In just one short year, Cold Lake’s hospital has seen an influx of new equipment and upgrades, provided by both Hearts for Healthcare and Alberta Health Services.
Many items that had been on the hospital’s wish list for some time have been struck off the list, according to Hospital Manager Steve Marcotte.
A brand new ultrasound machine, new emergency and operating room lights, scope equipment, cataract surgery set-ups and a C-arm for radiology services were provided by AHS. Marcotte recently announced that one of two new maternity beds needed on the third floor, is also now being funded by AHS.
He estimates the value of new equipment at over $400,000.
“Since AHS has come to be, there has been a better purchasing power due to the size of the organization. The Cold Lake Healthcare Centre has been in need of upgrades, and with the approval from executive and the input from staff we have been able to have a lot of these things installed,” says Marcotte.
Staff is thrilled with the new equipment, and so is the Hearts for Healthcare Coalition, which has been pushing for modernization of the local hospital, since the group came together two years ago.
“The community’s participation in voicing concerns about healthcare and supporting fundraising initiatives has garnered a lot of attention, and has contributed to some degree in our hospital receiving a significant amount of new equipment. Mr. Marcotte has also been a great advocate for our hospital, and deserves much of the credit,” according to Greg Sylvestre, Chair of the Hearts for Healthcare Coalition.
For its part, Hearts for Healthcare has also been working to enhance hospital equipment and provide some “extras” for Community Health Services as well.
Last November, Hearts for Healthcare purchased five new emergency room monitors, which are now installed and working in the emergency department. It has also provided a tympanometer and covered registration fees for the ear, nose and throat specialist who visits Cold Lake periodically. A new electric bed, a curling without ice system and mobility aids were recently granted to Community Health Services, in addition to a portable baby scale and ear thermometer. Hearts for Healthcare has provided almost $95,000 in new equipment in the last year.
Yet, keeping up with the rapid pace of advancing medical technology is expensive. The group’s main priority is a modern 64-slice CT scanner, estimated at 1.5 million dollars. The new equipment would provide more detailed images, faster scanning times and increased patient comfort.
“We’re focusing on opportunities to partner with AHS, and to leverage the donations we have received. If we can cost share on items, or obtain match funding, we’ll achieve tremendous progress,” adds Sylvestre.
In addition to the scanner, the hospital is still in need of a portable ultrasound machine, specialized lifts for long-term care, a hydraulic tub and privacy curtains.
There is still much work left to do, but with a generous and supportive community, the group is confident it will reach its 2-million dollar goal.
Pictured above: ER nurse Dianne Bibeau and Steve Marcotte, Hospital Manager, with the new ER monitors purchased by Hearts for Healthcare.