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Online Festival of Trees support buys cardiac monitor for County’s hospital

Pictured behind the PECM Hospital are members of the PECMH Auxiliary presenting $50,000 raised from the 2021 Festival of Trees, to Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation (front row, far right). – Briar Boyce photo

Supporters of this year’s Festival of Trees helped the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary present the hospital’s foundation with a $50,000 early Christmas gift.

Again this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional in-person event was held online and the festive event by the hospital’s volunteer group was again a success.

A small group of auxiliary volunteers met at the hospital to joyously presented the proceeds from auction held Nov. 12 to 26.

The proceeds purchase of a portable cardiac monitor needed for the Endoscopy Department at the hospital in Picton. This piece of equipment was identified by Quinte Health Care as being a priority purchase.

On average, more than 3,000 endoscopic procedures are performed each year at QHC PECMH. Access to a portable cardiac monitor in the department allows staff to support patients post procedure by monitoring of a wide range of vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, airway flow and pulse rate.

“Having this portable cardiac monitor will allow timely access to vital equipment, particularly when a patient’s symptoms warrant closer monitoring,” said Lisa Mowbray, manager of patient services and site lead at QHC PECMH. “Although the majority of patients recover just fine after a procedure in the endoscopy department, there are times where critical scenarios unfold. This diagnostic tool allows the medical team to diagnose concerns and determine best direction of care.”

The Auxiliary is grateful to its volunteers who provide hundreds of hours of their time planning and executing the annual event. The Festival of Trees is the largest fundraising project held by the volunteers.

“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 wonderful auction items, purchased baked goods or preserves from the Perfectly Preserved team, or bought items from the Second Time Around Shop Christmas boutique,” said Liz Jones, manager of the Festival of Trees. “Again this year, our community showed up and was very generous in both donating and bidding.”

There were 151 items to bid on as part of this year’s Festival. The Perfectly Preserved volunteers spent countless hours in the kitchen and at summer markets, as well as providing holiday treats by pre-order. Jones noted this was the perfect recipe for success and their efforts contributed greatly to the overall success of the Festival of Trees.

The Second Time Around Shop volunteers collect, throughout the year, the best donated items to be sold during the Christmas Boutique. They expanded their hours to accommodate the many shoppers clamouring to buy. This initiative is highly sought after by the community and is a huge boon to the Festival’s overall goal.

“Through these contributions, the PECMH Auxiliary is making a big impact on the well-being and safety of patients visiting the hospital,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “Our patients are fortunate to have such a committed team of volunteers fundraising on their behalf. On average, the staff at QHC PECMH manage over 40,000 patient visits annually. Thanks to our donors, including the PECMH Auxiliary, our dedicated team of care champions continue 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, she adds, is important because medical equipment is not paid for by the government.

Cathy Starkey, president of the PECMH Auxiliary said the group is indebted to many people who worked enthusiastically and tirelessly to make the Festival of Trees a special online event, including sponsors and donors, the Festival Committee, volunteers and friends who worked many hours, all those who baked and preserved and purchased goods at the various markets over the summer, or those who visited the Second Time Around Shop boutique.

“The auxiliary looks forward to more festivals in the coming years and particularly to a time where we will all be able to meet again in person!”

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

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