Funding a Vital Chemotherapy Tool

The New Biological Safety Cabinet

When facing a cancer diagnosis, we can expect thorough treatment that mitigates as many risks as possible. But there’s often more that goes into our treatment than we realize!

For instance, patients receiving chemotherapy at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital have their chemotherapy drugs mixed onsite in the Pharmacy Department. To make sure that each dose is safe and sterile, they all need to be mixed in a biological safety cabinet. Not only does this keep the doses safe, it keeps the pharmacy staff safe as well as they mix these cytotoxic drugs. It’s just one example of the behind-the-scenes work that must take place for our healthcare system to run efficiently, smoothly, and safely.

When we were approached by Maggie Arenburg (Manager, Pharmacy South West Nova Scotia) and Pam Robichaud (Manager, WZ Cancer Care Program) and told of their need for a new biological safety cabinet (at a cost of $25,318), we knew we had to step in to help. According to Pam and Maggie, “Given the rising number of cancer diagnoses in recent years, the replacement of our old, antiquated equipment was essential and timely.”

Karen Gorst and Kristen Pulsifer at Work (L-R)

Put simply, the hospital’s patients and staff both deserve to be as safe as possible – and we were proud to do our part. In spring of 2024, the new cabinet (sometimes colloquially referred to as a “chemo hood”) were installed in the Yarmouth Pharmacy Department. Without this, provision of lifesaving chemotherapy in Yarmouth would be either impossible or significantly delayed. And it’s all made possible because of our inspiring donors who understand the need for supporting and enhancing healthcare in our regional hospital!