Calgary Health Foundation

Van donation supports outreach program in Calgary

FirstEnergy Capital Corp. helped make Calgary's streets healthier by donating funds to the Calgary Health Trust in support of the Safeworks Program for a new Toyota Sienna van. The van is an essential component for the Safeworks Program, which serves all areas in Calgary. The Safeworks van, which is out on Calgary's streets 363 nights a year, is equipped with a team of nurses, social and outreach workers. It is from the van that this team provides harm reduction services, including Hepatitis C and HIV testing, Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing and treatment and immunizations.

"The Calgary Health Trust is very grateful to FirstEnergy Capital Corp. for their generous donation in support of the Safeworks Program," said Jill Olynyk, interim Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Health Trust. "This donation will ensure that Safeworks can continue to offer services to its clients."

The need for a new van was brought to the attention of Kenneth Rowan, Managing Director, Institutional Sales for FirstEnergy Capital Corp. Alex Rowan, Kenneth's daughter and a social work student at Carleton University, heard about the need for a new Safeworks Program van and told Kenneth about it.

"FirstEnergy was holding a charity golf tournament and needed a charity to sponsor. I am interested in harm reduction programs, so I searched online, found the Safeworks Program and I told my Dad about it," said Alex. "Not only was it an opportunity for Safeworks to get funding for a new van, it also brought awareness about harm reduction programs to the Calgary business community and demonstrated why the programs need support."

Kenneth Rowan met with Safeworks staff to discuss their needs and learn more about the program.

"By talking to the staff, I realized that Safeworks offers essential services to its clients," said Kenneth. "FirstEnergy is happy to be able to provide funding for the van to help Safeworks continue to offer these valuable services."

Safeworks staff were very grateful for the donation.

"Although Safeworks provides daily services at partner facilities, the van is able to reach out to individuals and communities within and beyond the downtown core," said Barbara Ross, Harm Reduction Supervisor with Alberta Health Services. "The new van ensures we can maintain the program and meet the needs of our clients."

In 2010, the Safeworks Program had more than 13,000 client interactions and administered more than 1,270 vaccinations, 450 STI tests and 460 HIV tests.