SACKVILLE, N.B. – The Sackville Memorial Hospital Foundation launched its 2013 fundraising campaign last week, urging the community to get behind its latest efforts to acquire new equipment for the hospital’s thriving day surgery program.
The foundation has set an ambitious goal of raising $100,000 for this year’s It’s the Way we Operate Campaign, with funds going toward the purchase of a new anaesthesia system for the operating room.
SMHF campaign chair Pat Estabrooks encouraged Tantramar residents to throw their support behind the campaign, saying each new piece of equipment helps to improve the sustainability of the local hospital.
“Your contribution will go a long way toward improving the quality of care for residents in our community who require necessary surgical treatment,” said Estabrooks during Thursday’s campaign launch in the hospital’s atrium.
With about 1,000 surgeries performed at the local hospital each year, Dr. Manju Abeysekera, anaesthesiologist at SMH, says the anaesthesia equipment is an essential component of the day surgery program.
“We have a very active program . . . and you need the equipment to keep that going,” said Abeysekera.
He described the anaesthesia machine as the “cockpit of the operating room,” which is used to administer and monitor the flow of anaesthesia delivered to surgery patients.
Abeysekera said the current machine is outdated and nearing the end of its life. It will soon become a challenge to find replacement parts for the 22-year-old system, he said, which could mean those interruptions would lead to longer wait times for necessary surgery.
SMH offers over 40 different types of orthopedic, plastic, urology and general surgeries, with anaesthesia being used in all the procedures.
With recent advances in anaesthesia technology, the new anaesthesia machine is anticipated to be safer, more precise, more efficient, and significantly less expensive to operate compared to the machine it’s replacing. It will also allow for easier upgradeability and will have a longer life span.
Hospital foundation chair Andy Marr said past campaigns have been tremendously successful, thanks to community support, and expects this time to be no different.
Marr said the day surgery program helps keep the hospital “open and busy” and pointed out it’s vital for the community to continue to ensure the facility is equipped with the latest technology to keep it relevant.
Fundraising efforts over the next few months will include direct mail-outs, a staff campaign, special events and door-to-door canvassing. Foundation members hope to reach their goal by the end of June.
To make a donation, you can contact the foundation at 364-4204, drop by the hospital, or donate securely on-line at www.smhf.ca.