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PECM Hospital Foundation launches Life Savers Campaign for equipment needs

Pictured launching the Life Savers Campaign holding a colonoscope in the endoscopy department at PECMH from left, Anaesthetist, Dr. Jack McGugan, Cheryal Summers, RN, Dr. Doug Cleminson, chair of the endoscopy department and Delores Chalmers, RN and team leader of the endoscopy department at PECMH. The Foundation is appealing to the public to assist with the replacement of  urgently needed scopes at PECMH. The cost to replace this essential equipment for the day surgery program is more than $205,000.

Pictured launching the Life Savers Campaign holding a colonoscope in the endoscopy department at PECMH from left, Anaesthetist, Dr. Jack McGugan, Cheryal Summers, RN, Dr. Doug Cleminson, chair of the endoscopy department and Delores Chalmers, RN and team leader of the endoscopy department at PECMH. The Foundation is appealing to the public to assist with the replacement of urgently needed scopes at PECMH. The cost to replace this essential equipment for the day surgery program is more than $205,000.

With the community’s help, physicians, nurses and staff at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital will have better access to the equipment they need to care for their patients.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is counting on the generosity of the community to support a fundraising campaign to acquire replacement medical equipment for the Emergency Department, Inpatient Unit and Endoscopy Unit at the County’s hospital, in Picton.

The Foundation Board of Directors has set an ambitious goal of raising $350,000 for this  fundraising initiative, the LIFE SAVERS campaign, with the funds going toward the purchase of priority equipment such as a chemical analyzer, blood analyzer, defibrillators, an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine, scopes and vital signs monitors.

In 2014, more than 18,700 people visited the emergency department. There were 1,060 inpatient stays averaging 6.5 days, 3,192 endoscopies performed and 12,465 diagnostic images taken.   Those numbers alone add up to well over 35,000 individual visits and that doesn’t take into account visits to specialist clinics, the MacSteven Dialysis Clinic or the on-site clinics operated by the Family Health Team.

More than $205,000 is needed to replace equipment for the hospital’s day surgery program. The purchase of gastroscopes and colonoscopes for the detection of colorectal cancer and other life-threatening gastrointestinal (GI) conditions will benefit the Endoscopy Unit, which operates five days a week. The scopes at PECMH are slated for replacement.

With more than 3,000 endoscopy procedures performed at PECMH each year, Dr. Doug Cleminson, MD FRCSC, chair of the endoscopy department says this equipment is an essential component of the day surgery program.

“We have a very active endoscopy program and you need the proper equipment to keep that going. The most frequently performed endoscopic procedure at PECMH is a colonoscopy, a diagnostic test to detect colorectal cancer and other conditions,” said Cleminson. “The current equipment is outdated and at the end of its life. Replacement and upgrading of medical equipment needs to be addressed if we are to sustain the day-to-day operations of our hospital, by providing the medical staff with the proper tools to serve our patients and provide the level of care they deserve and expect.”

Colorectal cancer is the second most common form of cancer death in Canada with 24,400 new cases diagnosed each year. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men, and the third in women. Each year, approximately 8,900 people will be diagnosed in Ontario. This form of cancer is 90 per cent curable, if detected and treated as early as possible.

Picton resident, Sid Beggs knows only too well the statistics and credits Dr. Cleminson and his team for saving her life.

“I don’t think I could have made it through without the services and staff at our County hospital,” she said. Beggs noticed a bit of blood in her stool, but had no pain so put off having a scope until her 60th birthday where she received a diagnosis of colorectal cancer that same day. It has been 10 years since she was diagnosed and today she is cancer free.

“I’m 100 per cent in favour of scopes and can’t say enough good things about the treatment and care I received. The staff made me feel relaxed and secure while providing comfort and peace of mind.  Having a colonoscopy is so important for detection and prevention,” she said.

Hospital Foundation Chair, Leo Finnegan said past campaigns have been successful, thanks to community support and expects this time to be no different.

“The day surgery program helps keep the hospital open and busy. It’s vital for our community to continue to ensure our County hospital is equipped with the latest technology to keep it relevant,” said Finnegan. “The government does not pay for medical equipment. It has always been the responsibility of the community to fund medical equipment needs. We hope the community will give generously and see this as another sign that we are all committed to building a vibrant future for Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.”

The PECMH Foundation’s role is to fundraise in support of Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital and provide a vital link to the thousands of donors in our community that choose to offer their financial support to PECMH. The Foundation is a registered Canadian charitable organization; therefore donors can receive an official tax receipt for their gifts.

“The primary purpose of the PECMH Foundation is to enhance the quality of patient care in our community by raising money for the priority equipment at our hospital. The Foundation plays a critical role in providing funding for essential, specialized equipment,” said Hazel Lloyst, director of development for the PECMH Foundation. “Your financial contribution will go a long way towards improving the quality of care for residents in our community who require this necessary treatment, close to home. We thank all those who support our fundraising initiatives. Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference in the care you and your family receive.”

PECMhospitalfoundationFundraising efforts to raise the $350,000 needed over the next several months will include the launch of the Life Savers Campaign for equipment, direct mail-outs and special events, all part and parcel of our 30th anniversary celebrations in 2015. Foundation directors have committed to reach their goal by the end of the 2015/16 fiscal year (March 31, 2016).

To make a donation or for more information, you can contact the Foundation at 613-476-1008 ext. 4425, drop by the hospital or donate securely online at www.pecmhf.ca

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