Wednesday August 20, 2014

The Health Foundation - 2013 Year in Review


Ross Fisher Executive Director, Health Foundation

What are some of the highlights of the year?

This was an important year because we had to show the government we could raise money for the new regional hospital, and do what we normally do at the same time. We were able to do that because we had a lot of help, especially from the farm community and the Yorkton Farm Implement dealers. As well, there were over 5,000 donations made to The Health Foundation this year, which means people strongly supported our work.

Was 2013 a Successful year?

Yes. For us a successful year means that we were able to buy equipment that provides a new or improved service to the people of this region; it means we were able to make a difference in our local healthcare. With the help of our donors we bought three pieces of equipment that will make a difference:

• New ultrasound machine – the key to our raising funds for this was the funding being provided for a new staff person to run the machine. Both the new staff person and the machine are in place and working, this machine allows Sunrise to do an additional 2,500 exams a year and will significantly reduce wait times for exams;

• New upgraded haematology (blood) analyzer – The lab in the regional hospital will run over 32,000 tests annually on this machine. This machine is new technology and provides better information and allows our technologists and doctors to do tests they couldn’t before. This machine helps diagnose cancers, blood disorders, nutritional deficiencies and provides a complete blood count for almost every patient getting blood work;

• New Cardiac Stress Test equipment – this machine has been ordered and will be in place for the first week of 2014. This equipment consists of a treadmill and computer equipment and programming. Various cardiac conditions can be diagnosed with this equipment.

The above equipment cost $321,800; in addition, we bought another $225,667 in smaller pieces of equipment. Items like vital signs monitors, telehealth monitors for the heart and stroke clinic, $31,000 in new surgical equipment, and items for ICU and palliative care.

We also spent about $100,000 in the facilities outside of Yorkton, as we do every year. Many people think we only raise funds for the hospital in Yorkton, but we raise funds for every facility in Sunrise Health Region. This year we bought items from a blood gas analyzer in Langenburg, and a medication cart and a ceiling track system in Esterhazy, to a blanket warmer and chemotherapy fridge in Melville.

As well, we awarded 26,500 in education scholarships this year. We try to assist nurses and therapists who want to improve their clinical care skills so they can look after patients to the best of their ability.

How do we raise our funds?

We raise funds by asking businesses and individuals for donations. Generally, if people can see there will be a clear benefit by providing a new service they are willing to make a donation.

The other way we raise funds is from events like the: Charity Golf Tournament, Airwaves for Health Radiothon, Road Race and our Gala. The Golf Tournament and the Road Race involve the public in a big way as the runners and golfers raise pledges in the community.

Volunteers are Important

Without volunteers we could not put on the events we hold each year. Each event has a committee of volunteers that organize the event, and then of course there are many more people volunteering the day of the event. We also manage the Gift Shoppe at the hospital and there are over 40 people who volunteer every week at the gift shoppe. It is open about 80 hours a week, and staffed completely with volunteers.

What are you looking forward to in 2014

2014 looks to be an exciting year, and we hope that some of the programs in the regional hospital can expand.

• With the help of the agriculture community and our local farm implement dealers we hope to continue the Farming for Health project for another year;

• We will continue to raise funds toward the new regional hospital, we expect 2014 will see renewed discussion about the new hospital with the government, and we have to be ready;

• We will be raising funds to put new patient bedside monitors in place in the regional hospital; these are very exciting new technology that will be good for both patients and medical staff;

• We will be expanding our radiothon to make it more of a community event and to involve the business community in a bigger way;

• We hope to expand the chemotherapy program so fewer patients have to go to Regina for treatment.



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