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COVID-19: Rio Tinto BC Works donates $50,000 to Kitimat Hospital Foundation

Rio Tinto’s BC Works is donating $50,000 to the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation to support the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foundation will work with the hospital to prepare for the coming months.

“It is critical for us to work together to ensure the health and well-being of our employees, their families, and the whole community,” said Affonso Bizon, BC Works general manager. “Supporting the hospital to help protect our health practitioners and ensure supplies needed are available is important or everyone.”

BC Works employs more than 1,000 people directly and 300-400 contractors who work at the site producing aluminium.

“We can’t thank Rio Tinto enough and appreciate them continuing to be a good corporate citizen to Kitimat,” said Colleen Nyce, Northern Health board chair. “The company has always supported the hospital, but to step up to the plate at this time, and so quickly, is exceptional.”

Kitimat General Hospital Foundation representative Cynthia Medeiros said it is happy for the funding.

“It will be used for supplies and equipment that are needed at the hospital to support the community of Kitimat and Kitamaat Village. This donation will not only address some of the immediate needs at KGH but ensure ongoing support as this event continues in our community.”

During the current crisis, the Kitimat smelter operations has taken numerous steps to keep its workforce safe and healthy. It has eliminated non-essential work, put in place site restrictions, eliminated business travel, implemented social distancing guidelines, reduced the size of meetings and encouraged people to host video meetings, providing daily updates and establishing protocols set up the ministry of health.

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