The Valley Wire
Community responds with life-saving breath
Hospital foundation’s Breathe Well campaign enjoys great success
As has often been noted, if you can’t breathe, little else matters.
According to the Canadian Lung Association, one in five Canadians suffers from a serious respiratory disease, such as COPD, asthma, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis and respiratory illness distress syndrome. The COVID-19 pandemic has focused public awareness on the seriousness and urgency of respiratory illness.
Every year, more than 1,800 people of all ages from across the Annapolis Valley undergo pulmonary function tests at the Valley Regional Hospital.
In May 2022, the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation asked donors, service groups, partners, local businesses and event sponsors to support the Breathe Well campaign, with a goal of raising $250,000 for the purchase of pulmonary function test equipment and portable spirometers.
The response was more than generous. Donors from across the Annapolis Valley and beyond responded to the request and in less than a year the $250,000 was raised.
“We want to thank the Annapolis Valley community for coming together to recognize the need for essential health care for all residents,” says Stacey Floris, communications specialist with the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation.
The new equipment has been installed and is now in use the respiratory therapy unit at the hospital. The equipment allows for breathing tests to determine lung function for maintenance, monitoring and pre-surgical purposes to reduce the risk of complications and ensure patients can be safely discharged.
Since 1985, the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation has provided more than $18 million to improve health care in the Annapolis Valley. With the generosity of local residents and organizations, and through a range of campaigns, the foundation has funded medical equipment, programs and services.
One of the foundation’s major initiatives is the annual Radiothon campaign. Each September listeners tune into AVR 97.7 for a day of compelling stories from patients, physicians and community members. The day of giving raises funds for essential health-care needs and an announcement will be made in the upcoming weeks for the launch of the 2023 Radiothon.
“People will likely see something in their mailbox in May,” Floris says.
There are numerous ways donors, patients and others can support their regional hospital, including gifts of shares, bequests in a will, memorial gifts and a monthly giving program.
The personal interaction between patients and providers is at the heart of health care. The foundation’s Grateful Patient Program is a way for patients and their families to show special appreciation to a specific staff member, physician, team or volunteer. It may have been something as simple as a warm smile from a staff member or a visit from a volunteer. When a gift is received the foundation acknowledges the designated person or persons with a special token of appreciation.
“People often write a little tribute along with their donation and so we get to tell that story to the team that took care of the patient,” Floris says. “We hear repeatedly about how staff at the Valley Regional Hospital operate with professionalism, care and compassion.”