Covenant Health
This week's reflection

This week's reflection

I believe the second half of one's life is meant to be better than the first half. The first half is finding out how you do it. And the second half is enjoying it.

Frances Lear

Modern home supports modern health care

September 08, 2015

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The Caritas Home Lottery has unveiled its 2015 grand prize, a $1.7 million, three-bedroom dream home in Edmonton’s Windermere community.

This year’s edition is modern, with a sleek kitchen, a master retreat with a combined dressing room and bathroom and a yoga studio with a 10-foot salt-water fish tank.

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For the past six years, Marcson Homes has built the Caritas lottery home, which supports three Covenant Health facilities; Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre, Grey Nuns Community Hospital and Misericordia Community Hospital.

 For the home’s designer, Michelle Pilon, the creative freedom the Caritas Foundation allows her and the opportunity to connect with her community keep her coming back each year. 

“We live in west Edmonton. The Misericordia is where we take our kids to emergency, so we want to support that hospital and ensure it continues to flourish,” says Michelle Pilon, V.P. Marcson Homes.  

The Foundation is hoping to raise $1 million to enhance surgical programs at the Misericordia and Grey Nuns, with particular emphasis on the Northern Alberta Vascular Surgery Program at the Grey Nuns.

 “We have had such change in the practice of vascular surgery over the last ten years and really in the last five years— going from a really high number of big open operations to these very specialized endovascular techniques, which are basically replacing or widening blood vessels using tiny little tubes,” says Dr. Cliff Sample, Facility Chief of Surgery, Grey Nuns. “We now do more endovascular than open, however, we don’t have the infrastructure to do it as well as we would like.”

Vascular surgeons work on all blood vessels (arteries and veins) in the circulatory system except for the brain and the heart.  Blood vessels can become diseased by a hardening of the arteries (known as atherosclerosis) the same risk factors that cause heart attacks and stroke.  These risk factors include age, cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, obesity and family history for atherosclerosis.

“For a heart attack, you go to a cardiologist. For a leg attack, which is the same thing, you could end up losing a limb; we are the ones who do the fixing. When you get a stroke from diseased carotid arteries or have a blood vessel that is enlarged (aneurysm) and is going to burst, we are the ones who fix it, “says Karim Alibhai, Grey Nuns Vascular Surgeon. 

Dr. Alibhai and the other five vascular surgeons who work with him at the Grey Nuns are hopeful the lottery will also help raise their program’s profile. Supporting a population of more than 2.3 Million, they want Albertans to know the value their specialty brings to the health care system.

 Edmonton Journal coverage