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Face to Face: New director has big plans
For the past 25 years, the Delta Hospital Foundation has helped to improve the quality of healthcare delivered at the local hospital, raising funds for projects like renovations to the hospital’s emergency room, and a new CT scan machine.
Veronica Carroll, the foundation’s new executive director, hopes to build on the Foundation’s past successes, and has some big plans of her own too.
Prior to joining the Delta Hospital Foundation six months ago, Carroll worked with the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops where she helped raise $3 million for the hospital’s new ICU.
While geography posed a major challenge to healthcare in Kamloops, the major concern for Delta Hospital is demographics, says Carroll: The hospital’s catchment area has one of the oldest populations on average in the Lower Mainland.
“An aging population presents all kinds of challenges,” she says, including increased healthcare needs and issues of access.
To help improve care and speed up treatment at the hospital, the Foundation’s next big project will be a $7.5 million fundraising campaign to expand the medical imaging and lab departments.
By expanding the hospital’s ability to perform diagnostic tests, nearly every patient will benefit, says Carroll, especially elderly patients who often have multiple diagnoses.
“Eighty per cent of the diagnoses people get rely on tests being done,” she says. “We’re currently at capacity. [The departments] are doing a fantastic job, but they need more space.”
The project still needs to be approved by Fraser Health, who will be kicking in $5 million of their own for the upgrades.
The expansion is just the first phase in a series of improvements to hospital planned for the next 20 years. The long term vision for the hospital will see upgrades to the surgical daycare department, mental health, and residential and community health.
While $7.5 million may be a lofty fundraising goal, Carroll is confident the people of Delta will continue to support their hospital.
“We have about 100,000 in our catchment area, and over the past 25 years, we’ve had more than 30,000 individuals who have made a contribution to the hospital,” says Carroll.
“I think that says a lot about this community, that’s almost one in three people. We’d love to be able to increase that to one out of two.”