For the past year-and-a-half, the Spirit of the North Health Care foundation has been working to improve cardiac care in the North.
“Cardiac care has been the gap in care in the North for quite some time now, we used to see cancer care as the gap and years ago we were able to close that gap,” said Spirit of the North CEO Aimee Cassie.
“Currently it is cardiac care because we are sending so many patients every single day out Prince George down to either the Lower Mainland, Kelowna, or Victoria to receive treatment for various cardiac issues.”
Cassie said the foundation’s focus has been fundraising to establish a cardiac care unit at UHNBC.
“Spirit of the North takes on the equipment funding for this unit, so we were tasked and asked to fund a number of pieces of equipment,” she said.
“We’ve had all of our events, from the Prince George Cougars Alumni Charity Golf Tournament to Festival of Trees this year all flow into cardiac care to make sure that we can equip this unit.”
Cassie added they also recently received a $150,000 grant from the Spruce Credit Union Legacy grant through the PG Community Foundation to buy a portable cardiac ultrasound for the unit.
“There’s a number of pieces that are included in this unit, it goes from patient monitoring systems, to ECG machines, to the portable cardiac ultrasound, to work stations for physicians, all of those type of pieces that will round out this unit,” she explained.
Cassie said they have more fundraising opportunities coming up, including Spirit Day and their Harley Davidson raffle.
She added the next step is ordering the equipment and starting construction for the unit at UHNBC.
“From there it’s staff training, and starting to build up this base to build off of for bringing cardiac care to the North,” she explained.
“This positions Prince George to be that hub for the North when it comes to care for our northern residents. This is a big piece for Prince George and this is a long-term goal that we’re looking at achieving.”