The Shoulder Surgery Expansion at G.R. Baker Hospital was made possible thanks to donations made through the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation.
CEO Judy Neiser says 200 thousand dollars was raised to expand the program from Prince George to G.R. Baker Hospital.
Neiser says people can come from other communities to access the service in Quesnel as well…
“Absolutely, if they want to get in sooner and the wait list is shorter, it would make absolute sense for them to go there, the patient has to be willing to travel. What is nice about it is there are physicians that are willing to travel right now to do this surgery, so enhancing down in Quesnel really makes sense actually for everybody, the wait lists everywhere will speed up right.”
Neiser says they have the capacity to perform 2 to 8 shoulder surgeries per month, or potentially up to 96 in a year.
She says the first patient was Frank Balazs, a teacher from Prince George, who was injured while snowboarding.
Neiser says in his words it totally made sense…
“When I can travel an hour down the road and get my surgery sooner, it was an easy decision to make. The staff in Quesnel was fantastic: friendly, caring and professional, and the facilities were exactly what was needed.”
Neiser says the community also benefits as patients that come from other areas will likely stay in a hotel and go to restaurants while they are in Quesnel.
She says while the Spirit of the Healthcare Foundation is based in Prince George, it is for the region, and she says money raised in Quesnel
“When donors are generous enough to support the good work we do in their communities, it goes back into their community. I just love for people to understand that 100 percent of their donation, if it’s made in Quesnel it goes back into Quesnel and this is just a perfect example of seeing that happen.”
Neiser says the Commonage Fund also helped to support the shoulder surgery program with a very generous donation of 75 thousand dollars.