2019 Festival of Trees will fund much-needed cardiac monitoring system

Proceeds of the 2019 Festival of Trees will go towards purchasing a new Centralized Cardiac Monitoring System (CCMS) for the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre.

With the increased number of cardiac patients being seen at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre, the new monitoring system would improve patient care and patient outcomes.

“We feel the need to update and enhance our delivery of cardiac care is essential,” said Connie Sage, RN Acute Care manager at the Ponoka hospital in her proposal letter to the Ponoka and District Health Foundation.

The foundation coordinates and plans the Festival of Trees, an annual fundraiser for health care needs in the community.

“These monitors are recommended best practice and have been proven to improve positive outcomes for cardiac patients,” said Sage.

“The addition of these monitors would prevent patients from needless transfers out of their community for treatment.”

The system would include two video monitors in emergency, one video monitor on acute care, five Spacelab monitors (one on acute care, three in emergency, and two in the recovery room), and two telemetry packs.

“The system would allow us to monitor cardiac patients more comprehensively according to best practice policy,” she said, adding the system would allow nursing and medical staff to see the tracings at the emergency and acute care desks.

The system would include telemetry units to be used on the acute care unit allowing patients to ambulate while still being monitored, improving the safe monitoring of patients, enhancing patient care and providing best practice.

With faster response times to cardiac situations, patient outcome would be improved.

It will also connect remotely with cardiologists who would have the ability see the monitor rhythms in real time and make recommendations more quickly with the accurate information.

The Spacelab monitor would keep track of heart rate, rhythms, oxygen level, and blood pressure.

Each year, the foundation selects a cause to fund, based on the greatest need, through a vote of the board. Then the board sends their request to Alberta Health Services (AHS) for approval.

Planning for the Festival of Trees is a year-round undertaking.

“It’s a 12-month process for sure,” said Charlotte Winters, Festival of Trees coordinator.

“We’re really happy with the support we’ve received so far.”

This year, there is a raffle for a family trip to Disneyland sponsored by Julie’s Travel. The trip includes round trip airfare from the Edmonton airport, round trip airport/hotel transfers, seven nights’ accommodation and five Disney Park Hopper tickets for two adults and two children, for a total value of $6,000.

All proceeds go to the purchasing of the CCMS.

Raffle tickets can be purchased for $20 at Julie’s Travel, Ponoka News, Birchland Dental Clinic, Ponoka Physiotherapy and Acupuncture Clinic and Jones Boys Saddlery and Western Wear.

The winner will be drawn during the festival’s family event (details to be announced) on Nov. 16, 2019 at the Stagecoach Saloon.

Supporting sponsors as of May 27 for the Festival of Trees are: Eagle Builders, VJV Auction Co. Ltd., Battle River Insurance Ltd./The Cooperators, Rowland Parker and Associates, Seasons Ponoka and Ponoka County.

Donations in kind have been confirmed from Accu Publishing, Real Country 95.5 and Zed 98.9 of Stingray radio, Ponoka Stampede Association, Ponoka News, Julie’s Travel and Avenue Living.

For more information on the Festival of Trees contact Winters at info@ponokafestivaloftrees.ca or call her at 403-598-5332.

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