People across Saskatchewan dug deep Wednesday to help support the new adult emergency department at Royal University Hospital (RUH).
650 CKOM was among the broadcasters joining in the GREAT.ER Campaign community day radiothon from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the hospital’s main mall.
The goal was to raise $200,000 of the $7 million needed for state-of-the-art equipment and furnishings for the adult ER currently under construction.
By 6 p.m. $243,410.86 was raised.
Dr. Alison Turnquist has worked the last year-and-a-half in the RUH emergency department and said changes can’t come soon enough.
“We have a space right now that is probably one of the most outdated spaces for a hospital setting,” she said. “We have just curtains instead of private doors…our equipment, everything, is quite cramped.”
The new ER will be 31,742 square feet, nearly two-and-a-half times the size of the current department. It’s due to be completed in 2019.
The new unit will have separate entrances for ambulance and walk-ins, along with a rooftop helipad with a direct elevator to the ER for faster response times.
A new CT scanner for the department is expected to shorten wait times for test results. Medication will be dispensed by an automated system which double checks the drugs being given out.
“Things will be more brightly-lit, easily accessible. We have the space to store all the needed new equipment that we have,” Turnquist said, adding monitors will be hooked up to the wall and no longer right beside the bed.
“If you notice, our rooms are so small (right now), we often don’t even have space for a family member to sit. We ask them to stand for the duration of their stay.”
All 35 new exam rooms will have walls and glass sliding doors to enhanced privacy and safety, along with comfortable seats for visitors.
“These are things that seem small, but they add up to a really big deal for both the quality of patient care and safety,” Turnquist said.
People are invited to hear from ER physicians, medical teams, patients and families on 650 CKOM between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Donations can be made online or by calling 1-855-649-4483.
Event sponsor Suer and Pollon Mechanical of Saskatoon is matching total donations up to $100,000.