Donors asked to help give Tri-Cities’ new Pacemaker Clinic a boost

A vital component of Eagle Ridge Hospital, serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, is hoping to get a boost with some help from the communities it serves.

A small portion of the hospital’s overall $27.6 million expansion, mainly focused on the Emergency, Cardiology and Community Outpatient Services departments, is a new Pacemaker Clinic. The Clinic is being designed to reduce wait times for patients whose number is growing due to an aging demographic.

Once in place sometime next Spring, it will also make treatment and monitoring more convenient for patients - the majority of whom are seniors.

“Patients who require service and monitoring of their pacemakers will be able to stay in their community and have their needs met at their local hospital, Eagle Ridge, rather than travelling to another hospital like they would have previously,” says Charlene Giovannetti-King, Executive Director with Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation.

The Foundation’s goal is to raise $84,800 in support of the new clinic that will be part of the expanded Cardiology Department.

Pacemaker patients are generally required to have their equipment checked every six months. “Checks are made to ensure their pacemakers are set to the proper benchmark settings for that particular patient, and to monitor the battery life of the unit,” Giovannetti-King says.

The Cardiology Department at Eagle Ridge Hospital currently spends approximately 15 hours/week on pacemaker care; time that is expected to more than double when the new Pacemaker Clinic opens. In addition, the coming changes are expected to add a fourth cardiologist to the hospital’s staff.

“I'm excited we'll be able to increase the services and continue to improve care we provide to this community, and hopeful we can keep building towards a goal of having a hospital where we can treat everyone's needs locally so people don’t need to travel in times of sickness,” says Dr. Cameron Dehoney, Head of Cardiology at Eagle Ridge Hospital. “The pacemaker clinic is a small part of that as we continue to expand what we can do for people in this community in a place they are comfortable.”

“The changes will impact so many people in a positive way,” Giovannetti-Kingsays, adding much of that is about being able to get quality care where patients live.

“As our community ages and grows, so will the incidence of heart disease,” says Dehoney. “Last year, we performed more than 19,770 tests due to cardiac-related visits to the Emergency Department.

“For those with pacemakers, the ability to have access to consistent follow-up care means faster diagnosis of issues when they do arise, such as irregular heartbeat and atrial fibrillation, leading to the prevention of strokes and heart failure,” he explains. “These expanded services mean better health outcomes for our entire community, something we all deserve.”

For more information about the coming expansion, new services and to donate, visit erhf.ca or call 604-949-8178.

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