This February, we remember visionary and friend, Mr. Paul Albrechtsen. Mr. Albrechtsen's commitment and vision for the Reh-Fit Centre all started on Valentine's Day over 25 years ago.
Mr. Albrechtsen’s generosity and vision helped transform Reh-Fit into a state-of-the-art facility in 2006, and set us on a trajectory toward the health and wellness campus we see today. His continued support has helped thousands of Manitobans improve their quality of life while improving community health in our province.
Mr. Albrechtsen spoke of his reasons for supporting the expansion at the launch of “Building Community Wellness,” the Reh-Fit’s Capital Campaign in 2006:
"In 1995, on Valentine’s Day, I had been feeling that I needed more exercise and I was running at the Reh-Fit Centre when I collapsed on the track and my heart went into fibrillation. If it had not been for the expeditious treatment of the staff team, who quickly gave me the paddles and brought me back, it could very easily have been fatal. That day, when I was admitted to the hospital, it was discovered that I had blockages in my coronary arteries.
My dream is that more people can benefit from my experience by making their own personal commitment to healthy, active living earlier in their lives and avoid the life-threatening event I experienced. More importantly, I have turned this dream into a vision. My vision is to build a state-of-the-art community health and wellness centre in Winnipeg, a centre that will offer the very best possible health and wellness services to more Manitobans," said Mr. Albrechtsen.
Mr. Albrechtsen’s commitment to his vision of the Reh-Fit did not end when the Centre reopened following the expansion and renovation. In the years since then, he continued to support the Centre. He was there with words of encouragement during the long process of preparing to meet the requirements for certification as a medical fitness centre, offered technical advice and guidance on keeping the building in great shape, and supported the Centre with generous donations and sponsorships of events.
Mr. Albrechtsen was an imaginative, positive energizer whose touch is seen and felt throughout Reh-Fit. Today, as we continue to transform the Reh-Fit Centre, we are carrying out the vision he communicated to us so vividly throughout our years of knowing him. We are sincerely grateful for his continued generosity and contributions over the years. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten. We miss you, Paul.