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Lab equipment purchased for hospital through fundraising campaign

Posted on October 7, 2014 by Shaunavon Standard

A small ceremony was held at the Shaunavon Hospital and Care Centre on Wednesday to mark the end of a successful fundraising campaign involving the Shaunavon Co-op, Shaunavon Credit Union and Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation.

The groups recently teamed up to help with upgrades at the lab of the Shaunavon Hospital, with the Co-op and Credit Union pledging to match dollar for dollar any donation made to the campaign up to a maximum of $10,000 each.

Ultimately, three new pieces of equipment – a Hematology

Analyzer, Centrifuge and Piccolo – were purchased for the lab at a cost of approximately $40,000.

Two of three pieces are already being used at the Shaunavon Hospital, while the third unit – the Piccolo – is expected to be added shortly.

“Shaunavon Co-op and Shaunavon Credit Union believe in the cooperative principles of cooperation among cooperatives and concern for community,” stated Chuck Gartner, General Manager of Shaunavon Credit Union. “We believe in this community and want to do our part to improve the healthcare services available here.”

Clay Thompson, CEO of the Dr. Noble Irwin Healthcare Foundation, thanked everyone involved in the campaign and extended the Foundation’s sincere appreciation to the Co-op and Credit Union, as well as the community at large for their contributions.

“This  was a community effort,” said Thompson, adding that the foundation looked forward to initiating similar fundraising campaigns in the future.

The three pieces of equipment were identified as being necessary to help ensure the laboratory at the Shaunavon Hospital and Care Center can continue to support the healthcare practitioners and staff – particularly in the facility’s new position as a Primary Health Centre.

“The lab in Shaunavon does basic laboratory testing for approximately 3,000 to 3,500 clients per year,” said Tammy Mason – Regional Lab Manager for the Cypress Health Region – when the campaign was first launched.  “The equipment we have allows for this basic assessment, however, lab results often need to be referred to Swift Current or Regina as determined by the client’s physician and newer technology will allow for better service for our residents.”

The Piccolo, for instance, has been described as an ideal solution for small hospital laboratories. It is a small clinical chemistry system that provides the lab accurate blood chemistry analysis which in turn will allow health staff to make treatment recommendations.

The Hematology Analyzer, meanwhile, connects the lab with the Cypress Regional Hospital via a computer network. This means lab results produced in Shaunavon can be electronically forwarded and reviewed in Swift Current and eventually further as deemed appropriate, saving the client from having to attend those facilities for additional testing. Previous equipment did not have this capability; meaning lab testing was often repeated resulting in potential treatment delays.

The final piece of equipment, the Centrifuge, replaces an old unit at the hospital which was reaching the end of its life expectancy. Replacing it was crucial, as all labs require a centrifuge to process their samples.

The fundraising campaign ran from the end of May to the end of July. Any excess funds raised through the program will be held in trust for any future needs for Shaunavon.

A special plaque was mounted outside the Hospital lab to commemorate the campaign.

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