Left to right: Health services administrator Sheila Gordon-Payne

Left to right: Health services administrator Sheila Gordon-Payne

Prince Rupert Port Authority donates $60,500 for operating room equipment

Health care on the north coast got a boost today as the Prince Rupert Port Authority donated $60,500 toward new orthopedic surgery tools.

Health care on the north coast got a boost today as the Prince Rupert Port Authority donated $60,500 toward new orthopedic surgery tools for the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital.

The money comes from the port’s Community Investment Fund, and port authority president and CEO Don Krusel said this is a perfect example of why the fund is in place.

“I can’t think of a better way to spend money than on health care in the community, particularly specialized health care,” he said.

“As we entertain businesses that are proposing to come to Prince Rupert, one of the first questions they ask is about health care and the quality of life…Today people have to leave town to get some of this service, so this is exactly what the fund is designed for.”

Northern Health was able to use the money to leverage an additional $60,000 from the North Coast Health Improvement Society and $5,000 from Ridley Terminals, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Alf Smith says the new tools will go a long way to providing better service in the OR.

“With the new tools we can do more cases, and those are cases that would be going out of town or on a waiting list. We have the expertise to do the procedures here, but it is often the resources that are lacking,” he said, noting that the time required to sanitize the tools limits the number of operations they can do in a given day.

“This allows us to essentially do more of the same that we are doing…We can go directly ahead with another surgery instead of having to wait for the sterilization of the tools we have.”

As well as the work of the North Coast Health Improvement Society, a volunteer group that raises funds for health care equipment in Prince Rupert, Dr. Smith and health services administrator Sheila Gordon-Payne praised both the Prince Rupert Port Authority and Ridley Terminals for stepping forward with a donation.

“The fact that we have businesses that are willing to donate for health care shows that it is not just jobs they are bringing to the community,” said Dr. Smith.

“I would say this is one of the gifts that we have in Prince Rupert,” added Gordon-Payne.

The tools have been ordered and are one their way to the hospital.