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Canfor donation completes fundraising efforts for dedicated molecular diagnostic lab

Funding for the dedicated molecular diagnostic lab is now complete thanks to a significant donation from Canfor of $100,000.

This represents roughly one-third of the funds needed to support the completion of this addition to UHNBC.  This project started last fall and served as the area of greatest need throughout the annual Festival of Trees Fundraising Event.  Even though the event itself was “reimagined,”  donations for the expansion of molecular diagnostics and the need to have increased testing capacity here at home was keenly supported.  Having increased testing capacity for COVID-19 and influenza along with more rapid test results to help front line clinicians make important treatment and management decisions would ultimately provide best possible care to patients throughout the Region. 

“We are incredibly thankful to so many donors who stepped up to see that this will become a reality,” said Judy Neiser, CEO for the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation.   “When Canfor went one step further to support the final amount needed we were so grateful.  They are a big employer in the region and this has had an impact on their workforce and their families too.  It really is a big statement for the region of how much they truly care.”

“As the impact of COVID-19 grew in northern BC towards the end of last year, we recognized the significant need for dedicated molecular testing in the region. Beyond the pandemic, the lab will continue to provide important testing and diagnostics for viral illnesses and will contribute to improving health care in the region. The health and wellbeing of our employees and communities is very important to us,” said Kevin Horsnell, Vice President, Operations for Canfor.

“The pandemic has illustrated how quickly infections can spread. Since the pandemic began our employees have diligently worked to implement our COVID-19 safety procedures and protocols to help contain the spread. Efficient testing and diagnostics are also key components to limiting infections in our communities, which is why we are pleased to support the molecular diagnostics lab,” said Kevin Anderson, Vice President, Operations and Innovation for Canfor Pulp.

With funding now complete, and the major lab equipment already on site, Northern Health can soon begin the development of the full dedicated molecular diagnostic lab.  Endorsed by lead physician and pathologist Dr. Randall Dumont, he claims that this rapidly expanding field is considered the gold standard and in the future can have so many additional benefits for testing throughout the Region. 

For further information please contact the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation Office at 250.565.2515 or to contribute online please go to

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