Ser­vices ex­panded

Echocar­dio­gram ser­vices will be avail­able this fall at James Pa­ton Me­mo­rial in Gan­der.

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front Page - BY PATRICK MUR­PHY Patrick.mur­phy@saltwire.com

GAN­DER, NL — Car­diac ser­vices at James Pa­ton Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal just re­ceived a ma­jor im­prove­ment.

At a press con­fer­ence in Gan­der on Mon­day morn­ing, Health Min­is­ter John Hag­gie an­nounced the restoration of echocar­dio­gram ser­vices, be­gin­ning this fall.

“It’s been a prob­lem to vary­ing de­grees since I was a clin­i­cian here,” Hag­gie said. “The abil­ity to have the equip­ment, the staff and the ex­per­tise to run it fills in that gap. It’s im­por­tant for a whole range of pa­tients.”

An echocar­dio­gram is an ul­tra­sound test us­ing high-pitched sound waves sent through a de­vice called a trans­ducer. The sig­nals are picked up as echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off the dif­fer­ent parts of the heart. The echoes are turned into mov­ing pic­tures of the heart that can be seen on a video screen.

The prov­ince will make a one­time in­vest­ment of $200,000 to pur­chase the equip­ment, and con­trib­ute $141,000 an­nu­ally for op­er­a­tion costs.

The Cen­tral North­east Health Foun­da­tion will also make a one-time do­na­tion of $125,000 to the pro­ject.

“The foun­da­tion has been on the go for a num­ber of years, and we are fully com­mit­ted to fundrais­ing for this pro­ject and other pro­jects in the area,” Ruth Cheeks, chair of the Cen­tral North­east Health Foun­da­tion, said. “My motto is, I hope I never have to use it, but I’m glad it will be there if I do.”

While the ser­vice will not be avail­able un­til later this year, Hag­gie says the ad­di­tional ser­vices will dou­ble ca­pac­ity for pa­tients re­quir­ing echo ser­vices in cen­tral New­found­land. It should also help man­age the need for travel by pa­tients who are very ill and help re­duce wait times, ac­cord­ing to the min­is­ter.

PATRICK MUR­PHY/GAN­DER BEA­CON

Health Min­is­ter John Hag­gie an­nounced the restoration of echocar­dio­gram ser­vices at James Pa­ton Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal Mon­day, April 17. The ser­vice is ex­pected to be­gin this fall.

PATRICK MUR­PHY/GAN­DER BEA­CON

Left to right are: Va­lerie Pritch­ett, Co­or­di­na­tor James Pa­ton Me­mo­rial, Health Min­is­ter John Hag­gie, Ruth Cheeks, Chair of the North­east Health­care Foun­da­tion, Dr. Barry Gal­lagher, act­ing Chief of Staff James Pa­ton Me­mo­rial, and Rose­mary Goodyear, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Cen­tral Heath.

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