Picture the future of healthcare

I was part of the campaign that saw the beginning of the “Care Close to Home” campaign that brought a modernization to the Rainy River Hospital and LaVerendrye Hospital. It resulted in a major donation from First Nations to establish a Dialysis Unit in Fort Frances. The team that walked a stretcher from Rainy River to Fort Frances brought the understanding of the need to provide the best possible care to patients across the Rainy River District. The district municipalities and citizens rallied in raising the funds.

Not too many years later the District was challenged to raise funds for a CT Scanner. Bill Michl ran from Rainy River to Fort Frances, having lunch in Emo. Along the route he was joined by other district runners all believing in the necessity of having a CT scanning machine in Fort Frances. When the dust settled in the campaign, Riverside was able to afford a better piece of technology than they had originally planned.

It was exciting to see the teams of walkers and runners connecting all the communities and citizens from Rainy River to Fort Frances, uniting the District to raise funds for this new fund-raising campaign.

My wife and I support the “Picture This” fundraising campaign.

There are many items and programs that the Ontario Ministry of Health funds in hospitals across the province, but they leave funding for capital expenses for equipment like mammography machines, X-ray equipment and scanners to local foundations and hospital fund raising committees. The X-Ray equipment, the mammography equipment and the CT Scanning equipment are now outdated and are not compatible with new computer systems. They have reached the end of their life expectancy just as computers, I-Pods, Cell phones and many other types of computers no longer operate in today’s world.

I remember having to travel to Kenora for a CT-Scan, and women travelling to Thunder Bay for a breast cancer mammography scan. The time and the worry in arranging for an appointment and then the travel and the uncertainty weighed heavily. I have had many X-rays at LaVerendrye Hospital and have watched as technology has changed from film to digital imaging and have seen the time for results change from days and weeks to hours and minutes. Similarly women now can have their mammography sessions done locally and annually rather than having to drive 700 km for a mammography exam.

This is what we expect. The foundation is appealing to the generosity of the district again to replace the aging equipment that is vital to the health of District residents. Every “Loony”, “Toonie” and financial commitment brings Riverside closer to maintaining their commitment of bringing and maintaining “Care Close to Home”. Please support the “Picture This” campaign.

Former Publisher
Fort Frances Times