The Victoria Hospitals Foundation is looking to raise $10 million for more than 200 needed new and upgraded pieces of equipment for Greater Victoria’s three hospitals.
The Emerge Stronger fundraiser is the foundation’s largest annual campaign to date and will have three phases. The first will fund equipment that’s a priority for essential hospital services that have been impacted by the pandemic – supporting departments like cardiac, emergency and surgery. Then, funds will go toward aiming to keep patients close to home by advancing local care, in areas like pediatrics and maternity. The final phase will support improving care through innovation.
“It takes a community dedicated to supporting our hospitals to ensure the best and brightest technology,” Avery Brohman, the foundation’s executive director, told a news conference on Thursday (Oct. 21).
One of the improvements the campaign will fund is replacing the 20-year-old chemistry automation line with a new $1.175 million system. The new line will be able to process blood samples more quickly and allow for a patient’s sample to be moved to the front of the line when it’s a priority.
“Getting quicker results, whether you’re a patient waiting in emerge for results to get discharged or a physician in the ICU waiting for results, we can get that to them that much quicker so proper care is provided,” Wilson Louie, chief technologist at Royal Jubilee Hospital, said while in the hospital’s lab on Thursday.
Dr. Jill Kelly, the medical lead physician in Royal Jubilee’s emergency department, said caregivers are stretched and have shown true grit over the pandemic as local emergency rooms continue to see a combined average of 360 patients every day.
“Without equipment, we’re making critical decisions without the full picture or we’re delaying care or not providing the right care at all and that’s why donor support is key,” she said.
Kelly was glad to see an improved chemistry line included in the campaign.
“That new equipment can process more samples, needs less downtime for re-calibration and will help improve the efficiency within our department, let alone how it can help the rest of the hospital,” she said.
Elin Bjarnason, a vice president of clinical operations at Island Health, said the pandemic’s fourth wave has been the most stressful one yet for frontline medical staff and the campaign will help advance local health care.
“A community that supports us and supports new equipment to be in the hands of those who need it most is one of the ways we can emerge stronger in this challenging time.”
People can donate to the campaign on the Victoria Hospital Foundation’s website (victoriahf.ca/donate/) or by calling 250-519-1750.