Calgary Health Foundation

Women Helping Women

Making a difference in health care can feel overwhelming, but one group of women who banded together have found they can move mountains. Since forming in 2003, The Canadian Progress Club - Calgary Wild Rose, have raised $600,000 for health care, $350,000 of which has been directed to women's health issues.

"We are all touched by the stories of our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends who have been affected by these issues," said club president, Patti Nolan, "It's why we focus our efforts on the non-sexy issues that other groups ignore."

The club was honoured for their hard work on Wednesday January 23, 2013 during a plaque presentation at Women's Health Resources at Foothills Medical Centre. When the club formed they started looking for a cause to champion. They were immediately drawn to an the Pelvic Floor clinic because it affects so many women in Calgary.

Pelvic Floor Clinic is one of seven programs at Women's Health Resources. The clinic sees 950 women a month, (about 11500 per year), most of whom have moderate to severe pelvic floor issues. The need is so great that the waiting list has steadily been getting longer.

The pelvic floor is a large sheet of muscles which help keep in place your bladder, vagina, uterus and bowel in place. These muscles can become stretched or weakened due to ageing and more specifically due to pregnancy leading to anal or urinary incontinence, overactive bladder activity, prolapse (or drop) of the pelvic organs and pain or difficulty during sexual activity..

"We have a passion for fundraising for this cause," said Cari McLaughlan, past president of the club, "Last year we toured the Pelvic Floor Clinic and it really hits home when you see how much impact your donation has on improving lives," 

The program has already implemented a streamlined intake which allows patients to receive physiotherapy, counselling, assessment by nurses, and training to help manage the severity of the issue.

"Women are always taking care of someone else," said Dr. Doug Wilson, head of obstetrics and gynecology at Calgary's Foothills Medical Centre. "It's the classic saying - If there are four cookies and five people it's always the mother that makes the sacrifice. So it's incredibly important to have this group making sure that women in our community receive the care they deserve."

The group is happy to give back, "We are delighted to have built this partnership," said Patti, "and we want to thank the staff at the Trust for stepping up and helping out when we fundraise."

The club raises money through a variety of events. They host large events such as the Spring Fling and they volunteer at Casinos.

In addition to supporting the Pelvic Floor Clinic, the Canadian Progress Club - Calgary Wild Rose has fundraised for the Breast Health Risk Assessment Clinic, Breast Health Program, Women's Health Resources, Chronic Pain Program, Colposcopy Clinic, and the Calgary Sexual Assault Response Team (CSART).

The Calgary Health Trust is very grateful for the Canadian Progress Club's continued dedication to enhancing health care in the community. For more information about the Canadian Progress Club - Calgary Wild Rose or how to join these inspired and dedicated women visit their website.