Travis Thomspon

Travis Thomspon

Foundation sets wish list at Vernon hospital

The complete list of urgently needed medical equipment can be seen at vjhfoundation.org.

The Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation board of directors has approved the 2016-17 list for most urgently needed medical equipment at Vernon Jubilee Hospital and residential care facilities in the North Okanagan.

The 33 pieces of equipment totalling $480,816 will assist residential care in Armstrong and Enderby, the operating room, women’s and children’s health, respiratory services at VJH and community-based palliative care patients throughout the North Okanagan.

“We are excited to have completed the annual process of determining which urgently needed pieces will most benefit the various and growing needs of North Okanagan residents,” said Sue Beaudry, director of development for the foundation.

Included is a $16,300 airway clearance system for patients with acute and chronic respiratory conditions, a $22,700 flexible ureteroscope for urology, a $24,000 laryngoscope for difficult intubation, and two portable patient lifts totalling $7,900 for palliative care residents in their own homes.

One of the new pieces of equipment will be The Vest System, which uses high frequency chest wall oscillation to clear lung secretions.

“The machine will be used for adult and some pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, muscular dystrophies and quadriplegics,” said Michael MacAulay, cardiopulmonary professional practice lead at VJH.

The foundation already has a head start on a couple of the items on the list, including $62,000 for the central monitoring system for the women’s and children’s health department at VJH, which was raised during the Sun-FM Have a Heart Radiothon in April.

Funds raised from the 2015 Wine, Women & Woods Tee Off for the Cure and Prospera Vernon Dragon Boat Festival purchased a $99,000 ultrasound unit and stretcher for the mammography department and is already in use.

“The ultrasound is a great complementary piece to the digital mammography unit that was purchased in 2014 by the foundation,” said Travis Thompson, manager of VJH digital imaging.

The foundation board works with senior Interior Health (IH) staff in the North Okanagan to understand and identify unfunded critical health care needs.

“Pieces of equipment, specific projects, individual programs and IH staff training and education are all part of what is considered.  Based on VJH Foundation’s fund raising capacity, our Board determines how much it is able to fund each year,” said Beaudry.

The extensive selection process begins with IH department staff and physicians identifying the highest priority pieces required. A round table made up of managers from community services, residential care facilities and VJH prioritizes what pieces of equipment will be approved.  IH then approaches VJH Foundation with a formal request to fund some of the items on this lengthy list.

The urgent needs list is presented to the foundation’s Board of Directors who, based on IH recommendations, select items based on four main criteria.

Health and safety of staff and patients is the first priority, replacing equipment that may pose a risk of injury.  Second is replacing equipment that is at its end of life, experiencing downtime due to excessive repairs, lack of replacement parts, and expiring service contracts.

The third priority is new equipment, including add-ons to augment existing equipment and new technology which brings innovative approaches to health care.  The final consideration is the availability of existing funds and ability to raise additional funds to purchase the needed equipment.

The Foundation partners with IH and the North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap Regional Hospital District on major campaigns and since 2008 has provided almost $11,500,000 to purchase needed equipment, both by funding major projects like the Building A Tower of Care campaign and the annual urgent needs lists.

Last year, VJH Foundation raised more than $2,500,000 to furnish and equipment the 6th and 7th floors of Polson Tower, in addition to equipment, programs and staff training at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, community health and residential care facilities throughout the North Okanagan.

The complete list of urgently needed medical equipment can be seen at vjhfoundation.org.