The new Intensive Care Unit at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital received a significant amount of funding on Wednesday as the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary (CHCA) donated $450,000 that will go towards new equipment.
A large chunk of the money will be used for purchasing a communication system for the ICU that centralizes information that doctors and nurses need to access for patient care.
In the last five years, the Auxiliary has donated more than $3 million to the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.
Some of the equipment has been purchased with the help of partnerships such as the acquisition of a sentinel node probe to improve breast cancer diagnosis, which was done with the help of Abreast in the Rockies and the East Kootenay Foundation for Health.
Other partnerships in include teaming up with EKFH and Tim Hortons for the Smile Cookie campaign.
In 2007, the purchase of a mobile MRI was another large project that the Auxiliary donated $100,000 towards, with the Auxiliary logo appearing on the trailer that houses the equipment.
The CHCA is a group of roughly 150 volunteers to assist those in need of health care through service and fund-raising. Many of the volunteers work at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store, which is the main fundraiser for the organization.
The Auxiliary also runs the gift shop for those visiting or staying at the hospital by offering gifts, clothing, candy, toys and other merchandise to staff, patients and visitors.
However, the Auxiliary does more than fundraise for equipment as volunteers provide care and comfort by guiding patients and visitors to assignments, diagnostic imaging and other areas of the hospital. You can find volunteers at the front desk in the lobby and other areas such as diagnostic imaging, ambulatory care, oncology, Emergency Department stock fillers and youth helpers.
Auxiliary care also extends outside of the hospital as volunteers also provide services with Joseph Creek Village long-term care home.
The Auxiliary was formed back in 1901 when the Sisters of Providence of Charity operated the St. Eugene Hospital. Over the years, the Auxiliary’s objective remains the same—to assist those in need as well as adapting to changes that reflect the times by adding more services in needed areas.