A fundraising campaign for a tool helping doctors diagnose hidden heart problems at St. John Hospital in Vanderhoof launched Friday afternoon, July 23.
Helping kick off the campaign for an ECHO Ultrasound machine in honour of long-time School District 91 trustee and community volunteer Rosalie Nichiporuk was Integris Credit Union and Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation.
Integris Credit Union announced they would donate $50,000 in Nichiporuk’s name to the fundraising campaign.
“Rosalie’s tireless contributions to the people of the Nechako Valley cannot be overstated,” said Alison Hoskins, CEO of Integris Credit Union in a news release.
“As a founding member of the Integris Community Foundation Committee and until her passing, Rosalie participated in every grant decision made by the Foundation – a cumulative total that surpassed $1,000,000 in the spring of 2020.”
Also supporting the project is Mr. & Mrs. P.A. Woodwards Foundation, in which Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation has secured a $100,000 grant.
The need for an ECHO ultrasound to enhance cardiac care in the Omineca region was identified by local physician Dr. Shu Ho who said they are thrilled at the prospect of performing echocardiography in Vanderhoof.
“Currently, UHNBC is our main referral center for patients in need of this critical service,” Dr. Ho stated.
“In addition to travelling to Prince George, which imparts financial and time constraints especially during winter months, patients often wait months for their echocardiogram. With the ability to perform this service locally, we can reduce travel times, shorten regional waitlists and provide better care.”
Up to $60,000 still needs to be raised through the support of donors.
Proceeds from a kabob BBQ lunch served July 23 by Four Rivers Co-op went to the campaign.
“Vanderhoof is a wonderful community, and they really get behind in healthcare, so I have every reason to believe that it will be a very successful day,” said Judy Neiser, CEO for Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation.