The ICCHA/Wish fund has launched a campaign to acquire a new piece of medical equipment that organizers hope could one day find a place in a catheterization lab at Royal Inland Hospital.
The foundation aims to raise $300,000 for the purchase a 3D echocardiography machine, which is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that produces real-time images of the heart and will reduce wait times for diagnostic procedures.
In order to reach the goal, ICCHA is challenging area residents to become “Heroes of the Heart” by raising money for or donating cash to the project.
ICCHA founder Al Patel said the campaign wants to see 100 people raise $1,000 each.
Everyone who raises $1,000 will receive a Hero of the Heart plaque and a complimentary ticket to the 2020 ICCHA Wish gala in May 2020 and be recognized in the foundation’s magazine.
Patel hopes the acquisition of this and other medical equipment dedicated to cardiac care will lead to the establishment of a catheterization lab — the foundation’s ultimate goal for the regional health-care facility.
A cardiac catheterization lab is an examination room with diagnostic imaging equipment used to visualize the arteries and chambers of the heart and treat any stenosis or abnormality found.
Patel said the lack of the lab at RIH forces cardiac patients needing cath services to be transported to other hospitals, including Kelowna General, for non-invasive diagnostics and treatments.
In September, Royal Inland Hospital opened its first coronary care unit on the seventh floor of the building.
The unit is officially called the ICCHA/Wish Coronary Care Unit, in honour of the charitable group that has raised $1.4 million for health care at the hospital.
At the opening of the coronary care unite, Dr. Kobus Steyn said a catheterization lab is a dream the department shares with ICCHA Wish Fund, noting the number of people in need of catheterization lab services continues to be tracked.
If and when RIH gets a cath lab, it would need a pair of state-of-the-art C-arm imaging machines — medical equipment that can take X-rays of a patient from almost any angle.
Patel said two of those will likely cost more than $300,000. The foundation announced fundraising for a C-arm imaging machine at this past May’s gala dinner.
Patel said any surplus dollars from the Heroes of the Heart campaign will be put towards the C-arm.
ICCHA/Wish Fund supporters continue to advocate for the creation of a catheterization lab and are raising money for that goal.
A petition calling for the provincial government to add a cath lab to the hospital can be found online at iwishfund.com.