All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

Campaign will bring state-of-the-art equipment to Picton hospital

Sandy Latchford, chair of the PEC Health Alliance discusses the 17-year-old mammography equipment during a tour led by Cathy Sharland, QHC manager of diagnostic equipment, Fran Donaldson, president of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Susan Rowe, QHC Director of Communications and Larry Latheson, PECMH Foundation President.

Quinte Health Care and the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation launched a $750,000 campaign Tuesday to bring digital mammography and ultrasound equipment to Picton hospital.

“The current equipment used for breast screening services in Picton is film-based and is 17 years old, making replacement parts obsolete and becoming more difficult to come by,” said Mary Clare Egberts, QHC president and CEO. “Digital mammography images are instantly available and stored electronically, making them accessible to any physician within QHC and the Prince Edward Family Health Team. The new technology provides superior images and because it is much faster, more examinations can be done. The equipment will ensure local residents have access to state-of-the-art tests close-to-home.”

Dr. Josh Colby noted it wasn’t always clear Picton was going to retain its mammography equipment.
“It’s a big decision to have such an expensive piece of gear here in Picton. It’s not just the capital cost, it’s the maintenance cost and it’s making sure the personnel are here to keep screening,” he said, noting discussions were held with the doctors, hospital and foundation. “Between now and then, everybody is working together and it’s happening… With regard to the ultrasound, there’s not a day in the emerg that we don’t use the ultrasound – either someone young who needs an ultrasound for appendicitis, a young mother whose worried about her baby and there’s nothing more reassuring than to seeing a heartbeat and a couple of good kicks and rule out blood clots,” said Colby. “We’re doing more and more with ultrasound… It’s both inspiring and touching to see how the community and the foundation consistently throw their weight and their confidence behind the hospital, the nurses and the physicians.”

“This is going to be a real challenge, but one we are stepping up to,” said Foundation President Larry Matheson, Tuesday at the official campaign launch. “A new ultrasound and mammography units will be of great benefit to our doctors and technologists.”

Matheson noted the foundation each year provides funds for medical equipment for Picton, and that in addition to the mammography and ultrasound equipment, funds are still needed for other necessary equipment including an EKG machine and vital signs monitors. The new campaign, he said, will be in addition to our normal activities, such as our Christmas appeal which will be mailed to County residents in the next few weeks.”

QHC Trenton Memorial will continue to provide the Comprehensive Breast Assessment Centre for the entire region. Women and men who have an abnormal breast screening result in Picton will continue to be referred to QHC Trenton for further testing and services.

Randy Claxton

Randy Claxton, a 10-year breast cancer survivor, said he is thankful for the services he has received in Picton, Belleville and Kingston for his survival.

“I’ve gone through three surgeries, five radiations, and I’m currently on my third chemo, so whatever’s happening has been good; this is my best year in three. This is a very worthy project and I am proud to have had the opportunity to thank everybody who is going to be participating.”

Elayne Meharg

Elayne Meharg, president-elect of the Hospital Auxiliaries Assocation of Ontario, said it is fitting the campaign launch is happening in October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The 13-year breast cancer survivor told the gathering at the launch she too was well-served in her healthcare.
“It is a step forward in having this equipment here for early detection for our patients in Prince Edward County. I would like to thank the foundation, the auxiliary, and our medical staff and QHC for moving forward so that we could make this announcement today. I know it’s going to be a huge success and that our community will open their hearts and embrace this.”

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