Marci Ekland, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital site administration director, left, is presented with a $500,000 cheque by Phil Robling, Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary president, middle, assisted by Jamie Braman, vice-president of Island Health at the hospital auxiliary’s annual general meeting Friday. (CHRIS BUSH/ The News Bulletin)

Hospital auxiliary hands over biggest cheque ever at AGM

Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary presents cheque for $500,000 to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital

Presentation of a big cheque for $500,000 to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital capped the Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary’s annual general meeting Friday.

The yearly event, hosted at Beban Park social centre, featured lunch for more than 100 volunteers and representatives from Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Island Health.

This is the first time in its history the auxiliary has presented a cheque for $500,000 to the hospital and, according to the auxiliary’s annual report, 2017 was also the first year the auxiliary generated total revenues exceeding $900,000, largely due to business from the Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store and its gift shop, located in the hospital lobby.

Auxiliary volunteers also contributed more than 38,000 hours of their time in 2017.

Money raised through hospital auxiliary activities is helping pay for a new magnetic resonance imaging machine, a new nuclear medicine dose calibrator, a physiotherapy balance system, wheelchairs and other equipment.

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is also installing public Wi-Fi hospital-wide in 2018.

“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Marci Ekland, NRGH site administration director, during her address at the AGM. “Working with our auxiliary board, working with our [information technology] folks, we’re confident that this will be going through. Thanks to your gracious donations we will be having access to public Wi-Fi … confident it’s probably going to be early spring, end of May.”

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