Letter from Dr. Fung
I dream of the day we get to take off our masks. To walk through the halls of the North Bay Regional Health Centre or aisles of the grocery store and smile at each other. To hug our extended family and friends tightly, shake the hand of a new acquaintance and high-five a child for a job well done.
This year has been unusual, yet it has taught us so many things about ourselves. We are resilient. We are innovative. We are kind. We are supportive. And we are generous.
I’ve witnessed your incredible generosity towards NBRHC and essential workers throughout these extraordinary times. Thank you. Some of these kind gestures include:
PPE donations from local families and businesses;
Random acts of kindness – including vehicle parades around the Health Centre, signs on our neighbours’ lawns and in windows of homes and businesses;
Nourishment for our dedicated and hardworking staff in the form of treats and lunches; AND
Generous monetary donations!
I am grateful for the generous community donations received from people like you this spring in response to the letter sent by Dr. Jennifer Mihill and Dr. Ian Cowan. More than $46,500 was raised for the Urgent Care Fund for COVID-19, which was generously matched by OCP Construction and the Cousineau family with a $25,000 donation!
Because of your generosity, our hospital purchased four BioFire instruments for the Laboratory. This equipment is critically important for testing symptomatic inpatients, critical healthcare workers and patients requiring transfer to other health centres or long-term care facilities. The complexity of this equipment allows the Lab to screen for more than 20 infectious respiratory illnesses from one swab, including COVID-19, influenza and all strains of rhinovirus (the common cold).
Our hospital continues to play an essential role in managing and monitoring COVID-19 through the Assessment Centre, as well as patient and visitor screening at entry points to ensure the safety of all patients. But, accidents, illnesses and diseases do not stop, even for a pandemic. Our community needs our hospital. Our Emergency Department continues to manage emergency medical situations in our community including allergic reactions, heart attacks, fractures and more. Adults and children experiencing mental illness still need specialized support. Babies are still being born. Patients are still receiving treatment, such as dialysis, chemotherapy and surgical interventions. AND…
We still need you.
Your generous donations to our local hospital help purchase urgently needed medical equipment to care for all patients in our community, close to home. As the pandemic evolves, urgent needs continue to emerge.
Most recently, several key pieces of lab equipment have been identified that will have a transformative impact on our community. Testing is the cornerstone of COVID-19 management at the Health Centre and in the community. With 150 to 300 individuals swabbed daily at the Assessment Centre, NBRHC is looking to further increase COVID-19 local testing capacity - with the goal of processing all swabs collected in our district!
The Quidel Solana molecular testing platform can process 12 COVID swabs every 40 minutes. Pending approval by Health Canada, the addition of four of these state-of-the-art platforms and supporting equipment would allow NBRHC to process 300-400 COVID screening swabs each day. The cost to implement this specialized equipment is estimated to be $55,000.
Please consider making a donation to your hospital today. Your donation to the greatest needs will enable our hospital to respond to the urgent and emerging needs of our community during this pandemic and always, helping to purchase essential medical equipment such as the Quidel Solana.
The past months have been difficult on everyone. Thank you for the changes you’ve made in your lives that are helping to manage this disease– especially sacrificing time with friends and family. As we head into the holidays, we are faced with the reality that for now, things are going to continue to look different.
We will continue to be resourceful and seek innovative ways to connect with one another and support the charities we care about. From video calls with family and friends, tailgate visits with neighbours, birthday vehicle parades and virtual fundraisers such as Cooking with Dr. Singh, the virtual Our Hospital Walk/Run, and paint classes, we have all worked hard to have fun together and connect with others. I am grateful for the technology that has allowed us to do this.
Please consider making a donation to help our hospital and our community today.
Wishing you and your family safe and happy holidays.
Dr. Donald Fung, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Chief of Staff
P.S. We project this equipment will reduce the turnaround time for swab processing from 4-5 days to 24-48 hours. This is especially important for individuals and families who may miss work and/or school, negatively effecting the family’s financial situation. Thank you.