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Return of ambulatory care department was the 2018 highlight for O’Leary’s Community Hospital Foundation

O'Leary Health Centre.
O'Leary Health Centre. - Contributed

The O’Leary Community Health Foundation spent nearly $115,000 on equipment purchases for Community Hospital in 2018, says chairwoman Eva Rodgerson.

The foundation also made donations to Western, Prince County and Queen Elizabeth hospitals fundraising campaigns and has already committed to nearly $67,000 in purchases for Community Hospital in O’Leary this year.

Rodgerson shared her numbers following the foundation’s recent tour of the hospital with Health Minister Robert Mitchell, Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Kim Critchley and O’Leary-Inverness MLA Robert Henderson.

Rodgerson also noted the foundation’s interest in seeing how it can do more to help recruit physicians to the area.

The tour first stopped at the newly-completed training classroom and then to the ambulatory care department, which was just re-established at the hospital last fall.

Getting that service back, Rodgerson told the minister, was the highlight of the foundation’s year. Members had been lobbying for its return for four years.

Hospitals West administrator Paul Young said the department is getting busier by the day.

“Looking at it now, needing a second room, just to deal with the volume we have is absolutely fantastic,” he said.

“The people are loving it,” added Darlene Aylward, the hospital’s full-time ambulatory care nurse. She’s been involved with the service since its return and described it as being challenging and fun.

The range of services provide there include phlebotomies (drawing blood for clinical testing), blood transfusions, intravenous therapy, inserting catheters and draining catheter bags, monitoring vitals and education.

Some of the patients are referred by Charlottetown and Summerside-based surgeons. While most visits are by appointment, the ambulatory care department also sees patients sent over from the health center.

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