Support from the TB Vets Charitable Foundation and its donors has fuelled the respiratory therapy program at Thompson Rivers University for 30 years through critical funding for equipment and student awards.
In three decades, the foundation has given $327,000 to support the university and its students—$243,000 for financial awards and $84,000 for equipment. TRU honored the TB Vets Charitable Foundation at the annual TRU Foundation breakfast in 2018 for 30 years of giving.
A national leader in respiratory therapy education, TRU is the only post-secondary institution that offers the program in British Columbia. TB Vets plays a crucial role in allowing TRU to outfit labs with state-of-the art simulation equipment and ventilators that prepare respiratory therapists for work in high risk-areas of the country’s hospitals.
The BabyLog ventilator purchased in 2008 to prepare respiratory therapists for practicums in neo-natal intensive care units and the infant simulator purchased in 2017 are examples of costly equipment students would not have access to without grant funding from the foundation.
“Through donations to purchase equipment for our labs, TB Vets has allowed us to teach the students with the most up-to-date equipment, the same equipment the student will see in their clinical practice, which, in the long run, will improve patient safety,” said Academic Co-ordinator and Lecturer Heather Noyes.
“TB Vets has also donated funds to purchase simulation equipment allowing the students to practice life-saving procedures and therefore the student becomes more confident and skilled when they are faced with infants, children and adults with breathing emergencies in the hospitals. TB Vets is an integral part of the education of respiratory therapists in BC.”
Since 1988, the foundation and its donors have also presented 165 respiratory therapy students with awards that ease the heavy financial burden of post-secondary education. Awards play an essential role in making education more accessible.
The TB Vets Charitable Foundation Awards were established in 1988 and provide an annual scholarship to a student in the respiratory therapy program.
“The TB Vets Charitable Foundation first impacted my life when awarding me with funds towards my TRU education while becoming a respiratory therapist,” said TRU alum Christa Sloan, recipient of the TB Vets Charitable Foundation Award in 2006.
“It’s over 12 years later and now, being the manager of respiratory services at Kelowna General Hospital, TB Vets still has a great impact. They are very generous donors of medical equipment for the respiratory department and we couldn’t be more thankful for such an amazing organization. From students, to professionals, to our patients and to the public, TB Vets is an amazing community support.”