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Festive fundraising helps equip County’s hospital

Celebrating a $33,000 gift to the County’s hospital for a new crash cart defibrillator and SMART bed, from left, are: Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; Auxiliary members Sharon Morcom, Denise Linnett, Dorothy Vincent, Carol Harvey, Fran Donaldson, Liz Jones, Festival of Trees chairperson; Judy Anderson, Jack Starkey and auxiliary president Cathy Starkey.

Fundraising in a pandemic requires ingenuity.

The festive spirit of the community came through despite restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic which cancelled this year’s 13th annual Festival of Trees event held at Isaiah Tubbs Resort.

Volunteers with the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary switched gears to usher in the holiday season by bringing the year’s most anticipated auction to life in a virtual format.

Monday, the auxiliary was pleased to continue its tradition of giving presenting a $33,000 gift to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation in a small gathering at the Christmas tree at Picton Cenotaph.

“The Festival of Trees committee along with the PECM Hospital Auxiliary board and volunteers extend a heartfelt thank you to the people who donated, and bid on the beautifully decorated trees, purchased baked goods, or items from the Second Time Around Shop Christmas boutique,” said Liz Jones, chairperson of the Festival of Trees. “Once again our community showed up and was very generous in both donating and bidding.”

The funds will go toward the purchase of medical equipment needed at the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital, including a crash cart defibrillator and a new SMART bed. The equipment is part of the PECMH Foundation’s 2020/21 priority equipment list.

The hospital’s crash cart defibrillator had reached its end of life and replacement parts could no longer be sourced. Having this equipment in place allows the medical team to stabilize and treat cardiac patients.

“Having a crash cart defibrillator is vital in the resuscitation of a patient who presents with cardiac arrest, whether that care is administered in the emergency department or anywhere within Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital,” said Lisa Mowbray, patient services manager at QHC-PECMH. “This lifesaving equipment can be used on adult and paediatric patients and is designed specifically for use by medical professionals to respond to cardiac emergencies.”

The new crash cart defibrillator is lightweight, portable and capable of interfacing with the echocardiogram machine already in use at PECM Hospital. Its integrated Wi-Fi allows simple transmission of patient information. It features resuscitation and pacing therapies and medical professionals are guided by a combination of programmable text prompts, audible alarms and visible indicators, to enhance patient safety.

In addition, the funds purchased a Centrella SMART bed for the inpatient unit at PECMH. This bed is fully adjustable with electronic controls. Raising or lowering the bed makes it easier to get into or out of, reducing the risk of a fall, and further injury. The mattress is designed to reduce the incidence of pressure injuries and is built with a high weight capacity. The bed also offers easy to understand verbal safety prompts such as, ‘the care team has been called’ or ‘brake not set’. The USB port also makes charging electronic devices more accessible for the patient.

“The contributions the PECMH Auxiliary make to fund this type of equipment greatly benefits the well-being of patients,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “Our patients are fortunate to have such a committed team of volunteers working on their behalf. Last year our County hospital staff managed over 40,000 visits. Thanks to our donors, including the PECMH Auxiliary, our dedicated medical team continues to have access to the equipment and tools they need to be able to provide you and your loved ones with the care you deserve, close to home. Community support is so important because medical equipment is not paid for by the government. Your donations support the skilled and compassionate care that is happening every day inside the hospital.”

“The auxiliary is indebted to many people, who have worked cheerfully and tirelessly throughout this pandemic to make the Festival of Trees a very special online event: our sponsors and donors, the Festival Committee, our volunteers and friends who worked many hours, all those who baked and bought and preserved and purchased, or visited the boutique,” said Cathy Starkey, president of the PECMH Auxiliary.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization whose mission is to raise money to advance health care for the people of Prince Edward County.

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