A large illuminated heart was installed on the roof of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital May 1, 2020. (VJH Foundation photo)

A large illuminated heart was installed on the roof of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital May 1, 2020. (VJH Foundation photo)

Hearts aglow for Vernon hospital fundraiser

No tree atop hospital this year, but supporters can still Light a Bulb to buy required equipment

For the first time in more than 30 years, the Vernon Jubilee Hospital won’t be lighting a tree on the roof of the hospital.

“We will keep our beloved White Heart glowing in respect of our workers and medical teams who continue to work tirelessly to keep our community safe from COVID-19,” said VJH Foundation president Michael Kinghorn, who is also the chair of the Light a Bulb Campaign.

Instead, the VJH Foundation will be decorating the Polson Tower with strings of light.

“Allowing the community to get in the holiday spirit and to remind them that they can still light a bulb in support of health care this season,” Kinghorn said.

This year, all monies raised through the Light a Bulb campaign will go towards purchasing a much-needed piece of equipment in the Medical Imaging Department in the Cardiology Unit.

An additional echocardiogram ultrasound — which allows doctors to determine a patient’s current health heart through moving pictures — is required to reduce wait times.

“We currently have two echocardiogram ultrasound machines at VJH, however the need for a third machine is critical,” VJH’s head of internal medicine Dr. Danie Roux said.

“In the North Okanagan right now, there are more than 1,200 residents waiting for an echocardiogram ultrasound,” Roux said. “The addition of one more machine would mean that wait times would be reduced by up to half. Meaning patients can be seen faster, diagnosed quicker and can access the appropriate medical treatment in a timely manner.”

Donations are accepted online at vjhfoundation.org/donate, via phone at 250-558-1362 or by mail to the foundation at 2101 – 32nd Street Vernon BC V1T 5L2.

“Every gift, great or small, brings us closer to raising $275,000 for critical equipment at VJH,” the foundation said in a Nov. 19 statement.

READ MORE: North Okanagan Light A Bulb campaign nears goal

READ MORE: White Heart campaign grows brighter in Vernon


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