The Alberni Health Care Auxiliary has committed to spending $150,000 on medical equipment for West Coast General Hospital this year.
Members of the auxiliary presented their commitment in writing to WCGH site director Pam Rardon in mid-December.
Earlier this year the auxiliary paid for six crash carts for the hospital, said auxiliary president Roberta Jensen. “We bought six (carts) and outfitted them. The old ones were heavy metal, didn’t turn well and they weren’t all uniform. Tools weren’t always in the same place in each cart,” she explained.
“The hospital approached us about them and we thought they were very vital, so we bought them.”
The Alberni Health Care Auxiliary (formerly West Coast General Hospital Auxiliary) raises funds through its thrift store, The Attic, as well as the gift shop at the hospital. Both are run by volunteers and both are well supported by the community, Jensen said.
The auxiliary donates thousands to the hospital by way of purchasing “wish list” items, mostly medical equipment or items in the physiotherapy department. “We try to stick to things that make a difference in health care.”
The hospital auxiliary has given WCGH large donations in the past. In December 2019 they donated a record $200,000 and were able to repeat it in 2021, despite provincial COVID-19 restrictions shutting down The Attic and limiting the number of people who could visit in the hospital—which affected the gift shop.
Being able to commit to $150,000 is a feat for the auxiliary, which has suffered its own challenges this year: a severe leak in The Attic’s roof meant the store was closed for five months this year.
“The community has supported us with donations as well as customers,” Jensen said. “Without them and our volunteers we couldn’t operate.”