Calgary, Jan. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Burn care in Calgary has seen significant advancements thanks to a partnership between the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society (CFBTS) and Calgary Health Trust. The burn unit at Foothills Medical Centre, appropriately named the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Centre, cares for an average of 120 patients each year facing serious burns and other complex soft tissue injuries and skin loss as well treats an additional 700 outpatients with relatively minor burn conditions.

CFBTS’ contribution of $1.3 million to Calgary Health Trust in support of burn care is the result of three years of effort by the organization to raise funds and awareness to improve outcomes and the quality of life for burn survivors and their families.

“This has been a very exciting three years for the CFBTS. We have seen the research that we support advance in ways that we could not have imagined when we first started raising money,” says CFBTS President, Thomas Kerr. “Everyone at the Centre outdoes themselves time and time again with care they provide for patients. We feel humbled to be part of such a great team and we hope that we can continue to provide support for burn care in Southern Alberta that will have a positive impact on outcomes for survivors.”

Funds from CFBTS have supported a number of initiatives, all putting Calgary on the forefront of burn care in Canada.

According to the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Centre’s Medical Director, the level of success patients are able to achieve would not be possible without the support of CFBTS and the community.

“The CFBTS is integral to both the delivery of state-of-the-art burn care and the support of cutting edge research into wound healing,” explains Dr. Duncan Nickerson. “They deserve the sincere gratitude of burn patients and care providers for their incredible generosity.”

Examples of how the CFBTS have supported advancements in care for burn survivors includes the creation of a Chair in Skin Rejuvenation and Wound Care in partnership with University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. This has led to an initiative focused on improving the function of skin grafting, which is necessary for wound treatment and infection prevention, but can lead to scarring and chronic itching. Chronic itching can be one of the most common and frustrating conditions for burn survivors, so investments that improve outcomes in this area will have a drastic impact on the day-to-day quality of life for patients.

Funds raised have also supported education initiatives for both staff and patients that allow for collaboration and best-practices from leaders across the world, as well as connecting survivors to peer-support networks.

“The support from the CFBTS has made investments in burn care that not only allow us to strive for better care in the future, but support care that impacts patients today,” says Mike Meldrum, President & CEO of Calgary Health Trust. “This group of individuals gives so much to our community through their profession, and to have their passion extend to their volunteer and philanthropic efforts to support burn survivors is a humbling example of how great it is to live in a city like Calgary.”

CFBTS partners with Calgary Health Trust, the charity affiliate for hospitals and health care programs across Calgary, to ensure that investments will have the biggest impact on quality care for patients and those on the front lines of the health system. It is through the support of committed and passionate donors and supporters to the CFBTS that the organization is able to raise funds through a variety of initiatives such as annual donations, events and their famous Hot Stuff Calendar.

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About Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society (CFBTS)
The Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society (CFBTS) is a registered non-profit charity organization supported by 1400+ professional Calgary Firefighters. The vision of the CFBTS is to support initiatives that will improve outcomes and quality of life for burn survivors and individuals affected by other severe skin injuries. Our goal is to foster advancements in burn treatment, research, awareness, care and education. 

About Calgary Health Trust
Calgary Health Trust fundraises for health care in Calgary. The incredible generosity of our donors has led to advancements in patient care, clinical research and education. Funds raised benefit Foothills Medical Centre, Peter Lougheed Centre, Rockyview General Hospital, South Health Campus and many community health programs and 12 Carewest care centres in our community.

Valerie Ball
Calgary Health Trust
403-990-7943
valerie.ball@calgaryhealthtrust.ca