May 24, 2022
Susan Ritter, chair of the WestView Health Foundation, was born and raised in Stony Plain. She serves on the foundation’s board of directors because she enjoys volunteerism and wants to give back to the Tri-Community of Stony Plain, Spruce Grove and Parkland County. Photo by Evan Isbister.
Story by Amelia Schofield | Photo by Evan Isbister
Alberta Health Services recognizes May as Health Philanthropy Month. Throughout the month, we’ll be celebrating our philanthropic partners who raise funds for healthcare across the province.
The Faces of the Foundations profile series will introduce you to individuals who lead healthcare philanthropy across Alberta. This week, we are pleased to profile Susan Ritter, chair of the WestView Health Centre Foundation.
Why did you get involved with the WestView Health Centre Foundation?
Shortly after my retirement from banking, I was invited to attend the foundation’s annual general meeting and was asked to serve on the board. I was familiar with the foundation and valued their purpose and goals, so I decided to join. Over the last five years, I have really enjoyed working with other volunteers toward the shared goal of mproving healthcare in our local communities.
Why is healthcare philanthropy important to you?
As I volunteer with the foundation, it has become apparent to me how important healthcare philanthropy is to our community. The foundation really steps up to provide what the WestView Health Centre needs. From funding for the recreation therapy program, patient monitors for day surgery to a phacoemulsification machine for cataract surgeries, the foundation plays a key role in creating a healthier Tri-Community (which includes Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County).
What are some of the foundation’s accomplishments of which you’re most proud?
I’m proud to share that over the last 20 years, our foundation has raised and directed over $2.7 million dollars toward the needs of the WestView Health Centre and our community. During the pandemic, we were also able to fund almost every piece of equipment the site has requested.
Over the past few years, I’ve been especially proud of the way the community has come together to show their appreciation for our frontline staff. From cards, chalk art on the sidewalks, messages of gratitude and tokens of appreciation — we were able to show just how much the community cares for each other.
What initiatives are coming up at the foundation?
The foundation is working on something incredibly exciting at the moment — in 2003, the Stony Plain Hospital Foundation became the Tri-Community Health & Wellness Foundation. This really encompassed all things Tri-Community. We are currently in the process of a name change to WestView Health Centre Foundation.
As the community continues to grow, the foundation believes that tying in the site and the main focus of the foundation will help community members better understand the foundation and its vision. We will continue to serve all three communities as we have in the past, but with a name change that will serve us well into the future.
How can Albertans support the foundation?
If Albertans wish to support our foundation, they are welcome to visit our website, which provides the ability to make one-time and automated monthly donations.
We’re also partnering with Tim Hortons’ on the Smile Cookie campaign again this year, as we have in the past, taking place in the Tri-Community area this September. If community members wish to take part, they can visit any Stony Plain Tim Hortons and purchase cookies in support of the foundation.
For more information on the WestView Health Centre Foundation, visit whcfoundation.com.