June 21, 2023
Thanks to local fundraising, led by the Wainwright CT Scanner Fundraising Committee, a new full-body CT scanner at the Wainwright Health Centre is providing patients with a greater range of diagnostic tests close to home. Photo by Amelia Schofield.
Story by Shelley Boettcher & Amelia Schofield | Photos by Amelia Schofield
WAINWRIGHT — Town and area residents are benefitting from new advanced diagnostic imaging in their community.
Thanks to local fundraising, led by the Wainwright CT Scanner Fundraising Committee, a new full-body computed tomography (CT) scanner at the Wainwright Health Centre is providing patients with a greater range of diagnostic tests close to home.
The committee and community raised $2.2 million through fundraisers including cookie and lemonade sales, a golf tournament and an auction. As well, they received close to 3,000 individual donations.
“The full-body scanner, now up and running at Wainwright Health Centre, is an example of the accomplishments that can happen when people work together for a common goal,” says Bill Lawson, chair of the Wainwright CT Scanner Fundraising Committee.
Several partners came together on the fundraising committee, including the Wainwright and District Community Health Foundation, Wainwright Rotary Club, local business Bumper to Bumper, and representatives from the Town of Wainwright, M.D. of Wainwright, the Wainwright Star Edge newspaper, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the local medical community, including the CFB Wainwright.
“Thank you to AHS for allowing us to complete this vision for our community. Thank you to the CT Scanner Committee for all your input and guidance during this fundraising effort,” adds Lawson.
“And lastly, the amount of funds raised was largely made possible by huge community support. Thank you to every community member who donated to make this project a reality.”
The Wainwright Health Centre’s new full-body CT scanner is a diagnostic imaging tool that expands the range of CT procedures available in the community, including 3D reconstruction and enhanced stroke-detection technology. As a primary stroke centre, the Wainwright Health Centre previously used a portable CT scanner that was limited to head scans.
Dr. Cheyanne Vetter, Facility Medical Director, Wainwright Health Centre shares her gratitude to the community for rallying behind this project. “The community definitely put their entire support behind this project. It is wonderful to be able to do a CT scan in our community, without having to transport someone to Camrose or Edmonton.”
The $2.2 million raised covered the cost for renovations of the space for the new equipment, and AHS committed to purchasing and installing the $750,000 scanner and its ongoing operations.
“Everybody wants to have good care,” adds AHS Diagnostic Imaging Department Supervisor Leslie Laut Barss. “This just makes it easier for people to get the best care possible.”
“There’s a common thread that runs through all of us, like caring for each other and working together,” says Wainwright Mayor Bruce Pugh. “As a result, big things like this continue to happen.”
“It will help a lot of people,” shares Renate Glodde, a patient from the nearby town of Chauvin. “We don’t have to drive that far. It is really convenient for a lot of people.”
Lifelong Wainwright residents Bryan and Sharon Perkins generously donated $500,000 toward the project. To recognize their gift, the CT scanner room was named the Bryan and Sharon Perkins CT Scanner Room in their honour.
They say, however, that the donation is simply giving back to a town that has given them so much. “Our family has gotten so much from this community and benefited so much from it,” says Bryan Perkins.
“We’re only really trying to give back and repay this community that has been so good to our family over the years.”