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

Dr. Todd Owatz passed away on Oct. 15, 2020
In March of 2017, Dr. Owatz took the Trail Times on a tour of the endoscopy wing to demonstrate how the health foundation’s then-running Endoscopy Campaign would support patient care in one of the busiest procedure units at KBRH. Photo: Sheri Regnier

Who’s ready to take part in a better health challenge that honours the life of a much-loved and dedicated Trail surgeon?

“Operation Owatz” begins Sept. 6 - in memory of Dr. Todd Owatz - with a goal to raise money for the Ambulatory Care Campaign now underway through the health foundation at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH).

Dr. Todd Owatz worked in the Ambulatory Care Unit at KBRH before he passed away on Oct. 15, 2020 at the age of 49 years, leaving behind a legacy of care and service to his patients and colleagues.

In addition to being a devoted physician and leader in the medical community, outside of work Dr. Owatz had a passion for fitness and health.

This is why his friend Lindy Welsby chose to organize a movement challenge and fundraiser from Sept. 6 to Oct. 15, as a meaningful way to pay tribute to the good doctor through strength building and endurance.

“Todd and I always talked running as that was his thing, and I am a triathlete,” Welsby shares. “I really wanted to honour him with a run, like a 5K event, but COVID really didn’t permit this.

“So, the more virtual ideas came,” she said.

“And here we are - a few weeks away!”

How the six-week fundraiser works is that participants will track their movement activities online and compete against others in fitness challenges that are entirely virtual.

“All our movement challengers will be entered into a door prize draw,” Welsby explains. “The challengers will also have a chance to win prizes for the amount of time spent in activities completed during the six-week challenge, or funds raised.”

Operation Owatz has a $20,000 goal to assist the KBRH Health Foundation with the purchase of a gastroscope for the Ambulatory Care Department.

Registration is $50 with all registration fees going directly toward the goal.

Click here to register: Google doc

To register via Instagram visit: operationowatz.

Or, register via Facebook: Operation Owatz: A tribute for Dr. Todd Owatz through fitness.

To donate directly to Operation Owatz in support of the purchase of a gastroscope, contact the KBRH Health Foundation at 250.364.3424 or visit: Welsby can be reached at

The top fundraising prize is a $500 gift card from Gerick Cycle in Trail.

As well, $400+ in prizes from Ferraro Foods is up for grabs for participants, along with many other prizes.

Welsby shares that Dr. Owatz, his wife and two children were the first family she and her husband met when they first moved to Rossland eight years ago.

She recalls how welcoming the Owatz family was and all the great times they had from paddle-boarding to barbeques.

The house she and her husband ended up building in the Alpine City is right by the Owatz home.

She is hoping many people sign up for the challenge in memory of her friend, and to help raise money for a great local cause.

“In honor of Dr. Owatz,” Welsby said. “Thank you.”

Read more: Endoscopy Campaign wraps up at KBRH

Read more: Foundation kicks of KBRH Endoscopy Campaign

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Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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