O’Leary Community Health Foundation Inc., chairwoman, Eva Rodgerson, from left, and co-chairpersons of the Foundation’s CARE campaign, David and Carol Ferguson, accept the provincial government’s contribution from Health Minister Doug Currie and Tourism and Culture Minister, O’Leary-Inverness MLA Robert Henderson. CARE is seeking to raise $450,000 for a new X-ray unit.
Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer
O’LEARY -- The O’Leary Community Health Foundation Inc. achieved 36 per cent of its new fundraising campaign objective Wednesday with a $165,000 contribution from the provincial government.
Health Minister Doug Currie and Tourism Minister Robert Henderson, the MLA for O’Leary-Inverness, presented government’s cheque to kick start the CARE campaign to raise $450,000 for a new X-Ray unit.
CARE is an acronym for Community Advanced (X)-Ray Equipment.
“If you can’t get your blood work done and an X-ray done, that’s your first step in getting to know what’s wrong with you,” said Foundation chairwoman Eva Rodgerson in stressing the importance of investing in a new unit. The current unit was purchased when the hospital opened in 1995 and Rodgerson said it has become outdated.
“It was broke down as early as yesterday. It was broke down three weeks ago,” she said. The new unit will be ordered as soon as the campaign objective has been achieved, she said. Rodgerson added that the Foundation, and the fundraising committee that has been struck to run the campaign, are hoping to get the job done within about three months. There was already about $50,000 set aside for the X-ray unit before government made its contribution. Last year’s Lights for the Future campaign and other contributions were put into the X-ray fund.
“I think it is very important to get as quick a diagnosis as we can and I think the community will be behind us in this, because we all need our doctors and we all need to get the diagnosis,” she commented.
The campaign is being chaired by David and Carol Ferguson. Ironically, it was David’s parents, Doug and Georgina Ferguson, who chaired the campaign to purchase the X-ray equipment the current campaign seeks to replace.
“I think it is so important to maintain what we have now. We have to have the proper diagnostic equipment; the proper X-ray machine in order to maintain the service we have,” David Ferguson stressed.
The $165,000 matches what the provincial government gave to X-ray campaigns at Kings County Memorial and Western hospitals.
Health Minister Currie commended the community for its buy-in to the changes government is implementing in health care.
“We’re trying to be very creative; we’re trying to make sure we use all of our health professionals to their full scope, whether they be our LPNs, our nurses, nurse practitioners and our physicians.
At the end of the day it’s got to be about access to good services to what, I think, is the most important individual, and that’s the patient,” the health minister said.
Henderson is confident the contribution will re-assure the community of their hospital’s future.
“To maintain the services in the lab means you need viable, accurate pieces of equipment that the physicians and the staff can use. This is a signal; this is a re-investment into that,” Henderson commented. “Governments don’t close facilities that have superior equipment.”