Recent History – 1998
By Alethea Wiesner, Daily News Staff, Dec. 11, 1998
A $43,000 donation from the B.C. Tuberculosis Veterans Association has purchased of a state-of-the-art ventilator for the Dawson Creek hospital.
This doubles the number of ventilators at the hospital to two, the last one purchased in the 1960’s. The second machine helps the hospital meet needs of patients in the South Peace, said Sheila Barnes, Director of the Dawson Creek and District Hospital Foundation.
“It gives us more comfort if we have multiple trauma and require more than one person to be ventilated, we can handle it,” she said. Barnes added even with only one ventilator there hadn’t been a case where two people needed it at once, “but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.”
This is the only ICU unit in the South Peace, she added, and it needs to be well-prepared to serve the community.
It’s the second donation the local hospital has received from the BC TB Vets, an organization which provides grants for respiratory equipment. The first request made by the Dawson Creek hospital was met with a $17,000 donation.
“They’ve been a great help,” said respiratory therapist Bob Norman. “So far we’ve been batting .1000 with these people.”
As a side bonus, the hospital purchased the new ventilator for the same price as a demo unit. Originally the hospital was to get a demo unit with all the usual bells and whistles, Norman said, but the unit was accidentally sold.
“They said, ‘Well, I guess we’re just going to have to give you a new one for the same price,'” he explained. “I said, ‘Okay.'”
The hospital clued into the BC TB Vets’ program after receiving a letter from Vera Frederickson, who discovered the association provided hospitals with funding across the province but hadn’t donated in Dawson Creek.
The hospital put forth a proposal and was approved for assistance – to date, $50,000 worth.
The BC TB Vets receive funding from donations and their key return program.
For $5 people can purchase a numbered tag for their keychain.
Found keychains can be placed in any mailbox where they will be returned to the vets, who track down the owner.
Over 150,000 sets of keys have been returned since the program began in 1945 as a means of employment for ex-servicemen with tuberculosis. The association now mails out over one million individually-numbered keychains a year.
“It shows the community what you get when you contribute to an organization,” said Barnes. “This is an example of what your dollars do, for you and the community.”
This article is taken from the Peace River Block Daily News, Dawson Creek, with the permission of the publisher. The Daily News retains all rights relating to this material. The information in this article is intended solely for research or general interest purposes.