Ra­dio­thon raises large amount in sup­port of health­care

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBEN­BERG — mlieben­berg@prairiepos­t.com

Gen­er­ous do­na­tions from the com­mu­nity and busi­nesses dur­ing the 10th an­nual Phar­masave Ra­dio­thon for Health­care as­sisted the Dr. Noble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion to raise enough money to pur­chase a dig­i­tal por­ta­ble X-ray ma­chine for the Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal.

The 15-hour live broad­cast from the atrium of the Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal in Swift Cur­rent on Nov. 1 and 2 raised a to­tal of $171,813.

Health­care Foun­da­tion Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Clay Thomp­son noted this year's to­tal was only ex­ceeded by the amount raised dur­ing the inau­gu­ral Ra­dio­thon.

“We en­joy do­ing this pro­gram ev­ery year,” he said. “It takes a lot of time and ef­fort to or­ga­nize it and co­or­di­nate it with the ra­dio sta­tion and me­dia and so on and then it’s a mat­ter of get­ting the mes­sage out to the pub­lic. I think this year our mes­sage was solid. The piece of equip­ment we're look­ing at fund­ing is needed. I think it's rel­e­vant, I think it's life-sav­ing, and when­ever you can put that com­bi­na­tion to­gether it makes it go pretty eas­ily.”

He got some sense of peo­ple's thoughts about the health­care equip­ment that will be funded by this year's cam­paign when he spoke to in­di­vid­u­als who dropped off do­na­tions at the hos­pi­tal.

“I don’t think I had one per­son that didn’t say this is a piece of equip­ment that’s needed in Swift Cur­rent and good on you guys for try­ing to find the money to make it hap­pen,” he said. “We had a goal of putting some life­sav­ing equip­ment in place and peo­ple just agreed and they made it hap­pen for us.”

The Health­care Foun­da­tion set a goal of $150,000 for the 2018 Ra­dio­thon. The to­tal was not only higher, but the fi­nal amount might still in­crease a bit more as some last minute do­na­tions are re­ceived.

“There’s some peo­ple who’ve dropped cheques in the mail and so on,” he said. “They didn’t bother to phone in, but they’re con­tribut­ing to the cause. We gen­er­ally get about 10 per cent more than what we an­nounce.”

Some large do­na­tions and cor­po­rate sup­port helped to make a dif­fer­ence and to keep the to­tal go­ing up­wards dur­ing the Ra­dio­thon. The Kinsmen Foun­da­tion made a do­na­tion of $50,000.

“Kinsmen and Kinettes work re­ally, re­ally hard ev­ery year on their Telemir­a­cle and they are al­ways look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties and ways to sup­port their com­mu­ni­ties’ great­est needs, and thank good­ness they felt that this was one of the ways they could do that this year,,” he said. “We’ll cer­tainly take ad­van­tage of that and we’ll have our new equip­ment in place I hope by the end of the year.”

The Bank of Mon­treal made a com­mit­ment to match do­na­tions to a max­i­mum of $25,000 and Thomp­son felt it made a dif­fer­ence to other donors who re­al­ized their amount will now have dou­ble the value.

“The Bank of Mon­treal match­ing gift pro­gram is one of the pro­grams that we’ve been try­ing to get go­ing a lit­tle bit,” he said. “Other health­care foun­da­tions in other places had good suc­cess with that match­ing pro­gram, and we’ve been try­ing to set one up for the right oc­ca­sion over the last two, three years. We ap­proached BMO and they said let’s give that a shot, and did that ever come through loud and clear.”

The price of a dig­i­tal por­ta­ble X-ray ma­chine can range any­where be­tween $150,000 and $200,000 de­pend­ing on spec­i­fi­ca­tions of dif­fer­ent mod­els. The funds raised dur­ing the Ra­dio­thon should be suf­fi­cient to pur­chase the ma­chine that the hos­pi­tal wants, and any leftover money will be used to buy a blad­der scan­ner.

“It’s be­come stan­dard pro­to­col for use on the wards if there’s prob­lems through the night with a pa­tient,” he said about the scan­ner. “But we’ve got to make sure this one works out the way it’s sup­pose to first, and if there hap­pens to be that sur­plus funds, that’s what we’re go­ing to use it for.”

Donna Wother­spoon, the re­gional med­i­cal imag­ing man­ager for the Saskatchew­an Health Au­thor­ity, said the dig­i­tal por­ta­ble X-ray ma­chine rep­re­sents the best tech­nol­ogy avail­able to health­care staff.

“This is a dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy, which means our image will show up on a mon­i­tor that’s at­tached right to the por­ta­ble X-ray ma­chine,” she ex­plained. “So we will have the image at the bed­side. Cur­rently we have to take the image, take our plate down to the depart­ment, put it through our ma­chine and get the image. Now you’ll be able to get the image right at the bed­side. So if the doc­tor is stand­ing right be­side the bed­side they can see the image, they can treat the pa­tient right away. It’s about 30 sec­ond for the image to come up at the bed­side.”

The al­most im­me­di­ate avail­abil­ity of these im­ages can make a real dif­fer­ence when cer­tain med­i­cal pro­ce­dures are be­ing car­ried out by physi­cians in the hos­pi­tal.

“We do line place­ments,” she said. “So at the bed­side we can see where the line is. If it isn’t ex­actly where they want it to be they could ad­vance it, we could do an­other pic­ture and they would know right away that they’re in the cor­rect place.”

She ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the over­whelm­ing sup­port from the com­mu­nity in the en­tire south­west re­gion for the Ra­dio­thon.

“We’re grate­ful that it al­lows us the abil­ity to stay cur­rent with the tech­nolo­gies in the prov­ince, be­cause they have dig­i­tal porta­bles in some of the other fa­cil­i­ties,” she said. “We want to of­fer that to our pa­tients – the best tech­nol­ogy that’s out there, the best imag­ing that’s out there, and this is just one of the ex­am­ples of the type of imag­ing that’s out there and that we can use.”

Pho­tos by Matthew Lieben­berg

Above: The two-day Ra­dio­thon broad­cast took place from the atrium of the Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal. Above right: Dr. Noble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion board mem­ber Craig Ek­strand records a do­na­tion from a caller dur­ing the Ra­dio­thon, Nov. 2.

Ra­dio an­nouncer Glenda-Lee Vossler con­ducts an on-air in­ter­view with Donna Wother­spoon, the re­gional med­i­cal imag­ing man­ager for the Saskatchew­an Health Au­thor­ity, Nov. 2.

The fundrais­ing to­tal is dis­played at the end of the two-day Ra­dio­thon. From left to right, Clay Thomp­son (Dr. Noble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion), Donna Wother­spoon (Saskatchew­an Health Au­thor­ity).

Above: Leanne Tunt­land-Wiebe of Great West Auto Elec­tric pre­sented a $1,000 cheque to Dr. Noble Ir­win Re­gional Health­care Foun­da­tion Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Clay Thomp­son. The do­na­tion was on be­half of em­ploy­ees and the Wiebe fam­ily, and the com­pany has sup­ported the Ra­dio­thon ev­ery year since it started 10 years ago.

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