The Christopher Society has given the Penticton Regional Hospital a big boost towards a second CT scanner.
The society, affiliated with the Knights of Columbus (Council 3127) and St. Ann’s Catholic Church, has donated $200,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.
This recent donation brings the $3 million fundraising campaign within $600,000 of being completed. The foundation explained in a release Sept. 10 that this second CT scanner will help reduce heavy demand on the existing machine, which currently operates from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on-call overnight.
The new scanner will eventually be located near the PRH Emergency Department which is being upgraded as part of Phase 2 of the PRH expansion project.
The CT project includes the cost of major renovations required, with the new scanner planned to be operational by the time the Emergency Department upgrade is completed in early 2022.
Peter Steele, chair of the SOS Medical Foundation board, thanked the Christopher Society for their donation.
“The support PRH continues to receive from the entire South Okanagan community never ceases to amaze us. It’s incredibly gratifying,” Steele said.
The society was formed in the 1960s to oversee the construction of a new hall – the Christopher Centre – near Skaha Lake Road and Green Avenue.
At first, the centre was a major source of revenue through hosting bingos, weddings and other events. However, by the late 1990s bookings started to drop and the property was eventually sold. Interest funds generated from the building’s sale were then directed to a number of local charities.
Over the past 20 years, the Christopher Society has donated more than $550,000 to various causes in the community. This includes a 2017 gift of $50,000 to the SOS Medical Foundation’s campaign to provide medical equipment for the hospital’s new David Kampe Tower which opened in April 2019.
Christopher Society spokesman Dennis Ebner said the society’s directors decided at their recent annual general meeting to donate a large chunk of the remaining proceeds to PRH and provide a lasting legacy for the community.
“We all need services at the hospital from time to time. It just felt like the right thing to do. The foundation provides some badly needed medical equipment including the new CT.”