For the first two weeks of February, the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Foundation is raising funds to bring cardiac MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology to GBGH, to help reduce lengthy wait times across the region. This year’s Kickstart Your Heart campaign will be supported by a $25,000 match gift from Conrad and Donna Huber, and will aim to raise $75,000 for this important priority at the Midland hospital.
Cardiac MRI requires a specialized coil which directs the scan to the heart, and provides the best possible imaging of the entire heart system. Doctors use cardiac MRI to detect or monitor cardiac disease. They also use it to evaluate the heart’s anatomy and function in patients with both heart disease present at birth and heart diseases that develop after birth.
“Currently, there is no cardiac MRI service between Barrie and Sudbury,” says Dr. Nick Lougheed, chief of radiology, GBGH. “Due to the scarcity of these programs, there is a long backlog of patients and therefore a long wait. An average patient for a cardiac MRI will wait approximately six months for the service.”
GBGH is prepared to offer this service when the new MRI machine is installed in early 2025, provided the funds can be raised for the cardiac coil. Dr. Lougheed is one of two radiologists trained in this specialized imaging, who will utilize the equipment at GBGH to help provide patients with faster access to this imaging service.
In its first three years, the Kickstart Your Heart campaign raised more than $400,000 to replace all the defibrillators and crash carts at the Midland hospital, and update the cardiac monitoring system. The annual campaign was first inspired by the Hubers, who consider their support of the campaign a gift to each other.
“Conrad & Donna are an incredibly generous local couple,” shares Nicole Kraftscik, CEO, GBGH Foundation. “They have a love for healthcare, and a love for their community, which they celebrate through their generous match gift to the Kickstart Your Heart campaign each year. Their hope is that our community will take advantage of their match gift and support GBGH.”
Fourteen local businesses are also stepping up this year, offering special promotions that kick back a portion of sales to the Kickstart Your Heart campaign. Bell Media’s Pure Country 106 and Bounce 104.1 are also collaborating with the GBGH Foundation to get the entire community involved.
“We love how the community comes together for Kickstart Your Heart each year,” shares Josh Duncan, program director, Bounce 104.1 and Pure Country 106. “To make it even bigger, we are offering a contest to encourage people to get out and support the businesses. Take a photo with the Kickstart Your Heart balloons found in any of the participating businesses, and submit it for your chance to win a gift pack worth more than $450.”
For more information on the campaign, contest and business partners, or to have a gift matched*, you can visit GBGHF.ca/KickstartYourHeart.
*Donations will be matched up to a total of $25,000.