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Operation Owatz hits $30K goal to benefit Kootenay Boundary patients

Movement challenge/fundraiser in memory of KBRH surgeon Dr. Todd Owatz
The second annual Operation Owatz event crossed the finish line, meeting its fundraising goal of $30,000. L-R: Lindy Welsby, Operation Owatz event organizer; Sandra Owatz, Operation Owatz event organizer and wife of Dr. Todd Owatz; and Dr. Andrew Schumacher, General Surgeon and colleague and friend of Dr. Owatz; presented this donation to Lisa Pasin, executive director KBRH Health Foundation. Photo: Submitted

After logging more than 6,100 kilometres of distance in walking/running and well over 1,200 hours of tracking fitness activities, participants in the second Annual Operation Owatz fundraiser have — in 30-thousand ways — contributed to this very special local cause.

The fundraiser honours the life and work of Dr. Todd Owatz, a beloved surgeon who worked in the Ambulatory Care Unit at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) before he passed away on Oct. 15, 2020 at the age of 49.

The six-week Operation Owatz fundraiser — held virtually for a second year from Sept. 5 to Oct. 15 — had 50 registrants tracking their movement activities online and competing against others in fitness activities.

“After tallying all the donations and pledges, we reached our goal this year exactly — $30,000!” event organizer Lindy Welsby shares.

“The donations will be used to purchase state-of -the-art medical equipment for the Ambulatory Care Unit at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.”

Over two years, Operation Owatz has raised $70,240 to benefit patients requiring ambulatory care at KBRH.

“Words cannot adequately express how grateful we are for the level of participation, from the hard work the participants put in throughout the challenge and to collect pledge dollars from their networks, all to honour and pay tribute to Dr. Owatz,” Welsby said.

“What a success.”


In 2021, Welsby created the movement challenge in memory of her friend, Dr. Todd Owatz, as it was a meaningful way to pay tribute.

He was not only a wonderful surgeon, a great dad and husband, he was also an advocate for health, through an active lifestyle, she adds.

“This is why Operation Owatz focuses on promoting healthy habits of fitness and movement.”

On behalf of Operation Owatz, Welsby thanks everyone who participated and contributed to this cause.

“The KBRH Health Foundation is committed to improving the health of our community and is thrilled that we could provide support to the Operation Owatz event,” says Lisa Pasin, executive director, KBRH Health Foundation. “We look forward to stewarding the funds raised to support medical equipment upgrades for the department in which Dr. Owatz worked.”

Read more: Memorial fundraiser for Kootenay Boundary surgeon raises $40,000+

Read more: In memory of a dedicated Kootenay Boundary surgeon; take part in a fitness fundraiser

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The KBRH Medical Staff Association is honoured to support Operation Owatz: A tribute for Dr. Todd Owatz through fitness with a donation for the purchase of medical equipment for the Ambulatory Care Campaign honouring the legacy of Dr. Todd Owatz. Todd was a loved and respected member of our physician community whom is dearly missed. Todd firmly believed in the power of exercise to improve quality of life across the lifespan and Operation Owatz is an activation of these values continuing his legacy in our community. L-R: Dr. Carolyn Stark, MSA President, presents the donation to Sandra Owatz and Lisa Pasin, executive director, KBRH Health Foundation. Photo: Submitted

Sheri Regnier

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