The Chan family stands in front of the donor recognition wall at West Coast General Hospital with the new ultrasound that was purchased with their donation. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

The Chan family stands in front of the donor recognition wall at West Coast General Hospital with the new ultrasound that was purchased with their donation. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Doctor’s estate funds new ultrasound machine at West Coast General Hospital

Dr. Shiu Fai Chan worked at Port Alberni’s hospital for years

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni has been able to purchase some state-of-the-art equipment thanks to a donation from the family of a late Alberni Valley doctor.

The estate of Dr. Shiu Fai Chan made a donation to the West Coast General Hospital (WCGH) Foundation this month, which allowed the hospital to purchase a portable ultrasound for the intensive care unit.

The ultrasound cost more than $70,000, and the Chan family contributed with a “significant amount,” said WCGH Foundation business director Chris Francey.

Chan passed away back in September 2020, after which his wife—Dr. Elizabeth Huggett—decided to make a donation to the foundation. Both doctors worked at WCGH for many years before retirement.

“This is our way of saying thank you to the community, and particularly to the hospital and the staff,” she said.

Dr. Robbie O’Dwyer, the president of the WCGH Foundation board of directors, said the Sonosite ultrasound is the most advanced ultrasound available in North America. This is the first one purchased in Canada.

O’Dwyer explained that the new piece of equipment will allow hospital staff to be able to perform ultrasounds for critical care patients without having to transfer them to the x-ray department.

“That improves patient safety,” he said. “For intensive care units, the use of ultrasounds is critically important for management of cases. This is going to contribute immensely to the quality of care for our patients.”

The machine includes all of the accessories to perform cardiac ultrasound, abdominal ultrasound and vascular access.

“Which is the equivalent of the full investigative potential of ultrasound that’s available in the x-ray department,” said O’Dwyer.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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