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Community support helps Wellington Rotary give heart-felt donation

Pictured in front of the bottle return depot in Wellington, from left, are: Barbara McConnell, board chairperson of the PECMH Foundation; Ken Robertson, president of the Rotary Club of Wellington; Wellington Rotary Foundation President, Phyo Kyi; Incoming Rotary President, Lyn McGowan; Rotarian Pierre LeBrun; Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; Rotarian Ted Nash; and Rotarian Trudy Brown. Briar Boyce photo

The Rotary Club of Wellington continues to show its ongoing commitment for the County hospital by funding an essential piece of equipment in partnership with the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF).

The club raised $26,008 for the purchase of an Echocardiogram (ECG) machine needed in the emergency department at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH).

An ECG tests the heart using sound waves and produces live images called an echocardiogram. Having this equipment allows physicians to monitor the heart and how its valves function. An echocardiogram is key to determine the health of the heart muscle, especially after a heart attack. It can also reveal heart defects, or irregularities in unborn babies.

When patients have an ECG, the physician or cardiologist can access it immediately allowing patients who face heart-related conditions a quicker diagnosis and earlier treatment.

“We are grateful to the Wellington Rotarians and the donors in our community who supported Rotary’s fundraising initiatives,” said Barbara McConnell, chairperson of the PECMH Foundation. “Our County hospital is integral to the health and wellness of our community and this equipment funding will support Quinte Health’s team to deliver great care, close to home, including residents from across the region. We are inspired by the many generous donors who are committed to making local health care accessible and to providing the hospital with leading edge equipment to serve its patients.”

“We are most grateful for the new ECG in support of patient care at PECMH. The ECG device is a cardiology diagnostic tool, used frequently within our hospital setting; providing real time point of care ensuring timely diagnosis,” said Lisa Mowbray, hospital site lead and manager of patient services at PECMH. “Staff find it easy to use. The equipment is height adjustable, so it is ergonomically safe for staff as well. This device allows the hospital team to provide care directly at the bedside in a timely manner, and with demonstrated accuracy.”

The Rotary Club raised the funds over a six-month period through maple syrup sales in partnership with Nyman Farms, Diners and Duffers books and their bottle recycling depot.

“Wellington Rotary is indebted to many people, who have worked tirelessly to raise the funds for the ECG. We are also grateful to Kinsip House of Fine Spirits for bottling Nyman Farms maple syrup and to the outlets and Rotarians who sold that syrup along with the Diners and Duffers books,” said Ken Robertson, club president. “It was a labour of love to raise these funds, but our club agrees that our local hospital is the heart of our community, and Wellington Rotary is committed to keeping it vibrant and well-equipped and will continue to commit a portion of our fundraising to support ongoing purchases of hospital equipment in the future.”

Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation, notes medical equipment is expensive and has a short lifespan.

Unlike many operating costs, equipment is not funded by the government and it is expected the community finances the replacement of medical equipment and building redevelopment through the work of hospital foundations.

“This is why support from our donors is so important,” said Coull. “PECMH Foundation raises funds so our hospital can acquire the advanced technology and even basic equipment that is not covered by provincial health care funding. Having the right technology improves diagnosis and patient outcomes and, gives the care champions working in our hospital the tools they need to save lives.

“Without community fundraising, our hospital would not have the financial means to purchase essential equipment, like the ECG, and make necessary upgrades to our infrastructure. We are grateful to the Rotary Club of Wellington for their continued generosity.

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