A second CT scanner is expected to be operational at Vernon Jubilee Hospital this fall.
Following a $1-million gift and significant early support toward the $6.3 million needed to double CT scanning capacity, the VJH Foundation launched a public campaign in mid-November to raise the last $900,000 needed to purchase the badly needed piece of equipment.
The campaign was intended to close this spring, but reached its goal ahead of schedule.
Donors phoned and sent notes and even stopped by the foundation office to tell their stories of how a CT scan saved the life of a sister in a car crash, or made all the difference when a husband got cancer, the foundation says.
The annual Light a Bulb campaign reached its $900,000 goal months early.
“I’m so proud to be part of such a generous community. The support we’ve seen has been so far beyond any of our expectations,” says Michael Kinghorn, foundation board president. “The way businesses, donors and families came together shows how timely access to diagnosis and treatment impacts so many, and the result is awe-inspiring.”
In November 2022, 720 donations were made compared to 274 in the same month the previous year – thanks to a successful Giving Tuesday, when $265,000 was raised. Those donations were then matched by the Galbraith Family Foundation.
Albertans with homes in the region also issued a challenge to donate and only five weeks into the campaign, the goal was in sight.
“This is a huge deal for our hospital and it’s incredible that we have so much support from Vernon and the North Okanagan,” says Dr. Adam Weathermon, head of medical imaging at VJH. “Because of your generosity, we can provide better care. That is what really drives us at the end of the day, to provide better service and better healthcare for our patients.”
CT scanners play a critical role in ensuring timely access to diagnosis and treatment. In the last year, there have been more than 2,000 people on a waitlist for CT scans at VJH, and that wait time reached 68 days, even though the hospital’s one state-of-the-art scanner is running 24/7.
Now, with a second next-generation CT scanner, residents will have timely access to both scheduled and emergency scans. Construction is now underway for the expanded Imaging wing, and the new scanner is expected to be in use in the fall.