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Health Sciences Foundation funds more equipment at Thunder Bay hospital

28 grants totalling over $5.6 million support new equipment and upgrades at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
A Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre – consisting of a C-arm, patient table and control station – will be replaced thanks to funding from the TBR Health Sciences Foundation (Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre)

THUNDER BAY — The implementation of a new, compression-free technology for detecting breast cancer in certain patients has taken a step forward at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.  

The Radialis PET scanner, designed and developed in Thunder Bay, is currently in clinical trials.

On Tuesday, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation announced that it's provided $459,000 to the hospital for the building of a Radialis unit  and equipment for investigating its effectiveness in monitoring chemotherapy outcomes.

The technology detects breast cancer using molecular imaging, which is a more effective way to diagnose cancer in women who have dense breast tissue.

Future clinical trials could also assess the Radialis PET scanner's usefulness for monitoring the treatment of other cancers such as prostate, rectal and lung.

The foundation's grant was one of 28 approved this year, totalling over $5.6 million, including about $114,000 for equipment replacements at hospitals in Terrace Bay, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Fort Frances.

The money was raised through donations to the foundation and the proceeds of the Thunder Bay 50/50 draw.

Among other projects supported by grants this year was the replacement of a Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at the hospital.  

The $2 million grant will pay for new technology including integrated systems for more streamlined procedures in the lab.

Additional grants allowed the hospital to acquire equipment to treat kidney tumours, to automate the dispensing of medication from cabinets, to track the movement of at-risk patients with bracelets, and to purify water for patients on hemodialysis in the renal unit.

"People's continued support for the Thunder Bay 50/50 has allowed us to fund millions more in equipment for the hospital this year than we did in previous years," said Katy Commisso, chair of governance of the health sciences foundation's board of directors.

"Departments throughout the hospital applied for grants to buy new equipment and replace or upgrade essential equipment so they can provide world-class care to patients."

Hospital president and CEO Rhonda Crocker Ellacott added that the foundation's funding helps to improve access to regional care services for patients across Northwestern Ontario.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, the grand prize in the Thunder Bay 50/50's December draw stood at over $1.3 million.

The draw takes place on Dec. 30.


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