New diagnostic equipment to advance care in Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake Urgent Care Committee funds equipment through $850,000 donation

SYLVAN LAKE – Installation begins next month at the Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service of a new digital radiographic X-ray unit that will reduce travel for patients and improve the speed, accuracy and efficiency of diagnosis and treatment.

Unlike the facility’s existing X-ray machine, the new unit has the ability to perform image stitching, which connects multiple X-ray images together to create one high-resolution image. This is especially beneficial to patients with scoliosis and those in need of orthopedic surgery on a knee or hip. Once the new unit is operational, local and area patients will no longer have to travel to Red Deer or Olds for this exam.

The new equipment will also reduce the time it takes to acquire a patient’s image and send it to a physician for assessment, allowing patients to receive results sooner than with the existing unit.

The Sylvan Lake and Area Urgent Care Committee is funding the new equipment through a gift of $850,000 from local residents Stephen and Jacqueline Wuori.

“These acts of generosity by Stephen and Jacqueline are a testament to the amazing and diverse citizens across Alberta, eager to help their neighbours and strengthen the health system in their communities,” says Devin Dreeshen, MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake. “The Alberta government also recognizes the importance of technologically advanced laboratory equipment. A recent investment of $15 million for lab equipment in Edmonton and across northern Alberta will improve the treatment and care of patients and families.”

“We are extremely grateful to the Sylvan Lake and Area Urgent Care Committee, and Stephen and Jacqueline, for this significant investment in the Sylvan Lake community,” adds Valerie Thompson, Area Director, Lacombe, Ponoka and Red Deer Counties for Alberta Health Services (AHS). “This new equipment allows us to diagnose patients faster and with greater accuracy, which is important for providing them with the care they need as quickly as possible.”

Renovation and installation work for the new unit will start in late September and is expected to conclude by the end of the year.

“We are thankful and excited to be able to help with such a critical service,” Stephen and Jacqueline Wuori say in a statement. “Urgent care is equal opportunity – any of us could need it at any time, and we are pleased to support the Urgent Care Committee and AHS in enhancing diagnostic capability in the community.”

About 900 X-rays are performed monthly at the facility.

“The Sylvan Lake and Area Urgent Care Committee is pleased to celebrate the generous donation,” says Susan Samson, Chair, Sylvan Lake and Area Urgent Care Committee. “We are extremely thankful to Stephen and Jacqueline for their financial support that allows the continuation of providing the right health care, at the right place, in the most appropriate manner, for the people of this community and surrounding area.”

The Sylvan Lake and Area Urgent Care Committee raises funds and accepts donations for the purchase of medical equipment for the Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service. The service opened in 2018 and offers treatment for urgent, non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. Last year, almost 18,000 patients used this service. The committee’s next fundraising event is the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign, Sept. 14-20. Call Susan Samson at 403-358-1252 for more information.