SFMH acquires Vital Signs Monitor thanks to Ontario Power Generation

Representatives from Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and St. Francis Memorial Hospital (SFMH) joined staff and volunteers from St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation (SFVH) online on Feb.17 for a virtual meeting. The occasion was the first ever cheque presentation to SFVH via Zoom. The grant from OPG in the amount of $7,500 will support the purchase of a Vital Signs Monitor for SFMH. Pictured from left. Top row: Erin Gienow, SFVH Executive Director; Mary Ellen Harris, SFMH CNE & Director of Patient Care. Middle row: Allison Layman, SFVH Donor Relations and Events Coordinator; Garry Dicks, OPG Manager Work Centre/Maintenance; Matt Mulvihill, OPG Stakeholder Relations. Bottom row: Greg McLeod, SFMH Chief Operating Officer, Marlene Shulist, representing SFVH Board. Photo: Zoom screencap.

Erin Gienow welcomed participants and thanked OPG for their generosity. She reminded participants that an OPG grant last year of $5,000 was used to purchase a Blood Fluid Warmer. She acknowledged assistance from Allison Layman in liaising with OPG through the application process saying her help was essential. Gienow then asked Mary Ellen Harris to explain the value of Vital Signs Monitors.

Harris said the wall-mounted Vital Signs Monitor was intended for private patient rooms, pointing out that in the Covid scenario the need for isolation rooms is a lot greater than it used to be. She said private rooms were used to care not just for Covid-positive patients but also for immunocompromised patients and cardiac patients as well. Saying the equipment can monitor blood pressure, heart rate, and come swith additional leads to monitor cardiac function, she continued, “Part of the cost covers the integration with our electronic health records and the fact that those bedside monitors speak to the central monitors both in the emergency department and as well at the nurses station itself. So if there’s anything that happens suddenly, there’s an alarm that’s going off and cueing a registered nurse to say, ‘Hey there’s something changing here.’ So they are tremendously important for clinical care.”

Greg McLeod agreed saying, “We cannot understate the value of electronic health information to small hospitals.” He reminded everyone that because there is no provincial funding for medical equipment, every piece of equipment is obtained through fundraising, and this kind of support really means a lot to a smaller hospital because they have a correspondingly smaller base to draw on for fundraising.

Both OPG representatives responded. Mulvihill said it was fantastic that the monitor can help protect patients from a Covid perspective as well as offer “that integration of technology…. We are certainly  happy to be able to be in a position to help this time around once again. From an OPG perspective it’s really important to us to be able to give back in the host communities where we operate. We really consider hospitals as a cornerstone of the community so giving back to a hospital in our mind makes it a safer and stronger community at large.”

Noting he had attended several OPG presentations to Eastern Ontario hospitals, Dicks said he drives through Barry’s Bay quite regularly but was surprised to learn about the level of activity at SFMH. He said, “I would never have guessed that amount of traffic.” Noting there was little healthcare within 100kms in either direction he said, “It’s nice to know OPG staff could be taken care of if necessary.”

Mulvihill added that OPG Corporate Citizenship project has supported hospitals over many years, but with Covid pandemic they provided extra relief. He said he looked forward to working with SFVH on their next application and concluded with “I look forward to next time meeting you all in person.”

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