Covid-19 raises stakes for Hospital Foundation’s Spring Appeal

The Tri-County Betterment Association is stepping up again to support healthcare in western Nova Scotia, with a $10,000 donation to the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation’s (YHF) Spring Appeal.

“This gift is greatly appreciated as the Spring Appeal has taken on increased importance this year, given the impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on healthcare and the economy nationwide,” says Foundation Board Chair Dr. Harold Cook.

The pandemic has meant that two of the Foundation’s major fundraising events — the Spring Gala and Jody Shelley’s Golf Fore Health tournament — had to be cancelled, resulting in a loss in donations in excess of $100,000.

“That means the YHF must find other ways to meet commitments totaling $660,000 that will, or might, be essential to treat Covid-19 patients,” Cook says. “That list includes a portable digital x-ray machine, a portable ultrasound used to monitor lung capacity, two types of ventilators, stretchers, and simulators for healthcare worker training and practice.

The hospital has recently requested additional support for Covid-19 related items totaling approximately $50,000. These include extra stethoscopes to avoid room-to-room contamination, more electronic blood pressure and vitals monitors, and iPads for more efficient communication among healthcare workers.

“Through this difficult period, you can be sure that your Yarmouth Hospital Foundation is doing its part, not only reassuring hospital leaders of our firm commitment to already budgeted new equipment, but also our intent to raise money to meet Covid-19 related needs,” Cook says.

Gifts such as that from the Tri-County Betterment Association will help us meet our commitments, he says.

The Betterment Association has donated approximately $100,000 to the Foundation over the years, says its founder Ken Hatfield. That includes the $10,000 donation it made to the Foundation’s WE CARE Radiothon in February.

“We like to support the hospital because everybody uses it,” Hatfield says.

In the 17 years the Betterment Association has been running a weekly radio bingo on Y95, it has donated a total of $265,000 to charities in the Tri-Counties, he says. The radio bingo has been suspended because of the pandemic, but he hopes it will be able to resume early in June.

The Foundation is appealing to individuals and companies that have sponsored or participated in the cancelled events to continue fulfilling planned contributions and some have already agreed to do so, Cook says.

“We fully understand that dramatic economic changes may affect your normal generous commitments and donations,” Cook says, in appealing for support. “However, if your circumstances allow, please considering sending a contribution now to help us meet these important hospital needs.”