Building Trades of Alberta Courage Centre harnesses power of technology?

$4.5M gift helps Albertans to rehabilitate from major illnesses, injuries and chronic conditions

The Alberta Regional Council’s generous, $500,000 commitment to a unique new rehabilitation centre at Edmonton’s Glenriuse Rhabilitation Hospital that will enable Albertans  to overcome their physical challenges faster and return to their families, caregivers and communities with more independence.

The Building Trades of Alberta Courage Centre (BTACC) — a new hub for state-of-the-art technology and equipment that focuses on rehabilitation — is named for the centre’s lead donor, the Buolding Trades of Alberta oprganization.

With four distinct zones — robotics, virtual reality, simulation and learning — each technology at the Building Trades of Alberta Courage Centre has applications to nearly all the patient groups served by the Glenrose, from pediatrics to geriatrics.

“Technology in the Courage Centre is important now and it’s going to play a huge role as time goes on,” says Darrel Goertzen, Technology Service Leader in the Research and Technology Development at the Glenrose. “Technology is becoming much more available and affordable. We can see it entering into all areas of rehab. Just wait and see what we’ll be doing in the coming years — you’ll be amazed.”

Gifts totalling $4.5 million made the centre possible.  Three other skilled trades union locals — UA  Local 488, Boilermakers Local 146, Construction and General Workers’ Local 92 and the Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters and Allied Workers  — also contributed equal amounts.

As one of the largest freestanding rehabilitation hospitals in North America, each year the Glenrose helps thousands of patients with different types of disabilities requiring different types of rehabilitation.  The Building Trades of Alberta Courage Centre has the capacity to serve about 9,000 patients per year.

The main treatment groups will be patients who have had a traumatic or non traumatic brain injury, stroke, partial spinal cord injuries; children with cerebral palsy and seniors with gait or balance disorders or mild cognitive impairment.

Isabel Henderson, Vice President, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital says: “For most people technology makes things easier, but for someone with a disability, technology makes things possible.”