Foundation reaches goal, Urology Campaign comes to a close

KBRH Foundation raised a total of $490,000 in nine short months.

The KBRH Health Foundation has surpassed its two-year goal of raising $400,000 for its Urology Campaign with a total of $490,000 collected and slated for the department all in nine short months.

“It really takes a community to raise this many funds so quickly,” said Lisa Pasin, foundation director of development. “I think the interest for the Urology Campaign right from the get go was just immense, and I think it really shows that there was a need in the community, and it shows that the foundation and Interior Health partnering together brought another campaign forward, which really benefits the community and all the community members.”

When Interior Health (IH) secured a new urologist to join longtime physician Dr. Roy Livingstone, the foundation signed on with a campaign that would support recruit Dr. Michael Robinson’s arrival and the purchase of new equipment. Rounding out the department with another urologist and new technology backs Livingstone’s work, Pasin said, but also provides continuity and expands on existing services.

The physicians with specialized knowledge and skill of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs can now deliver more procedures to patients locally. Treatment of urological diseases, like kidney cancer, will be advanced with updated operative equipment that is less invasive on patients than traditional open surgery.

“New laparoscopic equipment, like the harmonic scalpel, will enable our new surgeon to perform minimally invasive surgery to treat kidney cancer,” Jane Cusden, KBRH’s acute health service director, told the Times. “In addition to the acquisition of new laparoscopic equipment, updating of open surgical instruments will allow surgical treatment of prostate and bladder cancer without patients having to travel outside the area.”

Aside from specific cancer therapies, treatment of renal stones and benign prostate disease is also improved with new equipment. “New flexible ureteroscopes will greatly increase the number of patients who can have their kidney stones treated locally,”Cusden added.

Additional flexible “scopes” will further improve the diagnosis and management of benign prostate disease, bladder cancer, and aid in preoperative planning.

Dr. Robinson’s new skills and techniques brought to the operating room paired with new equipment ultimately will ensure more patients remain at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH), rather than travel to Kelowna or Vancouver for care.

“From the minute Dr. Robinson arrived, we’ve been hearing positive stories of patients who are thankful, excited and grateful,” said Pasin. “For us, it’s really a positive experience to be involved in a campaign like this that’s serving our residents right throughout the Kootenay Boundary so well.”

The foundation has now shifted its focus to a “mini-campaign” to help top up funds for an airborne isolation room planned for the Intensive Care Unit at the Trail hospital. The foundation’s goal of $57,000 will help pay for the total project cost of $795,00 mostly shared between IH and the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District.

Since 1988, the foundation has raised over $13.8 million through donations from private and corporate donors. Funding priorities include raising endowed gifts and annual funds to support health care equipment needs, staff education, and special initiatives to enhance health care through the Trail hospital and other Kootenay Boundary facilities.

Campaign discussion starts about six months before kick off with communication between IH and the foundation. Talks centre around what the next priority is in the region, always focusing on needs not met through capital funding.

“We’re always trying to work closely with IHA to choose top priority needs or emergent needs to make sure that we’re keeping health care the best and the strongest for the citizens in the Kootenay Boundary,” said Pasin.

Contact the KBRH Health Foundation toll-free at 1888-364-3424, locally at 250-364-3424 or via email at info@ kbrhhealthfoundation.ca.

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