At the end of the recent fiscal year, the Kingston General Hospital Auxiliary was confronted with a happy dilemma -- just what to do with all the money it had raised?
“All those purchases people make at our Auxiliary Café, Tuck Shop, Gift Shop and Lottery booth certainly add up,” says KGH Auxiliary President Sandy Thomas. “This year the cheque we presented to KGH was for $609,780.” For the first time in nine years, the Auxiliary had a choice to make about where to direct those funds, now that its multi-year pledges to the redevelopment of our operating room department and to central processing services and the renal unit are all wrapped up. This allowed it to pick things to support off of KGH's long list of capital equipment needs instead.
“Our mission is to help in the patient care area so we wanted to pick things that would have a direct impact,” says Thomas. “That's why we were happy to choose three ultrasound pieces as they help with the diagnosis, speed things up in the hospital and are non-invasive in nature.”
The biggest of the three is an Antenatal Diagnostic Clinic Ultrasound that costs $225,000, followed by an Endobrachial Ultrasound worth $170,000 and then by a Portable Ultrasound at $55,780.
Dr. Louise Rang says the portable ultrasound we already have in our emergency department is in constant demand and the new one will make a big difference on many fronts.
“We have really needed this addition to our program for a while,” says Rang. “There is clear evidence that ultrasounds performed by the clinician caring for the patient can save lives and reduce morbidity.”
For example, point-of-care ultrasounds help clinical teams rapidly investigate a range of life threatening conditions, such as cardiac arrests, organ injuries and pregnancy abnormalities. The ultrasounds are also invaluable as a training tool for medicine residents as well as for physicians from across the region looking to get in their 30-hours of required scanning time in emergency.
"The emergency department is very grateful to have this wonderful donation," says Rang.
Meanwhile, the Antenatal Clinic Diagnostic Ultrasound is scheduled to arrive this September. It will be the last of three new such ultrasounds for our Fetal Assessment Unit and it will replace a 10-year old unit now near the end of its life span. It comes with highly specialized software programs and probes.
“The new unit allows for extraordinary visualization of the fetus and the maternal organs supporting the fetus,” says Director of Diagnostic Imaging Karen Pearson.
“Our department is dependent on technology which is excessively expensive and their donation now ensures we will have three state of the art obstetrical units to serve our patients. The Auxiliary's purchase is the ultimate gift."
Along with their ultrasound donations, Auxiliary members also supported the purchase of a sensormedics oscillator and a cardio respiratory monitor along with donations to the spiritual care, social work, cancer centre, Inpatient Mental Health, and Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence programs.
Thomas says the Auxiliary won't be ruling out signing on to another big five-year pledge in the future but in the meantime it will be keeping an eye on our capital equipment list and other hospital needs with next year's donation in mind.
If you'd like to get in touch with our Auxiliary with a suggestion, contact Sandra Thomas at KGH Auxiliary ext. 6352.