The Foundation launches a $ 10 million fundraising campaign for new hospital equipment

A $ 10 million initiative aims to fund more than 200 pieces of medical equipment for Royal Jubilee, Victoria General and Gorge Road hospitals.

A $ 10 million initiative aims to fund more than 200 pieces of medical equipment for Royal Jubilee, Victoria General and Gorge Road hospitals.

The Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s Emerge Stronger campaign, which launched Thursday at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, is one of the foundation’s largest campaigns.

Executive Director Avery Brohman said the pandemic has been stressful for everyone, but especially hospitals.

“We face the biggest challenge of our time and how we get out of it really depends on the community,” she said. “We have all witnessed the great stress weighing on our healthcare system, from the increase in hospitalizations impacting hospital capacity to the cumulative effects of staff exhaustion in our care teams.”

Among the 8.7 million assessments administered at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals last year, there were approximately 212,000 COVID-19 tests.

The equipment the campaign aims to fund includes a million-dollar unit that analyzes blood samples from across the island, replacing a 20-year-old unit. The new unit is expected to reduce downtime, provide greater automation, and integrate better with other tests.

$ 318,000 neurosurgery equipment on the wishlist is new to the island and would help up to 600 patients per year with access to imaging technology in operating rooms, according to the foundation, while cardiac patients will benefit from a surgical package of $ 300,000, minimally invasive equipment, it will also be a first for the island.

$ 99,000 breast imaging software is on the list to improve detection and allow a radiologist to use MRIs to monitor treatments. Almost 15,000 breast imaging procedures are performed each year at Victoria General Hospital.

For people with retinal damage from diabetes, an advanced $ 159,000 laser will be purchased to help treat retinal tears and age-related conditions. The existing laser is at the end of its life, according to the foundation.

Royal Jubilee’s emergency department medical manager Dr Jill Kelly said she looks forward to the hospital acquiring the new blood testing equipment, as well as another item that helps control bleeding.

“I am really excited about what this campaign has to offer, not only for the emergency department but for the hospital in general, so that we can provide the best possible care to our community. “

Kelly said the pandemic has added a “whole new layer of challenges” to the work the hospital is already doing, and having the right equipment enables the emergency department to provide fast and efficient patient care.

“Having the right equipment makes a huge difference. “

The early days of the pandemic brought tremendous fear and uncertainty, as well as many changes in the way things were done, Kelly said, adding that there was only a little breathing space before the arrival of the fourth phase of the pandemic.

Through it all, the audience made a difference, she said. “Our teams continued to receive messages of support from the community and it really helped our team feel that what we do matters and that we are valued.”

Elin Bjarnson, Island Health’s vice president of clinical operations for the South Island and Cowichan Valley, said the fourth wave of the pandemic was the most stressful yet. “A community that supports us and new equipment in the hands of those who need it most is one of the ways we can emerge stronger from these difficult times. “

Brohman thanked the community for supporting the foundation’s efforts to ensure Victoria General, Royal Jubilee and Gorge Road hospitals have the best equipment. “We know we’ve asked for a lot over the past 20 months, but there’s a reason for that,” she said. “Our hospitals need us right now and it’s really up to us to decide how we come out of this pandemic.

Brohman said the campaign is expected to run for about a year.

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Lillian L. Pena