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Hospital foundation launches phase two of Life Saver campaign

The generosity of the Prince Edward County community in donating $350,000 has funded several pieces of replacement medical equipment at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital and marks the completion of Phase I of the hospital foundation’s Life Saver Campaign.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, at their recent board meeting, officially wrapped up the first phase of the campaign, meeting its goal set last April.

Funds collected through community donations were directed toward the purchase of a chemical analyzer, blood analyzer, defibrillators, vital signs monitors, an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine and $205,000 worth of replacement colonoscopes and gastroscopes, all of which are now in use at the hospital in Picton.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary members were lead supporters of the campaign, along with the Stark Family Fund and a bequest from the Estate of Fred and Irene Collyer.

Notable fundraising events, which coincided with the Foundation’s 30th anniversary celebrations, were the Lockyer Ward Estate art auction, RE/MAX’s inaugural Teeing Up Fore Health Care golf classic, the 50th anniversary showing of the Sound of Music featuring Heather Menzies Urich and a newly formed partnership with the Rotary Club in the All Canadian Wine Championships Passport to Canada wine tasting.

“I am thrilled with the commitment the County has shown,” said Penny Rolinski, executive director with the PECMH Foundation. “As the government does not pay for medical equipment, this support is essential.”

As well, Rolinski notes heartfelt thanks to more than 500 individual donors, monthly donors, service clubs and businesses that have supported the campaign. She notes special recognition to Delores Chalmers, RN and team leader for the Endoscopy Unit, for encouraging donations throughout this phase of the campaign.

Phase II of the Life Saver Campaign will focus on acquiring medical equipment for the endoscopy and pharmacy departments at PECMH at a cost of $201,022.

This year’s efforts will centre on replacing three colonoscopes and three gastroscopes for the endoscopy department as well as fundraising for a new monitor to improve the observation of sedated patients. The pharmacy department requires two new ‘Touch and Go’ consoles for the nursing staff to improve efficiencies when dispensing medications to patients.

“Currently in Picton staff members access the Omnicells (drug dispensing cabinets) by entering their username and password into the system. This takes about 20 seconds to input. With the new consoles, nursing staff can access the system in the time it takes them to place their finger on the biometric reader. These consoles will improve ease of access and save significant time through the day that nursing staff can spend with their patients,” said Karen H. Smith, director of pharmacy at Quinte Health Care.

County residents are already stepping forward to pledge support during Phase II with the second annual Teeing Up Fore Health Care golf classic on June 14; the All Canadian Wine Championships Passport to Canada wine tasting July 16 and the third annual Grapes of Wrath extreme mud run at Hillier Creek Estates Winery on Sept. 10. As well, Tim Hortons Smile Cookies will be designated to the campaign this fall and Picton Home Hardware has been collecting spare change at its counter, as has Barley Days Brewery and Walt’s Sugar Shack.

Foundation Chair Leo Finnegan thanked the community for its ongoing support.

“The response from the community for the Life Saver Campaign has been truly overwhelming and we expect Phase II to be even more remarkable,” he said. “The primary purpose of the PECMH Foundation is to enhance the quality of patient care in our community by raising money for priority equipment at our Hospital. Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference in the care you and your family receive.”

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