Submitted by Lorraine Popik
Black Gold Health Foundation
Patients in the Leduc County area can now access specialized diagnostic technology in their own community thanks to the opening of a new computed tomography (CT) scanner suite at the Leduc Community Hospital.
About 2,500 emergency, hospital and community patients will use the CT scanner each year at the Alberta Health Services facility, the primary emergency centre for the city of Leduc and the surrounding area, including the Nisku and Leduc industrial parks, and Edmonton International Airport.
CT scanners provide an extremely accurate 3-D image of parts of the body that could otherwise not be seen, especially soft tissues. This improves a doctor’s ability to both screen for and more accurately diagnose medical conditions and injuries.
“We were transporting over 600 patients requiring CT scans each year to Edmonton from this facility, and EMS diverted patients with spinal or head injuries in the Leduc County area to an alternative facility that provides CT scanner services,” says Dr. Bob Simard, facility medical director at the hospital.
“Having access to a CT scanner in our own building means we can enhance care by providing faster and more accurate diagnostic services to our patients.”
The Black Gold Health Foundation launched a fundraising campaign last April to raise the $1.25 million needed to purchase the CT scanner for the Leduc Community Hospital. AHS has committed to cover the operational and staffing costs of the CT scanner while the foundation has a five-year plan to raise funds to pay for the equipment.
“Being able to bring services such as CT scans close to home at Leduc Community Hospital is not only vital to the citizens of our region, but also to the ever-growing demands as the first port of call for emergency services in the area,” says Lorraine Popik, Executive Director of the Black Gold Health Foundation.”
“We are reaching out to our community, the ones who will use these services, for financial support. This is a great opportunity to give back to your community.”
In its first two weeks of operation, 19 inpatient and 17 emergency department patients have received a CT scan at the hospital. Previously, these 36 patients would have been transferred to another facility for diagnostic services.”
Leduc resident Tim Sopka is among the patients who’ve used the local CT scanner. His family physician referred him for a CT scan to investigate a sinus condition. Sopka received his scan within seven days of his referral, and he didn’t have to leave the community for the procedure.”
“I didn’t even know we had this type of equipment available in Leduc,” Sopka says. “I live and work in this community, so being able to go for a CT scan at my local hospital, rather than drive to the big city, is much more convenient for me. I think it is great the foundation is raising the money to help pay for a CT scanner so we can take care of people in our own community.”