while waiting for an appointment, to pay your bills while recovering, to Skype with family after a baby is born - this project has so many economic and social benefits for Yukoners, we were delighted to provide Community Economic Development Fund support,” added Currie Dixon, Minister of Economic Development.
Yukon Hospital Foundation
Established in 2005, the Yukon Hospital Foundation works under the direction of a volunteer Board of Directors to raise funds for equipment and programs for Yukon hospitals. Purchases to date include heart monitoring, paediatric, operating room and digital imaging equipment including the 128-slice CT scanner for the Whitehorse General Hospital and an MRI machine scheduled to begin service in late 2014. The Yukon Hospital Foundation supports the First Nations Health Program, the P.A.R.T.Y. Program and the Yukoners Cancer Care Fund. The guest network at Whitehorse General is accessible throughout the entire hospital, and is separated from the hospital’s secure network.
In 2013, Northwestel contributed more than $558,000 in cash and in-kind donations to a variety of northern community groups. Throughout its history, Northwestel has played a key role in the economic, social and cultural development of the North. Northwestel is recognized as a key contributor to the well-being of northern communities through its community investment program and the volunteer contributions of its employees. Since 2003, Northwestel has supported the Yukon Hospital Foundation in its efforts to support the very best healthcare for all Yukoners.
For Information Contact:
President, Yukon Hospital Foundation