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Prince Rupert Port contributes $51K to rhinology technology for Terrace Hospital

Soon northwest B.C. ear, nose and throat patients will no longer have to travel to Vancouver
Representatives from the PRPA, other organizations that donated to the REM Lee Hospital Foundation, the foundation, Mills Memorial Hosptial, and the manufacturer Stryker celebrate the purchase of rhinology surgical technology for the hospital. (PRPA supplied photo)

Healthcare services in the Northwest will take another step forward with help from the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s (PRPA) Community Investment Fund.

Advanced surgical rhinology services will soon be available to northwestern B.C. patients for the first time following a $51,000 donation from PRPA to the Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation to supplement funds garnered by the foundation from other donors.

The combined money has been used to purchase a new Scopis Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) navigation system from Stryker for Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace. The new imaging system offers electromagnetic technology for high-definition guidance during complex sinus and skull-based surgeries.

“This investment will help patients as far away as Burns Lake, Dease Lake, Haida Gwaii, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Stewart and Terrace,” the port authority said in a press release last week.

According to the REM Lee Hospital Foundation, up to 60 per cent of rhinology patients require surgery and are usually referred to Vancounver.

“With the new ENT equipment, the need to refer to Vancouver will be greatly reduced, potentially saving patients travel time and expenses while keeping them closer to their personal support,” the release stated.

It also noted the upgrade will not require any new surgical instruments as the hospital is otherwise equipped for this type of surgery.

“On behalf of the Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation, we would like to thank the Prince Rupert Port Authority for their ongoing partnership and support for the betterment of healthcare services in the region,” said Chris Mallet, chair of the hospital foundation.

“Having a state-of-the-art ENT Navigation System will not only allow patients to stay closer to home for treatment but also assist in recruitment of physicians and technicians specializing in Ear, Nose & Throat surgeries.”

This is the second time PRPA has invested in the Terrace hospital, following a contribution of $19,500 towards the Women’s Wellness Centre and Colposcopy Clinic in 2021.

“Building a better medical future here in the Northwest and supporting an improved standard of living for northerners is extremely important,” said Shaun Stevenson, president & CEO of the port authority.

“PRPA is proud to team up with the Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation to enhance capabilities in-house and provides patients some relief from having to travel long distances for specialized services.”

The PRPA’s Community Investment Fund has also contributed $645,000 to the purchase of new medical equipment and other upgrades in Prince Rupert, the largest of which was a $150,000 investment in new beds for the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital.

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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