Although COVID-19 has shut down one of their marquee fundraisers the Shuswap Hospital Foundation was recently able to replace an important piece of cardiology equipment and funds are being donated to the foundation in other ways.
According to Fiona Harris, the hospital foundation’s director of development, funds raised at the foundation’s sixth annual charity golf tournament were to be used for a cardiac diagnostic upgrade for the hospital. The tournament, scheduled for August, was cancelled due to COVID-19 leaving the hospital foundation without an event that brought in $113,000 last year alone.
Harris said the hospital foundation is committed to funding the new diagnostic equipment with or without the charity golf tournament. She added that the foundation is pleased with the generosity of Canoe Forest Products and Hilltop Toyota, both of which had planned to sponsor the golf tournament but instead made direct donations totalling $7,000 instead.
While alternative ways of funding the rest of the cardiac diagnostic upgrade are considered, Harris said the hospital foundation board stepped up to purchase an ultrasound machine which was needed on short notice. The ultrasound used in ICU and cardiology at the hospital failed but Harris said the hospital foundation had the new device purchased and delivered within 10 days. The new ultrasound came at a cost of $67,406, part of the $158,363 total cost for the full suite of new diagnostic equipment.
Other equipment to be added along with the new ultrasound includes an electrocardiograph machine, a defibrillator and a new hospital bed. A cardiac stress test system made up of a treadmill and some specialized software will also be purchased.
With fundraising events problematic for the near future at least, Harris said donations from businesses and individuals are especially welcome. One source of funds has been from seniors not immediately in need of the money given to them by the federal government as a COVID-19 relief package. Harris said several seniors donated the $300 payment given to everyone eligible for the Old Age Security Pension to the hospital foundation.