BROCKTON – A busy agenda at the July 13 meeting of Brockton council included a presentation by the Walkerton and District Hospital Foundation regarding their mammography campaign.
Janice Swanton, foundation chair, explained the function of a hospital foundation: it raises funds for medical equipment. The Ministry of Health funds hospital operations but does not pay for hospital equipment. Foundations facilitate fundraising with support from community residents, businesses and organizations.
Right now, the local foundation is embarking on a one-year campaign to raise the $485,000 needed for the purchase of a new mammography machine.
The campaign ends with the foundation’s year end in March 2022.
The Walkerton site of South Bruce Grey Health Centre is one of three Ontario Breast Screening Program locations in this area, along with Hanover and Kincardine.
The present 2008 unit does approximately 2,000 screenings a year, and has exceeded its 10-year life span. A new unit will reinforce the hospital’s proven expertise in rural diagnostic services.
The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to the need for the new unit: one in eight Canadian women will have breast cancer in her lifetime; one in 33 of those women will die from the cancer.
It’s not just a women’s disease – in a year, 240 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 55 will die from it.
Hayley Wilhelm, WDHF executive director, described the new mammography features. The Seno Pristina Digital Mammography System can produce three-dimensional images, and contrast-enhanced mammography (using dye to highlight blood vessels).
The new machine will be installed in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Andy Dales, WDHF director, asked the municipality to consider a funding commitment of $50,000 towards the new machine, and said recognition would be given to major donors on the donor wall outside the foundation office.
Mayor Chris Peabody thanked the foundation for the equipment they have purchased for the hospital over the years.
Coun. Steve Adams said he supported the donation. It’s all about “keeping our residents safe and healthy.” His main question was about how the municipality would fund it.
Swanton explained that while the foundation’s year end is in March, the timing for the actual donation would not be an issue as long as there was a commitment from the municipality.
Coun. Kym Hutcheon wanted to know if other municipalities were being asked for a donation. The answer was, yes, they are.
Council was in full support of the donation. Staff will be bringing back a report on the funding.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times