The 100 Mile District General Hospital will receive $31,500 in new equipment from the South Cariboo Health Foundation.
The foundation will use funds raised from its Starry Nights campaign to provide a wishlist of items needed for the hospital. The equipment is in addition to the $25,000 earmarked for 100 Mile Hospice’s two palliative care suites in the acute care ward. All money raised by the foundation stays in the South Cariboo.
“This is our banner year,” said Brenda Devine, public relations and fundraising for South Cariboo Health Foundation. “This has been the best we’ve had since we started eight years ago.”
The campaign raised close to $100,000 this year, said Chris Nickless, the chair of the foundation’s board of directors. He thanked the foundation and the board for their “unparalleled support” as well as the community for its donations and the media for spreading the word.
He expects COVID-19 was the main driver for the donations this year as it brought everyone’s healthcare to the fore, while more people weren’t travelling so they had money to spend at home. For that, he’s grateful.
“The need is always there, it never quits,” Nickless said, noting the foundation also provides funds to Millsite Lodge and Fischer Place as well as programs such as Meals on Wheels or those associated with Hospice or Mental Health. “It’s an ongoing battle because the equipment wears out.
“This is hugely important to the community. If we don’t keep our doctors and nurses with up-to-date or modern equipment that’s tough on all of us.”
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Devine noted the South Cariboo is an aging community, and more people are moving here every day. They come with an expectation the community will provide a certain quality of life, she said. The South Cariboo has the second-highest number of seniors in B.C., next to Qualicum Beach.
“The aging population is here and with that comes all of these issues,” she said.
She said providing equipment that allows people to be treated in 100 Mile House, rather than travelling to Kamloops is vital. Not only are they treated closer to home but they will spend their money in this community and not somewhere else. All equipment purchased for the hospital is vetted and chosen by the local medical community so it serves the needs of the South Cariboo.
“The equipment is vetted for the rural hospital so it’s going to be used,” Devine said. “It’s really important we get the right equipment.”
Equipment purchased by the South Cariboo Health Foundation includes: Four chemo treatment chairs ($4,000); two Sara Steady lifts for long-term care to help patients from sitting to standing to wheelchair ($2,400); two vein finders ($1,700); two linen/organization carts for acute care($3,500 each); one bladder scanner with cart for long-term care to help assess the status of the bladder in patients’ room as well as improve individual comfort while being examined. ($20,000); one chemo fridge for the new clinic in the hospital. ($2,800)
Two additional equipment items will be announced later.