Improved Testing, Treatment for COVID-19 Coming to Province Thanks to Emergency Fund
SAINT JOHN, APR. 02, 2020: New Brunswickers will get results of their COVID-19 tests much quicker with an upgrade funded by the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation’s New Brunswick COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
The fund, established to be used for areas of greatest need in the province during the pandemic, has seen donations of more than $1,100,000 over two weeks. One million of that was donated by the Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation.
Seven sites across New Brunswick (Edmundston, Campbellton, Bathurst, Miramichi, Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John), in both regional health authorities, will all have the capability to determine COVID-19 results faster.
"This is great news for patients, but also a critical improvement when testing our healthcare staff," said Dr. John Dornan, Horizon Health Network’s Chief of Staff. "We will now know in 45 minutes whether we need to send staff home or if they can carry on providing the excellent care they do everyday."
"We appreciate the donors from all over New Brunswick who support this fund, and then, the Foundation using the fund to meet the pressing needs of our healthcare system as they are identified."
Also being purchased are two portable ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) Life Support Systems. As COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, lung capacity and function can be severely affected. An ECMO machine oxygenates the blood and gives the lungs a rest.
"The GenExpert instruments and the ECMO Life Support Systems will not only make important contributions to our response to this pandemic but will also prove to be extraordinarily useful pieces of equipment that will benefit our entire health-care system when this crisis has passed," said Health Minister Hugh Flemming. "The Department of Health and the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation have a wonderful history of working together. We are thankful for this support and it fits in nicely the provincial government’s plan to ensure we work together to get past this healthcare crisis as quickly as possible."
"Our Donors, our Board of Directors and our staff are proud to be able to work with the Government of New Brunswick and our two health authorities to make a difference, right now and right across the province, in the fight against COVID-19," said Jeff McAloon, President and CEO of the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation.
"We are only at the beginning of fighting this pandemic. Our provincial fund is ensuring donations are quickly and efficiently meeting a need for all New Brunswick."
Cost for both the testing upgrades and portable ECMO machines is $662,500.