Hospital Auxiliary donate funds raised from online 2020 Festival of Trees to Foundation

FEELING FESTIVE- Despite not being to host a physical 2020 Festival of Trees event, the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary was still able to generate over $30,000 for capital equipment expenditures at the local Hospital. Pictured from left at the Picton cenotaph Monday are: Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; Auxiliary Members, Sharon Morcom; Denise Linnett; Dorothy Vincent; Carol Harvey; Fran Donaldson; Liz Jones, Festival of Trees chairperson; Judy Anderson; Jack Starkey and Auxiliary President, Cathy Starkey. (Briar Boyce Photo)




What is a mainstay tradition in Prince Edward County that usually sets the mood for the festive season was much different in 2020.

But isn’t that the story with every festival, gathering and annual celebration during these days of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Across Ontario, with gathering restrictions in place due to COVID-19, traditional weekend, in person events like the Festival of Trees held annually at Isaiah Tubbs Resort could not be held in 2020. But this did not dampen the festive spirits of the hospital’s volunteer group who worked hard to usher in the holiday season by bringing the year’s most anticipated holiday auction to life in a virtual format.

The results are in and the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH) Auxiliary were pleased to continue their tradition of giving with a gift to the PECMH Foundation. On Monday, a small group of Auxiliary volunteers safely and joyously presented the proceeds raised at the 2020 Festival of Trees auction held exclusively online from Nov. 12 to Nov. 25.

Festival patrons supporting the Auxiliary’s 13th annual Festival of Trees helped raise $33,000 for the purchase of medical equipment needed at Quinte Health Care-Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital, including a crash cart defibrillator and a new SMART bed. The equipment is part of the PECMH Foundation’s 2020/21 priority equipment list.

“Having a crash cart defibrillator is vital in the resuscitation of a patient who presents with cardiac arrest,” said Lisa Mowbray, patient services manager at QHC-PECMH. “Whether that care is administered in the Emergency Department or anywhere within Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital. This lifesaving equipment can be used on adult and paediatric patients and is designed specifically for use by medical professionals to respond to cardiac emergencies.”

Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital’s crash cart defibrillator had reached its end of life and replacement parts could no longer be sourced. Having this equipment in place will allow the medical team to stabilize and treat cardiac patients close to home.

“The contributions the PECMH Auxiliary make to fund this type of equipment greatly benefits the well-being of patients,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “Our patients are fortunate to have such a committed team of volunteers working on their behalf. Last year our County Hospital staff managed over 40,000 visits. Thanks to our donors, including the PECMH Auxiliary, our dedicated medical team continues to have access to the equipment and tools they need to be able to provide you and your loved ones with the care you deserve, close to home. Community support is so important because medical equipment is not paid for by the government. Your donations support the skilled and compassionate care that is happening every day inside the hospital.”

The new crash cart defibrillator is lightweight, portable and capable of interfacing with the echocardiogram machine already in use at PECM Hospital. Its integrated Wi-Fi allows for simple transmission of patient information. It features resuscitation and pacing therapies and medical professionals are guided by a combination of programmable text prompts, audible alarms and visible indicators, enhancing patient safety.

“The Festival of Trees committee along with the PECM Hospital Auxiliary board and volunteers extend a heartfelt thank you to the people who donated, and bid on the beautifully decorated trees, purchased baked goods, or items from the Second Time Around Shop Christmas boutique,” said Liz Jones, chairperson of the Festival of Trees. “Once again our community showed up and was very generous in both donating and bidding.” 

In addition to the crash cart defibrillator, the funds raised through the Festival of Trees purchased a Centrella SMART bed for the inpatient unit at PECMH. This bed is fully adjustable with electronic controls. Raising or lowering the bed makes it easier to get into or out of, reducing the risk of a fall and further injury. Patients benefit from these new beds which offer a supportive and therapeutic surface to optimize healing. The mattress is designed to reduce the incidence of pressure injuries and is built with a high weight capacity. The bed also offers easy to understand verbal safety prompts such as, ‘the care team has been called’ or ‘brake not set’. The USB port also makes charging electronic devices more accessible to the patient.

“The Auxiliary is indebted to many people,” added Cathy Starkey, president of the PECMH Auxiliary. “People who have worked cheerfully and tirelessly throughout this pandemic to make the Festival of Trees a very special online event: our sponsors and donors, the Festival Committee, our volunteers and friends who worked many hours, all those who baked and bought and preserved and purchased, or visited the boutique.”

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization whose mission is to raise money to advance health care for the people of Prince Edward County.