9 ways donors improved local healthcare in 2020

Published Tuesday, December 29, 2020

9 ways donors improved local healthcare in 2020

9. Thirty One Family CARE Grants Funded

For the 11th year in a row, staff at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre applied for Family CARE grants for the ‘little things’ that can make a significant difference to patient care. Thanks to funding provided by donors to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation along with the Volunteer Association to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, this year close to $64,000 was provided to fund 31 Family CARE (Care Advancements Recommended by Employees) Grants. From writing tablets, to activity baskets for patients with dementia, to musical instruments, these items were made possible thanks to our donors.


8. New Hope for Men with Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer treatment including surgery and radiation can be devastating to the body, leading to many side effects including problems urinating. Local Urologist Dr. Shahrour is pioneering a revolutionary reconstructive surgery to eliminate urethral scarring for prostate cancer survivors, right here in Thunder Bay.


7. Breast Cancer Care Supported by Online Events

We're so thankful that so many people supported The Cooperators Bachelors for Hope Charity Auction and Tbaytel Art & Design Auction of Hope this year. Together $52.9K was raised for better local breast cancer care! For patients with breast cancer, the reality of the worldwide pandemic has added an even greater and unimaginable layer of stress to an already difficult time. Now, more than ever, breast cancer patients rely on local access to exceptional diagnostic and treatment equipment so they can stay close to home.


6. Prostate brachytherapy comes to Hospital

“Prostate brachytherapy is an internal radiation treatment that has shown great results in recent clinical trials that confirm that it’s an effective treatment for prostate cancer,” said Dr. Marlon Hagerty, Radiation Oncologist with Regional Cancer Care Northwest at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. “Not only does this treatment option have a potentially higher cure rate, it also shows more acceptable side effects when compared to alternative treatments.” Dr. Hagerty hopes to perform 30 to 50 of these internal radiation treatments every year. Thanks to the caring and generosity of our donors, the Health Sciences Foundation was able to donate $60,000 towards the purchase of the ultrasound system that is required to provide this treatment option.



5. Community Events Raise $315.7K

Riding their bikes, celebrating birthdays, and walking a marathon a day were just some of the creative physically-distanced ways members of our community fundraised $315.7K for better local healthcare. Thank you!


4. New Kidney Stone Treatment for Patients

Kidney stone surgery has always had a high risk of side effects including bleeding and the need for follow-up surgery. That’s because using traditional surgical methods of removing kidney stones is tricky. However, Thunder Bay’s urology program purchased two new devices to help reduce surgical risks and make kidney stone surgery faster, safer, and less invasive than ever before, thanks to donors. The addition of these two new pieces of equipment, along with experienced urologists here, are helping make Thunder Bay a well-recognized centre for urology in Canada.


3. Important Cervical Cancer Research Happening Here

A prestigious grant and funding from Mitacs and our donors is allowing Dr. Guillem Dayer to research cervical & oral cancer fighting molecules. Years from now, his research could lead to clinical trials. Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is a common virus that almost all sexually active people get at some point in their lives. Most people clear the virus, just as they would a cold. An “alarm” activates and each infected cell shuts down. However, sometimes the infection doesn’t go away, which could lead to cancer development. “The more these cells multiply, the more mutations that can occur and then make things worse – it can become a malignant cancer,” Dr. Dayer said.


2. Cardiac Surgery Equipment (and more) Funded on Giving Tuesday

The goal on Giving Tuesday (Dec 1) was to raise $49,000 in 24 hours - enough to purchase seven Pacemaker Generators to be used for cardiac surgery in the Operating Room at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. These items will help restart people’s hearts and stabilize their rhythm following surgery. Altogether, thanks to the generosity of donors, $127,815 was raised, of which $121,135 was donor directed to the Our Hearts At Home Cardiovascular Campaign to fully fund seven Pacemaker Generators for the Operating Room, two Pacemaker Generators for the Intensive Care Unit, with additional funds supporting further equipment purchases for cardiac surgery.


1. Patients Get Faster and Safer Medication via Automatic Dispensing Cabinets

Automatic Dispensing Cabinets (ADC) provide the right dose and the right medication, help users dispense medication faster, and minimize the chance for medication errors. A win for patient safety, thanks to our donors! When an authorized user like a Registered Nurse or Respiratory Therapist needs a medication for a patient, only the correct item, ordered by a physician, will be available to remove from the cabinet. Each medication is supplied by Pharmacy using unique barcodes to make sure it is the correct medication. Once a medication is ordered, the order is reviewed by a Pharmacist. The medication then becomes available from the Cabinet immediately. Staff can access the medication right away and provide to their patients.


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