Every year St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation requests your support to help enhance patient care for the patients and families of our community. Together, with your continued support we can ensure that updated equipment and new technology are available when we need it most. Many of the departments at the hospital are in need of updated equipment; one of the immediate needs is cardiac care related equipment.

As the population of the community continues to grow, the primary demographic for growth is in the age group 65+ then it is natural that cardiac care concerns assume major prominence. While there has been a welcome decline in cardiac-related deaths over the past few years, due in part to lifestyle alterations but also due to vast improvements in cardiac care technology, heart disease remains a leading health concern with an aging population.

Only too aware of this is Dr. Jason Wale – St. Joseph’s Emergency Room Director for it is here that patients in cardiac distress come into first contact with the expert professional skills of the medical staff and it is here, in the diagnostic realm, where time is of life-saving importance that immediate and precise diagnostic equipment access is paramount.

“We work in a community ER that services over 80,000 people,” says Dr. Wale. “Cardiac problems effect all ages from children to the elderly so the number of cardiac patients we see is large. Many heart conditions are time-dependent because if your heart is not pumping blood properly your brain and other organs are at risk.” For acute myocardial infraction we often give thrombolytic drugs to open up blocked vessels. In this scenario time is heart muscle and minutes matter.

Having access to more ECG machines mean there will not be a delay in this crucial step of diagnosis to allow early “door to needle time”. Standard of care is less than 30 mins.

“The essential nature of the latest cardio equipment in looking out for the lives of the patient becomes apparent”, says Dr. Wale.

“Cardiac care is high tech,” Hilscher says. “And it’s all about teamwork. Cardiac care related tests are performed in the ER, Lab services, ICU, Telemetry and so forth and then these results are recorded and this record of the patient can go to other hospitals if he or she has to go elsewhere for specialist services,” she says.

Some of the equipment needed in these departments include 2 ECG machines, 2 Holter Monitors, 15 Infusion Pumps, 24 Hr. Blood Pressure Monitor, 2 External pacemakers. The goal over the next year is to raise the $200,000 for this equipment needed

Demand keeps growing as the population increases and ages. The need for cardiac care related tests that include, in-patient, out-patient and emergency room testing has increased from 14,203 to 16,840 over the past two years. This shows an increase of 2637 cardiac care tests.

Your support will continue to be vitally important now more than ever. Such support, both moral and financial, will help sustain and enhance quality health care for the whole community.

Lynn Dashkewytch
Executive Director
St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation