This spring, members of Local 258 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers voted to support a significant financial donation to further ground breaking medical research at the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn and Wound Healing Lab at Vancouver General Hospital.
On October 1st, the union’s Executive Board, led by Business Manager Doug McKay and President Tony Brand, attended a reception and tour of the lab facilities as members of Local 258 IBEW were recognized as a major supporter of the important work being carried out by lead researcher Dr. Aziz Ghahary and his team. Brothers McKay and Brand presented the cheque for $100,000 on behalf of Local 258 IBEW members to the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation to directly support Dr. Ghahary’s ongoing research in burn and wound healing.
“Our members realize the important work being done by Dr. Ghahary and his team here in British Columbia,” said Brother McKay. “We are grateful these professionals are making such significant medical breakthroughs in the field of burn wound healing that can ultimately support our members who unfortunately suffer electrical burn injuries.”
McKay and the union’s Executive Board were welcomed by Barb Wilson and Angela Chapman of the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to the research lab where they were greeted by Dr. Nick Carr, former Head of the Division of Plastic Surgery at VGH and Dr. Ghahary, Director of the Research Group. A slideshow was presented detailing many of the important lab discoveries that have been made in the past few years of intense research. Many of the team’s findings are being published in a number of prestigious medical journals that include credit to Local 258 of the IBEW as a major sponsor of the research.
Highlights of the slideshow included information about the research team’s creation of a biological skin substitute to aid in burn wound healing, new ways to treat scarring and the development of a liquid skin material for use on non-healing wounds. Dr. Ghahary also described additional research discoveries that are contributing to significant advances in other fields, including diabetes, transplantation and arthritis.
“Dr. Ghahary’s overview of the research our donation has helped fund has had a profound effect on us – we are very proud to be part of such ground breaking medical advances,” said McKay. “The tour of the laboratory and the opportunity to meet the research team members showed us the connection between the importance of adequate funding and real world results.”
Local 258 IBEW members have supported almost $400,000 towards research in burn and wound healing over the past six years and continue to benefit from the ground breaking research being done by Dr. Ghahary and his team here in British Columbia.
The goal of Dr. Ghahary’s work is to help patients survive a terrible injury and members of Local 258 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are showing their support of his work with their significant financial contributions.