The Bulkley Valley District Hospital Auxiliary (BVDHA) recently bought the hospital a few new goodies.
But unlike the BVDHA’s illustrious New To You store located at the corner of Broadway Avenue and King Street, these items are anything but second hand.
In an email to The Interior News volunteers with the charity highlighted the over $315K in medical equipment the BVDHA has provided to the Bulkley Valley District Hospital in 2019.
That is up by $100,000 over 2018.
Nearly $90,000 of this year’s money went toward an imaging scanner intensifier, which converts X-rays into visible light at a higher intensity than traditional fluorescent versions of the device.
Another $67,000 went towards a Giraffe Omnibed, a neonatal incubator carestation which provides newborns with an enclosed, adjustable microenvironment.
An additional colonoscope was also purchased for a little over $40,000.
Gisela Varga is associated with the BVDHA and said the money is important because it attempts to help people stay in town to receive healthcare.
“Our mandate is to provide needed equipment for the hospital so that people don’t always need to travel out of town,” she said. “Cormac [Hikisch, health services administrator] usually gives us a wish list once or twice a year for much needed equipment. He has a priority on what they really need and we generally take it from that list.”
Varga said donations were up this year in part due to the New To You’s added space.
“We got more donations, and we sold more,” she said.
Varga said the BVDHA is proud of what it has been able to accomplish.
“We are happy with what we are donating,” she said. “And we are happy that a lot of the donations that come in are good quality.”
According to volunteers with the BVDHA the New to You store has been responsible for just over $2 million in donations over the past 30 years to the BVDH.
While the money goes to the hospital, the BVDHA does get a say in what it funds.
Members from the organization will meet with the hospital, get a “wish list” from their administrative staff and then choose to allocate funding based on what they want to support.
The entire auxiliary membership votes on what equipment will be purchased.
Former vice president with the auxiliary Kay Lindberg has previously told The Interior News the charities goal is not necessarily to buy one big ticket item a year, but rather to distribute the money in a more utilitarian fashion.
This is done with the hope of keeping people dealing with frequent hospital visits within the community and away from the expensive road trips that are all too common for people who need to travel far distances for specialized medical tests.
In the past, this had included things like neonatal and ultrasound equipment.
When asked about why she donates her time without any sort of compensation, Charlotte Apperloo, who has volunteered with the BVDHA for 48 years, previously told The Interior News it’s important to make sure communities have strong medical infrastructure, even if they are smaller.
“It’s the community, we need a hospital and … if we [can] keep everything local, it’s better for us.”
In total, the BVDHA has purchased $318,400 worth of equipment in 2019 for the hospital as of this article’s publication.
The BVDHA was formed in 1920. It celebrates its 100th anniversary in June of 2020.
In 2018, the charity renovated their New to You shop, adding nearly 1,000 square feet to the store to help accommodate a lack of space resulting from a plethora of donations.
Full list of the equipment the BVDHA has purchased so far for the BVDH in 2019:
Infusion stretchers and recliner chairs
Breast pump and trolley stand
Labour and delivery bed
Airvo Nasal High Flow
OR and ER blanket warmers
ACLS training mannequins
Mayo stands + thermometers
Knee caddy and ROHO air cushions