Equipment Funded

Your donations directly fund essential patient care equipment

Your donations make world-class healthcare possible at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Thank you! Here's a look at the impact you had in 2019.

Mammography Unit Replacement with Tomosynthesis Unit/Stereotactic Biopsy

(Diagnostic Imaging, $ 475,000)

Equipment for giving people the best possible chance to find breast cancer when most treatable

Detailed images are everything when it comes to looking for breast cancer; you can’t treat what you can’t see. The Linda Buchan Centre for Breast Screening and Assessment will replace one of its mammography units and install a new state-of-the-art tomosynthesis/stereotactic biopsy unit. This new unit will ensure patients can access Rapid Breast Assessment; where mammography, ultrasound, biopsy (if required) and one-on-one interaction with a breast imaging radiologist is offered all in one visit. For anyone with a suspicion of breast cancer, reducing the time it takes to be diagnosed or given the all-clear is of huge importance.

Positron Emission Topography/Computed Topography

(Diagnostic Imaging, $ 40,000)

Equipment for providing clear diagnostic images for cancer, cardiac disease and neurological disease

Positron emission tomography/Computed Topography (PET/CT) can identify changes at the cellular level, along with where they’re occurring, and therefore may detect the early onset of disease before other imaging tests can. This highly specialized test can help determine the best treatment plan for cancer, providing hope to patients. As medical imaging technology has advanced so rapidly over the past decade, a new PET/CT will provide images fast, with better detail. This will allow patients needing this service to receive timely care close to home.


High Dose Rate Brachytherapy Ultrasound System

(Radiation Therapy, $ 60,000)

Equipment for precise prostate cancer treatment

For the one in nine men who will have prostate cancer, a new type of radiation therapy is available. High Dose Rate Brachytherapy uses small needles inserted into the prostate that are wired to a radiation source. A high radiation dose is delivered precisely to the tumour, sparing healthy cells. To ensure the correct placement, an ultrasound machine is used to guide the needles. Thanks to the specificity of this treatment, men may experience fewer side effects from the radiation.

Pictured is Dr. Marlon Hagerty, Radiation Oncologist

Learn more about HDR Brachytherapy



Dental Drills

(Operating Room, $47,106)

Equipment for specialized dental surgery

A sore tooth is never any fun and can cause serious pain. Thankfully new dental drills in the Operating Room will allow dentist to perform procedures more efficiently, helping to keep patients safe and providing treatment to resolve tooth problems quickly.

Pictured is Debra Everts, Registered Nurse and Team Lead for Dental





Surgical Lights

(Operating Room, $75,000)

Equipment for surgeons to see well during surgery

Being able to see properly is essential during surgery as surgeons perform extremely delicate procedures to care for patients. Lights in the 14 Operating Rooms are used daily and new ones keep patients even safer thanks to their ability to minimize shadows and provide the best illumination.

Pictured is Christine Erickson, Perioperative Manager


Dental X-Ray

(Operating Room, $85,000)

Equipment for dental surgeries

It’s a standard of care in dentistry; having an x-ray taken helps dentist assess and decide how to provide the best care to patients. A new dental x-ray machine in the Operating Room will provide digital x-rays during surgery, allowing dentists to decide, in real-time, what next steps they need to take. Additionally, when surgery is over, the images can be directly loaded into a patient’s medical record, and reviewed as necessary.


Neuro Microscope

(Operating Room, $110,000)

Equipment for neurosurgery

When it comes to brain surgery, seeing is everything. For the 250 patients who require neurosurgery each year, a specialized neuro microscope allows surgeons to have precise vision during procedures. Without this critical piece of equipment, patients would have to leave town for surgery.

Pictured is Ryan Kelly, Registered Nurse and Team Leader for Neuro


Cardiac Care Equipment – Intra-Aorta Balloon Pump & Pacemaker Generator

(Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department and Trauma Program , $76,095)

Equipment for patients who need emergency cardiac care

After having a major heart attack, some patients hearts’ may need a little extra help. An intra-aortic balloon pump provides life-saving care by helping the heart pump more effectively, which improves blood flow throughout the body. It works by inflating and deflating a catheter inside the aorta, imitating the heart’s pumping action. Additionally, if patients have a slow heart rate, which can also result from a heart attack, physicians may need to use a pacemaker generator to keep a patient’s heart beating faster. Both devices are essential in giving someone time to beat the odds.

Pictured is Chad Johnson, Critical Care Manager





Rapid Fluid Infuser

(Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department and Trauma Program , $20,000)

Equipment for patients requiring critical care

Trauma care is all about helping patients in dire need and doing so quickly. Seconds count. In the Emergency Department, a Rapid Fluid Infuser provides a patient with an entire unit of blood in two minutes; critical when someone has lost significant fluid or blood from burns, or even internal haemorrhaging. It’s also used to help warm up patients suffering from hypothermia. It gives patients a fighting chance.

Pictured are Dylan and Deanna, Registered Nurses in the Emergency Department 




(Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department and Trauma Program , $27,000)

Equipment for patients requiring critical care

In the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), staff provide care to the most critically ill patients; approximately 1,400 a year. A defibrillator is an essential tool to help shock a heart during cardiac arrest, providing a chance for patients to keep living.

Pictured is Wayne Taylor, Manager, Cardiovascular & Regional Stroke Unit 2C





(Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department and Trauma Program , $60,000)

Equipment for patients requiring rapid assessment and treatment

Finding out ‘what’s wrong’ is imperative; especially for patients who come into the Emergency Department or when there are changes to a patient’s status in the Intensive Care Unit. An ultrasound is used to provide images from inside the body. Only by identifying what’s happening can treatment begin.

Pictured is Dr. Exley, Emergency Department Physician



Prismaflex Machine, Portable Water Treatment System and Aquacart

(Renal Service , $61,915)

Equipment for patients requiring life-saving dialysis or plasma exchange

When patients are critically ill in the Intensive Care Unit, they may require 24-hour dialysis treatment. The Prismaflex Machine provides this immediate life-saving treatment. It may also be used if a patient needs plasma exchange to rid their blood of disease triggers. For this machine to function, a Portable Water Treatment System must be used to treat the water, as patients can’t be moved to the Renal Department where the water is already treated. These are immediate treatment needs and any delays can cause a significant impact to the patient, including death.

Pictured are (L-R): Lisa Motkaluk - Pharmacy Technician, Allyson Hoard-Mann - Renal Coordinator, Mary Wrigley - Manager, Renal Service, Sally Milani - Dialysis Aide, Tamara Duncan - Hemodialysis Nurse, Kristy Petzschler - Hemodialysis Nurse, Stacey Carruthers - Clerk, Erika Bishop - Hemodialysis Nurse, Liza Fiala - Dialysis Aide




Syringe Pump

(Neonatal Intensive Care Unit , $6,200)

Equipment for specialized care of infants

Caring for infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit requires the highest level of professionalism, along with copious amounts of love. To ensure infants receive accurate amounts of fluid and medications, a Syringe Pump is used to monitor and properly give fluids, so that the tiniest patients can thrive.


(Neonatal Intensive Care Unit , $32,000)

Equipment for specialized care of infants

For the world’s newest residents, especially those born premature, it can sometimes be difficult to regulate body temperature and it’s easy to pick up infections. In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, excessive light and noise can be tough for infants to handle. Therfore, an incubator is used to protect the infant, and give them the best possible chance to grow.

Neonatal Crib

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit ($12,000)

Equipment for specialized care of infants

A small room with a plethora of medical equipment isn’t the easiest environment for practitioners to provide care for infants. In the isolation rooms of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where infants who require airborne isolation are placed, crowding was causing a problem. New, smaller cribs will now allow more room to work and provide the critical care newborns require.

Phototherapy Unit

Maternal/Newborn Unit ($9,000)

Equipment for treating jaundice in infants

It’s not unusual to see some newborn babies have a ‘yellow glow’ about them. This is caused by high levels of bilirubin, causing jaundice. Luckily this is a highly-treatable condition and a special light source – a Phototherapy Unit – helps break down the bilirubin, helping newborns recover.


Paediatric Bed

Paediatric inpatient department ($11,000)

Equipment for providing comfort to children

A comfy bed goes a long way in healing. For patients in the Paediatric Inpatient department, a new bed will provide that extra bit of comfort during their time at the Health Sciences Centre.

Oximeter (2)

Paediatric inpatient department ($3,200)

Equipment for assessing children

Any type of assessment that’s non-invasive and painless is usually a hit with kids; an oximeter fits the bill. These small pieces of equipment measure how well a child’s heart is pumping blood through the body by measuring oxygen saturation level. There are many reasons to use an oximeter and with expanding services being offered by paediatrics, there’s a need for more.


Automatic Dispensing Cabinet

Pharmacy ($200,000)

Equipment for safely dispensing medication

When it comes to patient safety, the right dose and the right medications matter. Automatic dispensing cabinets are specialized vending machines that store medications and distribute them properly. The machines have a computer that’s connected to the pharmacy medication record, which allows only the medications ordered for a patient to be removed from the cabinet, helping prevent medication errors. Only authorized staff can access the cabinet and tracking is done using fingerprint technology. Additionally the machine only allows one bin (one medication) to open at a time, which also reduces the risk of the incorrect medication being removed. Since medications are immediately available to nursing staff once an order has been entered into a computer by pharmacy staff, patients can receive their medications even faster. This grant is helping to expand the fleet of ADCs across patient care areas.

Pictured are (L-R): Jennifer Copenace, RPhT - Omnicell Pharmacy Superuser, Jessica Munn, RPhT - Omnicell Systems Administrator and Automation Lead and Katie O'Quinn, BScN, RN - Clinical Nurse Specialist-Surgical and Ambulatory Services

Equipment Funded in Regional Hospitals 

In addition to funding equipment at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, your donations provided essential equipment in communities across Northwestern Ontario. Each year, different communities receive funding thanks to your generosity.



Endoscopy Reprocessor

Wilson Memorial General Hospital, North of Superior Healthcare ($34,469)

Equipment for quickly and reliably disinfecting endoscopes used to screen for colorectal cancer

Anyone who has prepped for an endoscopy procedure knows it’s not something you want to do often; and you certainly don’t wish to have your procedure cancelled due to an equipment failure. With a new Endoscopy Reprocessor, the endoscopes used in the colorectal cancer screening program can be disinfected quickly between patients, and ensure that patients can have their scopes completed on the day they were booked. Offering colorectal cancer screening close to home is essential as it removes the burden of travel for this important procedure. Many colorectal cancers can be prevented through regular screening as precancerous polyps can be removed before turning into cancer. This important program, that provides screening for hundreds of patients each year, was created thanks to a grant of $115,000 in 2007 to purchase the initial equipment needed.

Pictured is Donica Budge, MDRD Technician, Wilson Memorial General Hospital



Vein Viewing System

Lake of the Woods District Hospital ($7,500)

Equipment for improving cancer patient satisfaction and safety

No one likes being poked and prodded, especially when under the stress of being diagnosed with cancer. At the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, chemotherapy is offered to patients to save them the almost 1,000 km round trip to Thunder Bay. Patients who require chemotherapy often need multiple pre- and post-treatment bloodwork samples. A vein viewer allows nurses to see, in real time, inside a patient’s body to accurately find a vein to obtain these samples. Less pokes means increased patient safety and a decreased chance for infection; critical when having chemotherapy.

Vital Signs Monitor and Digital Scale

Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital ($3,784)

Equipment for assessing patients to safely receive chemotherapy

When patients are receiving chemotherapy, it’s incredibly important that the medication is given safely and that patients are monitored throughout their treatment. Before any medication is given, nurses will take an accurate measurement of a patient’s weight so that the correct dose can be calculated; a digital scale is the best tool for this job. Once a patient is comfortably settled to receive their treatment, nurses monitor how well they’re tolerating treatment by using a vital signs monitor to keep a close on how a patient is doing. If anything’s not quite right, they can tell right away and take action.

Heated Chemotherapy Recliner

Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre ($5,642)

Equipment for keeping patients comfortable while receiving chemotherapy

Comfortable seating plays a significant role in ensuring a positive patient experience. The new heated chemotherapy recliner will help patients relax in their surroundings. Many patients with cancer experience fatigue and these chairs promote rest and relaxation, which is always a positive. The heated recliners also help as patients receiving treatment may feel cold because the fluids used for the treatment are at room temperate. Having heat at one’s back can provide additional comfort, especially for patients who are there for several hours.

Heated Chemotherapy Chair with Lift Capability

Santé Manitouwadge Health ($3,508)

Equipment for keeping patients comfortable while receiving chemotherapy

Comfortable seating plays a significant role in ensuring a positive patient experience. The new heated chemotherapy chair will help patients relax in their surroundings. Many patients with cancer experience fatigue and these chairs promote rest, which is always a positive. The heated chairs also help as patients receiving treatment may feel cold because the fluids used for the treatment are at room temperate. Having heat at one’s back can provide additional comfort, especially for patients who are there for several hours. This chair also assists patients get up and stand with less exertion, which is helpful if they’re experiencing pain.

Digital Stand-On Scale with Height Gauge

Hôpital Notre Dame Hospital Hearst ($4,928)

Equipment for assessing patients to safely receive chemotherapy

When patients are receiving chemotherapy, it’s incredibly important that the medication is given safely. Before any medication is given, nurses take an accurate measurement of a patient’s weight and height so that the correct dose can be calculated; a digital scale with a height gaugge is the best tool for this job. The new scale gives patients confidence as they can walk on and hold on safely; helpful when they’re feeling weak or are frail.

Thanks to your donations in 2018, the following essential equipment was funded.




Simulation Program 

(Interprofessional Education, $500,000)

Equipment for improving interprofessional skill levels and, in turn, patient safety

This simulation lab provides continuing interprofessional education by allowing staff to train together on procedures, research new procedures, and assess competency levels. By training in a simulation lab, health care professionals can improve skill levels in a safe environment, including rare but often life-threatening situations. Ultimately, this will lead to higher patient safety and improved outcomes.

Trauma Care Equipment

(Emergency Department, Trauma Care, Intensive Care Unit, Nurse-Led Outreach, $ 76,479.66)

Equipment for earlier intervention of trauma patients

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre admits approximately 1,350 trauma patients every year into the ICU. Many of these patients require fast treatment in the Emergency Department, inpatient rooms, and elsewhere before they are admitted. These treatments include blood and fluid replacement, defibrillation for heart attack patients, and ventilators to assist with breathing. This equipment replaces and upgrades ageing equipment to ensure continuum of care for patients.

Cast Cutter and Vacuum

(Ambulatory Care – Fracture Clinic, $5,060)

Equipment to remove casts and reduce wait times.

The Fracture Clinic removes approximately 40 casts per day. This new cast cutter and dust-reducing vacuum will double their capacity, ultimately leading to reduced wait times for patients.



Argon Electrical Surgical Unit

(Unit 3A & Endoscopy, $34,000)

Equipment to fight colorectal cancer earlier while increasing patient comfort

Colonoscopy helps detect colorectal cancers, but the equipment can often treat pre-cancerous conditions by snipping polyps before they progress to cancer. This new unit goes a step further, burning off cancer cells when caught in the earliest stages. Previously, this would have to be done in an operating room. The new procedure is faster, less invasive, reduces recovery time, reduces the need for medication, and improves patient comfort while reducing bottlenecks in the operating room.


Laparoscopic Instrumentation

(Operating Room, $61,484)

Equipment for minimally invasive surgery, which leads to better outcomes for patients

More surgeries today are done laparoscopically, a minimally invasive method using small incisions for tools and cameras to guide surgeons. This reduces recovery times and improves outcomes for patients compared to full-incision surgery. This equipment will upgrade and replace ageing instruments.

Surgical Equipment

(Operating Room, $87,782.41) 

Equipment to maintain specialized surgical equipment for continued patient trauma care 

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is the highest level trauma centre in Northwestern Ontario, treating a wide range of traumas. This equipment for cataract surgery, prostate surgery, and electric drills will help the operating room meet existing and expanding needs.


Infant Care Equipment

(Women & Children’s Program, $17,772.73)

Equipment to improve infant care and mother’s comfort

Three separate pieces of equipment help enhance infant care. A special breastfeeding chair for twins will allow mother to feed both babies at once. Two isolation cribs will help infants in NICU who require airborne isolation, but allows for easy access for nurses. A new ophthalmology kit for infants will allow paediatricians to better examine eyes during their newborn assessments, allowing them to see more of the eye and in greater detail.

Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump

(Cardiac Catheterization Lab, $105,000)

Equipment that helps the heart pump blood

Often patients with acute cardiac conditions cannot pump enough blood through their bodies, requiring immediate treatment. The intra-aortic balloon pump temporarily pumps blood for patients until they can receive a more permanent treatment.


PoCUS Ultrasound Unit

(Regional Cancer Care Northwest, $30,567)

Equipment for faster diagnosis of fluid build up

Patients who experience fluid build up need to have the fluid drained. Traditionally, that meant booking time in Diagnostic Imaging to get an ultrasound or advanced imaging to mark where the fluid is. This portable Point-of-Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) unit allows the health care provider to identify and mark the area faster for faster treatment and to reduce the workload in Diagnostic Imaging.

4D CT Viewer

(Regional Cancer Care Northwest, $12,240)

Equipment for better CT planning of radiation treatment

Certain cancer tumours can move in the body during radiation treatment, including, for example, lung tumours. This can reduce the effectiveness of treatment since radiation doses may not be delivered as intended. This new addition to the CT simulator enables detailed review of those movements, essentially tracking the tumour over time. With this software add-on, oncologists are better able to determine the best treatment approach, ultimately leading to improved patient safety and better outcomes.

Radiation Treatment Phantoms

(Regional Cancer Care Northwest, $31,999)

Equipment to verify radiation dosages

It is of utmost importance for patient safety that dose levels are routinely confirmed. Radiation treatment “phantoms” or test runs are used to mimic treatment conditions, sometimes separately and other times interactively with treatment units. These phantoms improve patient safety and potentially patient outcomes by ensuring that the patient has received the correct radiation dose (i.e. not too much and not too little).

Metal Artefact Reduction System

(Regional Cancer Care Northwest, $28,370)

Equipment to improve radiation treatment planning

CT scans are used before radiation treatment to determine the location, size, and density of the cancer tumour. However, certain items such as a hip prosthesis or dental implants can disrupt the CT image. The Metal Artefact Reduction System, as the name suggests, reduces the disruption for a clearer picture of the tumour. This leads to better treatment planning and ultimately better patient outcomes.

Infant Care Equipment

(Women and Children’s Program, $83,851.09) 

Equipment to outfit the Women and Children’s Program

The Women and Children's Program oversees seven units including Labour & Delivery. This grant provides several pieces of equipment: an infant scale, an infant warmer to keep baby warm during newborn assessment, and two fetal telemetry monitors to monitor the baby's vital signs before birth and during delivery.



Paediatric Bed

(Women and Children’s Program, $10,189)

Equipment upgrade and replacement for inpatients in the children’s unit (Unit 1B)

Beds in the paediatrics unit (1B) are ageing and need replacing. The Women and Children’s Program has developed a five-year replacement plan.

Endoscopy Scopes

(Diagnostic Imaging, $40,800)

Equipment additions to keep patient wait times down

Endoscopy scopes need to be sterilized between uses to eliminate the chance of infection. Recently, new guidelines suggested that centralizing the sterilization process within the Hospital would improve patient safety. However, these new guidelines will increase patient wait times. The addition of new scopes including four transvaginal transducers, one transesophageal transducer, and two neck scopes will minimize wait times due to these patient safety measures.


Hemodialysis Chairs

(Renal Services, $45,878) 

Equipment to improve patient comfort during dialysis

Renal patients can undergo dialysis treatments for hours at a time, up to three days per week. That’s a long time, especially if the chairs are uncomfortable. This grant provides seven upgraded hemodialysis chairs for the Renal Program in Thunder Bay, Fort Frances, and Sioux Lookout. All monies were raised directly from the annual Greek Supper Club fundraiser, held each October.

Patient Care Equipment

(Renal Services, $142,293.79) 

Equipment to improve patient care and comfort for dialysis patients

This capital cost project replaces and upgrades several pieces of equipment to improve renal care and patient comfort. A new Primaflex system helps patients with short-term kidney injury, and can also help replace patient plasma with new, healthy plasma. The grant also provides for a portable ultrasound machine for positioning dialysis catheters, and replaces ageing equipment including three blanket warmers (two in Thunder Bay, one in Fort Frances), a clinical exam table, and a medication fridge.


Post-Prostate Cancer Treatment Patient Assist Devices

(Operating Room, $233,000)

Equipment to improve quality of life for some prostate cancer patients 

Many prostate cancer patients report incontinence or erectile dysfunction after surgery and/or radiation treatment. Devices including an artificial urinary sphincter and an inflatable penile prosthesis can help reduce the impact of these side effects. Currently, we do not have the capability to implant these devices in Northwestern Ontario, so patients must travel to southern Ontario for the procedure. This grant brings these services closer to home.

Equipment Funded in Regional Hospitals 

In addition to funding equipment at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, your donations provided essential equipment in Red Lake and Hearst. Each year, different communities receive funding thanks to your generosity.




Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital ($11,175)

Equipment for endoscopy (colorectal screening) program

Previously, Red Lake’s endoscopy program would have to find a stretcher from another patient area for each colonoscopy. This potentially added to wait times to locate a stretcher, and could lead to bed shortages. Not only will a dedicated stretcher streamline the procedure, it provides the hospital with an extra stretcher during over-capacity situations.

Angela Bishop, CEO, Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital commented, “The donation of funds for the stretcher means that we were able to purchase a dedicated stretcher for the endoscopy program rather than removing from other patient care areas; the additional stretcher also expands the hospital's capacity to respond to over-capacity situations. The RLMCMH is very grateful for the support for our cancer screening colonoscopy program.”

Bedside Computer

Hearst Hôpital Notre-Dame ( $1,825.96) 

Equipment for the chemotherapy program

The chemotherapy program in Hearst required a new computer to handle orders and documentation related to patient care. The HP EliteOne computer will remain at the patient bedside so the health care provider does not have to leave the patient to input orders and data.

Josée Mitron, Executive Leader, Long Term Care and Outpatient Services at Hopital Notre-Dame Hospital commented, “Recent attention in health care has been on the architectural design of the department, including its technology and equipment and its effect on patient safety. To ensure we can continue to provide the safe and correct transmission of orders and documentation, we required a new computer. Thanks to this grant, the computer will be located in an area next to the patient so the caregiver does not need to leave the bedside, providing safer patient care. We are very thankful to the Northern Cancer Fund for this grant that will allow us to enhance the cancer care we provide in Hearst.”