Zoe Jewell, Vera Morrow and Arlene McGinnis celebrate the arrival of a new ultrasound at Tofino General Hospital. (Tofino General Hospital Foundation photo)

Zoe Jewell, Vera Morrow and Arlene McGinnis celebrate the arrival of a new ultrasound at Tofino General Hospital. (Tofino General Hospital Foundation photo)

Christmas comes early for Tofino hospital as foundation gifts new ultrasound

“The whole foundation feels very good about the purchases that we make.”

Christmas came early for the West Coast’s hospital as a brand new portable ultrasound arrived at its doorstep thanks to the Tofino General Hospital Foundation and one very generous supporter.

“I’m just extremely grateful for the assistance that we are getting to purchase the best equipment that we can for our hospital because of the fact that it benefits, so much, the doctors and the nurses who rely on these machines to make a proper diagnosis,” foundation chair Arlene McGinnis told the Westerly News. “The whole foundation feels very good about the purchases that we make.”

The lifesaving new machine cost roughly $74,000 and was paid for with a whopping $50,000 donation from Vera Morrow with the rest coming by way of the foundation’s fundraising efforts, in particular a delightfully successful murder mystery event held in October.

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“I like to donate to things like this. I think it’s very worthwhile. They are in desperate need of help there in Tofino Hospital,” Morrow told the Westerly. “For that staff to keep doing an adequate job there, they need equipment to work. Right now, boy, they need a new hospital, but I’ll do what I can in the meantime to help them keep up and running.”

Morrow spent over 30 years in the nursing field and now splits her time between Tofino and Nanaimo.

“I think that healthcare is an extremely important thing for all of us to be thinking about and trying to keep up to snuff,” she said. “If I ever need to go into Tofino Hospital, I would hope that they could look after me adequately. I think they’re struggling right now and they need a lot of help.”

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Morrow is well known as a frequent supporter of the hospital and keeps in close contact with McGinnis to hear what equipment the foundation is fundraising for. She said there is an “absolutely” good feeling that comes with giving.

“They’re telling me I’m helping them and that’s really good. I appreciate that…You know you’ve done the right thing,” she said. “I’m happy that they’re happy and, if I can help them like that, that pleases me mightily…I’ll help them all I can. ”

The hospital’s clinical coordinator Zoe Jewell said the new machine will be a key asset for local doctors and nurses, especially in emergency care situations.

“The foundation is awesome and we love them,” she said. “Everyone is so over the moon, pleased and thankful. The current state of health care is so taxed on money and spending and in debt, so [the foundation] allows us to provide the best care possible and everyone’s just so happy and thankful.”

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She suggested “health care technology changes almost daily” and it’s vital to keep up with modern equipment, adding the hospital’s older ultrasound was nearing the end of its effectiveness.

“It was starting to break down and the picture quality was poor, so this was great timing,” she said. “We’re super thankful…We just love to be able to provide the most evidence-based current care that we can with the resources we have.”

McGinnis said the foundation has not yet identified what their next present to the hospital will be, but she expects to hear from Island Health on what is most needed prior to the foundation’s annual fundraising gala at Shelter Restaurant on April 24.

“I can’t say enough about Shelter,” she said, noting 2019’s event raised over $150,000 for the foundation. “They’re amazing, that’s all I can say. They’re totally amazing.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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