By Heather Holmes, Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation
Five years ago, the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation started a new initiative by approaching local businesses with an Annual Partnership Program, as a means to raise funds other than through events or mailings. Today, with over 30 Annual Partners, this program is an important source of recurring income for the Foundation, and the impact for our community hospital is huge. They organize fundraising activities in the community, offer their help and support in our operations and are essentially our biggest ambassadors. We deeply appreciate our Annual Partners, and would like to introduce why we think you should support them.
Who are our fantastic Annual Partners? We have many local businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as larger companies such as Desjardins and Air Canada Rouge, and local branches of major banks and real estate brokers. All of our Partners share the will to make a difference in our community and stand out in terms of social responsibility. By partnering with our Foundation, these committed businesses directly impact the availability and quality of care that you, your friends, neighbours and loved ones will receive at the Lakeshore General Hospital. They better our community and we are truly grateful.
The COVID-19 pandemic prevents us from hosting our major fundraising events which are an important source of income, thus decreasing our revenues. Our Annual Partners are also working very hard to overcome revenue loss. However, you can help! You can encourage these local businesses! Our Partners help the entire community by providing better healthcare close to home, and most people do not truly realize that. If our Partners experience financial difficulties, it will have repercussions on the Foundation and that, can affect everyone.
There are numerous examples of recent acquisitions and upgrades that the Foundation provided for our community hospital. For each of these improvements, we thank all our donors, including our Annual Partners whose contribution was key. Here are a few of them:
- For the Birthing Centre: Sleeper chairs in each room now allow a relative or dad to share the room before and after the baby’s arrival. In addition, light therapy blankets, known as “biliblankets,” let newborns receive their jaundice treatment while being rocked by mom or dad. Did you know that each week, our Birthing Centre welcomes close to 30 babies?
- In the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), patients’ condition is often verified by radiology diagnostic tests. Until recently, whenever a physician prescribed such a test, the patient was brought to the medical imaging department by a team of four people. This team consisted of a nurse, a respiratory therapist, and two nursing aides who provided ongoing care for the patient. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that when we are at our worst, any movement causes stress and discomfort and can be destabilizing. Today, thanks to our generous donors and Partners, we have been able to reverse the roles. The intensive care team now brings diagnostic ultrasound equipment to the patient’s bedside. This avoids the risks, stress and fatigue associated with interdepartmental transport at the most vulnerable times. During this era of pandemic, this reduces the risk of contamination as well.
- Did you know that many seniors visit the emergency room with urological problems, such as difficulty completely emptying the bladder or a prostate trouble? The Foundation purchased a second bladder scanner for the Emergency Room (ER), to easily assess bladder volume. No more using catheters as a measuring tool! The ultrasound diagnostic method is faster, less invasive and especially less painful.
- CT-scan upgrades: the hospital installed a new CT-scan room last fall, and the Foundation upgraded the equipment with an “advanced detector” which increases image quality so much that radiation doses can be reduced without compromising image accuracy. This is an important benefit, especially for oncology patients whose treatment effectiveness is regularly measured by CT scanning. The detector also helps to protect the more sensitive parts of the body from radiation. In addition, with this state-of-the-art equipment, our specialists can perform certain procedures, such as biopsies, which previously required a trip to a downtown facility.
- To reduce the stress associated with exams, we also purchased a virtual skylight to make the room more welcoming and less intimidating. While lying down on the CT scanner, you can now enjoy a lovely view of the sky on a beautiful sunny day.
- Since March, our focus has been to supply COVID-19-related items such as additional personal protective equipment (PPE). Specifically, we have invested in washable long sleeve gowns, protective eye gear, face shields, negative pressure equipment, and masks.
We are very proud of these important improvements, which all took place just in the past 12 months! As you can imagine, after 5 years of support, our Annual Partners truly have made a dynamic impact on the quality of care now available at the Lakeshore General Hospital.
You too can take a leading role in our community’s access to high-quality healthcare close to home. How? Simply by choosing to shop and use the services of these local businesses who are caring for you!