Rotary Club of Wellington supports PECMH with Automated Endoscope Reprocessor purchase

Pictured in front of the PECM Hospital in Picton from left: Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; Ken Robertson, president of the Rotary Club of Wellington; Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign chairperson; Barbara McConnell, chairperson of the PECMH Foundation and Phyo Kyi, chair of the Rotary Club of Wellington Foundation. (Submitted Photo)

The Rotary Club of Wellington has shown their ongoing commitment for our County hospital through funding an essential piece of equipment in partnership with the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF).

In an act of love for their local hospital, the Club has raised $30,500 for the purchase of an Automated Endoscope Reprocessor (AER) needed in the Medical Device Reprocessing Department at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH). An AER is essential to the delivery of Endoscopy services PECMH. This vital piece of equipment disinfects each gastroscope and colonoscope between patients. The AER has been purchased and is now in use.

This upgraded equipment allows for a quicker turnaround time to efficiently process scopes as the cycle time is reduced by about 25 minutes. This machine operates using two fully independent reprocessing bins so two scopes can be cleaned at the same time. It uses an environmentally friendly high level disinfectant to process the scopes, making it safe for staff.

“We are grateful to the Wellington Rotarians and the donors in our community who supported Rotary’s fundraising initiatives,” said Barbara McConnell, chairperson of the PECMH Foundation.  “Our County hospital is integral to the health and wellness of our community and this equipment funding will support Quinte Health’s team to deliver great care, close to home, including residents from across the region.  We are inspired by the many generous donors who are committed to making local health care accessible and to providing the hospital with leading edge equipment to serve its patients.”

PECMH is the low-risk endoscopy centre for Quinte Health. On average, over 3,000 individuals travel to Picton from across Southeastern Ontario each year for cancer screening and scope procedures.

“The previous AER’s were outdated and frequently out of service due to mechanical failures. These new AER’s put patient and operator safety first and ensures endoscopy patients receive the highest quality care right in their own community,” said Dustin MacDonald, interim manager of the Medical Device Reprocessing Department at Quinte Health.

The Rotary Club of Wellington raised the funds needed for the AER over a six-month period. Their partnership with Nyman Farms to sell maple syrup this spring yielded $17,000, and donations collected from their bottle recycling depot raised the balance.

“Wellington Rotary is indebted to many people, who have worked tirelessly to raise the funds for the AER. We are also grateful to Nyman Farms for bottling the maple syrup and to the outlets and Rotarians who sold that syrup,” said Ken Robertson, president of the Rotary Club of Wellington. “It was a labour of love to raise these funds, but our Club agrees that our local hospital is the heart of our community, and Wellington Rotary is committed to keeping it vibrant and well equipped.”

Medical equipment is expensive and has a short lifespan. Unlike many operating costs, equipment is not funded by the government; it is expected the community finances the replacement of medical equipment and building redevelopment through the work of hospital foundations. This is why support from our donors is so important.

“The foundation raises funds so our hospital can acquire the advanced technology and even basic equipment that is not covered by provincial health care funding. Having the right technology improves diagnosis and patient outcomes and, gives our professionals the tools they need to save lives,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “Without community fundraising, our hospital would not have the financial means to purchase essential equipment, like the AER, and make necessary upgrades to our infrastructure. We are grateful to the Rotary Club of Wellington for their philanthropic leadership.”

“Since its inception, the foundation has supported programs and services integral to the advancement of health care and the wellbeing of the citizens of Prince Edward County and the surrounding communities by raising, managing and distributing funds to Quinte Health. The foundation’s goal is to continue raising the necessary funds to acquire the technology and equipment not funded by the province,” said McConnell.

Now the goal for the AER has been met, the Rotary Club of Wellington is shifting their focus to fundraising for an Echocardiogram (ECG) Machine needed at PECMH at a cost of $30,000. The campaign for this piece of equipment got off to a strong start with $17,000 being raised from Rotary’s annual fundraising dinner and dance, “Happy Days Are Here Again” held on October 15.

Rotary also plans to use contributions from their bottle recycling depot and funds raised from their annual Diners and Duffers coupon books toward this initiative. The bottle depot is open on Wednesday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and is located at the old mill on Second Street in Wellington.

“Since we have achieved our fundraising target for the AER, Wellington Rotary has set its heart on funding the ECG machine,” said Phyo Kyi, chair of the Rotary Club of Wellington Foundation. “Having access to modern equipment, including this heart monitoring device, in our County hospital is important to many of us, which made the Club’s decision very easy to continue to support the foundation’s equipment fund.”

The Rotary Club of Wellington is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022. They are an energetic club of approximately 40 members who are recognized as enthusiastic supporters of the Prince Edward County community and can be counted on for both charity and volunteering service above self, locally and internationally.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to raising funds to advance health care for the patients of the hospital and the people of Prince Edward County.