A huge, supportive crowd turned up the Pleasant Valley Health Centre Monday to rally behind the possible move of the Armstrong Lions Vision Centre to Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (Laryn Gilmour - Black Press) Protest at Pleasant Valley Health Centre, photo taken by, Laryn Gilmour

Hundreds rally for Armstrong Lions Vision Centre

Residents send message to Interior Health over rumoured move of beloved centre to Vernon hospital

A pretty loud statement is being made in Armstrong Monday afternoon.

Hundreds of people have gathered at the Pleasant Valley Health Centre to rally in support of the Armstrong Lions Vision Centre within the facility.

A rumour has been circulating that Interior Health is planning to close the centre and move it to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

READ ALSO: Armstrong vision centre move rumour leaves black eye

Interior Health has been experiencing the same difficulties being felt throughout B.C. and Canada, and that is a shortage of anesthesiology resources.

A petition will be started to protest moving the centre.

Support came from Enderby Mayor Greg McCune, as seen below:

Monday’s event was organized by the Enderby Lions Club in support of the Armstrong club.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Protesters from surrounding community Lions clubs came to support what they said is their vision and pleaded to keep the centre in Armstrong.

“It’s easy access, it’s level entry parking and there aren’t multiple levels for people to find the right offices and the Lions Club and community have spent a lot of time funding to have supply theequipment for here in the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Armstrong Lions Club president Diann Boyd.

The protest comes after Boyd heard about the rumour of moving the vision centre to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital and immediately sent out a letter to Dr. Richard Harding, acute health serviceadministrator for hospitals and communities in the North Okanagan for Interior Health, informing Harding the Lions Club wishes to see the centre stay in Armstrong for many years to come.

“We raised money for state of the art equipment and we want to see our hard work stay in our community,” said Boyd.

Harding wrote back that the vision centre “is currently experiencing a shortage of anaesthesiology resources,” and that the shortage is being experienced across Interior Health, throughout B.C. andCanada. Interior Health, he said, has managed to find interim coverage.

“The reason we are here is because we are opposed to it . We have heard several reasons why Interior Health wants to move it from one place to another, they claim their to be a lac of anaesthesiologists,but that is true across Canada and the clinic seems to be operating well where it is,” said the president of Enderby Lions Club, Dennis Morgan.

The centre currently has three ophthalmologists operating out of the facility, three from Vernon and one from Salmon Arm.

In December 2017, the vision centre was the beneficiary of a new argon laser, which saw Lions Clubs from Armstrong, Lumby, Vernon and Sicamous, along with support from the Armstrong SpallumcheenHealth Auxiliary and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 35, respond to a financial request from the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation for the laser.

The groups raised $108,400.

“Please don’t move it, it’s really vital to our community and our seniors,” said past Lions Club president of Enderby Linda Fisher.

Just Posted

Vernon’s Fulton Maroons prep for playoffs with romp over Mustangs

High School Rugby: Fulton beats Penticton rivals 48-7; rematch today (Tuesday), 4 p.m., Grahame Park

Vernon gears up for Bike to Work and School week

Bike to Work and School Week runs from Monday, May 27 – Sunday, June 2

Vernon tattoo fundraiser draws record support

Lineup around the block for start and beginning of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Electric cars gaining popularity in Vernon

Dealership sells five in one day, EV car show coming to town

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy

Environment Canada is calling for a similar day tomorrow.

Marriage proposal on the big screen at Enderby drive-in

Kelowna man gets engaged in front of hundreds to Vernon sweetheart

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

On-duty Vancouver police officer facing dangerous driving charges

Few details have been provided about the case

Government dedicates $5 million to address workplace sexual harassment

Four organizations in B.C. will split the stipend

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Okanagan College Enactus chapter brings home national gold

Students are leading the way to social betterment

Driver, animals escape injury after collision on Highway 1 near Sicamous

RCMP say road conditions were not a factor in afternoon crash

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Fifth cannabis store proposed for downtown Salmon Arm

City council has already approved maximum of four stores policy supports for commercial core

Most Read