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The Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation

Newsletter • Winter 2011

Room To Breath

New Equipment for Respiratory A priority need at the Dartmouth General Hospital is replacing the Pulmonary Function Testing (PFTs) equipment. Have you ever lost your breath and felt the panic that instantly takes over or experienced that awful feeling of struggling for the next breath? It can happen in an instant, maybe from something you swallowed the wrong way, or perhaps the wind gets knocked out of you while playing a sport. While incidents such as these are not everyday occurrences, the ability for some people to fight for their daily breath is all too common. We breathe thousands of times every day, an activity we barely think about until respiratory problems arise. Over 3 million Canadians cope with one of five serious respiratory diseases – asthma, chronic

Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) measure how well the lungs take in and release air

obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, tuberculosis (TB), and cystic fibrosis. These and other respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis, respiratory distress syndrome and sleep apnea affect individuals of all ages, cultures and backgrounds – from children to parents to

IN THIS ISSUE Bernice Boudreau Bursary................................................................................2 Kilimanjaro Adventure.......................................................................................3 What Is COPD?......................................................................................................4 Hospital Team Heads to Haiti..........................................................................5

grandparents. Pneumonia remains a major contributor to deaths and hospitalization among the elderly. It is the leading cause of death from infectious disease in Canada. - Public Health Agency of Canada Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are groups of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move gases such as oxygen from the atmosphere into the body’s circulation. (Continued on page 5)

InTouch • WINTER 2011

Executive Director’s Message

InTouch is published semi-annually for friends and donors of the Dartmouth General Hospital.

Board of Directors 2011 Executive

Kim Conrad, Chair Clifford A. Moir, Chair Emeritus Michael Wild, Past Chair Mary MacPhee, Secretary Bill MacMaster, Treasurer


Diane Burns Arlene Frizzell, Auxiliary Representative Chris Giannou Dean Hartman Todd Howlett, M.D. Chief of Staff Shirley Morash Patrick O’Regan Fred Smithers Jamie Thomson Kevin Tomlinson


Zita Longobardi, Executive Director Nicol Clarke, Administration Lisa Cottreau, Special Events All inquiries may be directed to:

Dartmouth General Hospital Charitable Foundation 325 Pleasant Street Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4G8 Tel: 465-8560 Fax: 465-1129 Email: Visit our website at:


Each year brings opportunities and challenges and this year is no exception. The Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation has a history of providing the hospital with the priority medical equipment it needs to better provide healthcare within our community. The current equipment list of our hospital is presently over $4.5 million and there is no doubt that will change in the months ahead. Following the successful conclusion of Revolution, our spinning event which raised over $550,000, we are pursuing two new events in 2011 that will have us dancing in the streets and climbing the highest mountains all in support of our hospital. More information will be available in the weeks ahead, but

please contact us if you have interest in being involved in either event. The Foundation has been fortunate to have had the guidance of Michael Wild as Foundation Chair for the past two years. Mike’s dedication and interest in the hospital sets an exemplary example of leadership. On behalf of the Foundation and the Dartmouth General, we thank him for his service and commitment to the hospital. We welcome Kim Conrad as our incoming Chair for 2011-2013. In addition to being a member of the Foundation Board of Directors, Conrad Brothers Ltd, is the presenting sponsor of the Annual Lobster Dinner & Auction. Kim carries on a family legacy of supporting the Dartmouth General. If you would like to get involved in our activities this year, please contact us, or follow us on Facebook.

2010 Bernice Boudreau Bursary Awarded to Colleen Blanchette Occupational Therapist Colleen Blanchette was awarded the Bernice Boudreau Bursary for 2010. Colleen is a strong advocate for quality palliative care at the Dartmouth General and is a member of the Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Team. The nomination reads in part, “Colleen has been instrumental in helping palliative care patients maintain their dignity and independence. In her role as an OT, she makes homes visits, assesses equipment needs, is instrumental with discharge planning and always provides lots of TLC.” On behalf of the Boudreau Family, Suzanne Boudreau, daughter-in law of Bernice Boudreau presented this

year’s bursary to Colleen, expressing their appreciation to the hospital staff for exceptional care of Bernice Boudreau.

WINTER 2011 •


This could be your next great Adventure‌ and you can help healthcare here at home at the same time! Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Eastern Africa, more precisely in Tanzania at the Kenyan border. The mountain represents the highest point of the African continent measuring 5895 meters and is the highest freestanding mountain in the world. It consists of three volcanoes, Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo. Uhuru Peak is the highest summit in Kibo’s crater rim. The expedition is a unique opportunity for mountain lovers, expert climbers and novices to fulfill a lifetime dream. Mount Kilimanjaro sits just south of the equator. Its base experiences the heat and sunshine associated with this part of Africa; however as you climb it gets colder and there is less and less rainfall as you approach the arctic conditions of the summit. Climbers will go through five distinct zones; farmland, rain forest, heather and moorland, highland desert and arctic.

The snow covered peak of Kilimanjaro rises in the distance

There is no doubt that reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro will be challenging but also rewarding. Not only will it be personally rewarding to you for achieving such an accomplishment, but it will also be rewarding for the community with the enhancement of healthcare. Achieve your dream of reaching the top of the mountain while helping healthcare within your community.

Currently the priority medical equipment needs for the Dartmouth General Hospital total over $4.5 million. We are working to put together a climb that will take place in late August of 2011. For the 24 people who make up the Kilimanjaro team (spots are limited), the experience will be nothing short of remarkable, impacting them in physical and emotional ways.

These participants will return having had mountain top experiences. And here in Nova Scotia, healthcare will be enhanced because of their commitment and dedication to the community. If you are interesting in learning more about this climb, please contact us at 465-8531 or email


InTouch • WINTER 2011

What is COPD? What is COPD? COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a longterm lung disease often caused by smoking. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Many people with COPD have both bronchitis and emphysema. What does COPD do to my lungs? COPD slowly damages your airways, the breathing tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. COPD makes airways swollen and partly blocked by mucus. It also damages in the tiny air sacs at the tips of your airways. This makes it hard to move air in and out of your lungs.

can include pills, inhalers (puffers), and supplemental oxygen - Joining a pulmonary rehabilita- tion program, a special class that teaches exercise and COPD management People with COPD can take other steps to manage their symptoms: - Recognize and treat COPD flare- ups, times when COPD symptoms get worse - Use special breathing techniques when you’re short of breath - Make lifestyle changes to save energy and feel better: simplify chores, eat well, and make other healthy changes

Why is it important to get COPD diagnosed early? When COPD is diagnosed early, it’s easier to treat. If you don’t catch COPD early, it will be harder to treat and you will have more symptoms and more lung damage. If you are a smoker or a former smoker and you’re over 40, take the Canadian Lung Health Test to see if you have symptoms of COPD.

What’s the outlook for COPD? What can I expect? COPD is progressive - it gets worse over time. Having COPD may put you at risk for other health problems, including: - frequent chest infections, including pneumonia and the flu (influenza) - pulmonary hypertension: higher- than-usual blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs - heart problems - osteopenia or osteoporosis, the thinning of the bones - eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts - cachexia: losing body mass and muscles, losing your appetite, feel- ing nauseated and weak - malnutrition: not getting enough nutrients from food, not eating enough - weak muscles - lung cancer

What’s the treatment for COPD? There is no cure for COPD, but there are good treatments: - Quitting smoking, and staying away from smoke and air pollution - Taking COPD medications, which

Getting the most out of life when you have COPD If you have COPD, it’s important to learn how to take care of yourself. And it’s important to reach out for help and company.

What are the symptoms of COPD? The main symptoms of COPD are a long-lasting cough, coughing up mucus, and being short of breath. How do doctors diagnose COPD? Doctors diagnose COPD by testing your lungs. They use a simple test called spirometry, which measures how much air you can move out of your lungs. They also use other tests.


Many people with COPD enjoy a happy and productive life despite their disease. COPD patient Darlene Morgan knows what it’s like to face COPD. “I have truly made my COPD diagnosis a new beginning in my life. Two years ago I was on life support in hospital. Now I can enjoy a half-hour walk with my children, grandchildren and dog. I feel better than I have in years,” she says. Read more about Darlene’s journey with COPD, at It’s also important to talk to your doctor and family about what kind of care you will need in future years, and what you can do now to get ready for the future. What causes COPD? In countries like Canada, smoking causes about 80% of COPD cases. Other things that can cause COPD are: - second-hand smoke - air pollution (dust or chemicals) - having repeated lung infections as a child - a rare condition called Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency Can we prevent COPD? Yes. We can prevent most cases of COPD by not smoking and by staying away from second-hand smoke and other air pollution. If you smoke, you can reduce your chance of getting COPD by quitting as soon as possible. It’s never too late to quit smokinglearn how and get help. Get help and support for COPD If you or someone you love has COPD, you may have many questions and concerns. The Lung Association is here to help. For information, support and advice on COPD, please call The Lung Association’s free, confidential COPD Helpline: 1-866-717-2673 (1-866-717COPD). It’s toll-free in Canada. Reprinted with permission from The Canadian Lung Association

WINTER 2011 •


Hospital Team Heads To Haiti The nurse sends in one more mother and child from among the throng of confusion outside my empty classroom clinic room in the village of Fontina on the island of La Gonave, Haiti. The mother bravely clutches her tiny yellow scrap of paper labeled doctor, her entrance ticket through the noisy triage system which entitles her to the few minutes she will have with a doctor this year. Her baby burns with fever to my touch as I ask my interpreter to take the history from her. How long has the baby been sick? The mother cannot tell me if it has been hours or weeks, since even her babies’ exact age is unknown to her. Time has a different meaning here in the rural Caribbean, where she lives with her family in a cinderblock house with a tin roof. Her walk to the nearest hospital is one hour down the mountain to the Wesleyan mission in the town of Anse-a-Galets, so I know that whatever I offer her will have to be among the medicines we carried from Canada in our personal luggage. The interpreter writes the babies’ name on a scrap of paper and I add a note to our pharmacist to give the baby whatever oral antibiotic is available in our collection. I smile and thank the mother for coming in, pointing her to the next building which serves as our pharmacy, where (Continued from cover)

The new Pulmonary Function Testing equipment will enable the clinical staff to conduct more advanced testing, using the latest technology and standards. Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) may be used to diagnose lung conditions or diseases such as:

a noisy line of people are waiting for their treatments. Our entire interaction lasts about five minutes, because there were 200 people waiting in the little school when we drove up this morning, and I can’t take any more time. This is rural Haiti and I am absolutely loving this trip.

night. Between the earthquake, the flooding, the cholera epidemic and the election, a lot is going on here. Speaking to the local people about their hope for the future, I found that many felt their vote would be wasted in the upcoming ballot. They told me that their politicians live in Florida and ignore the country’s needs. CNN shows me images of marked ballots lying in the streets, of gangs of thugs who steal voting boxes, and of a group of presidential candidates who are boycotting the election due to fraud. Development requires political stability, which requires honesty and trust, which are both in short supply here.

My name is Peter Daley and I am an infectious diseases physician at Memorial University. I was privileged to join a team of ten other health care providers from Nova Scotia, representing Dartmouth General Hospital and Deep Water church, on a short term medical mission trip between November 15th and 23rd, to the most underdeveloped province of Haiti. We came as volunteers to help out as we were able, and we left with a new sense of our own priorities and a deep love for the children we met.

Of course my patient doesn’t think much about politics. She is busy trying to find the next meal for her family. Rounding in the hospital, I go outside to visit the cholera tent. The nurses do not come out here,

Haiti fills the news on television to-

(Continued on page 6)

- Asthma - Emphysema - Chronic bronchitis - Measure how much a lung problem is affecting you - Evaluate symptoms such as coughing , wheezing, and trouble breathing - Determine how well a treatment is working - Evaluate your lung function before a surgery

The respiratory system ©2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc. 5

InTouch • WINTER 2011 (Continued from page 5)

and the tent is pitched at the farthest point away from the hospital. I walk in and speak to the families of the four patients, who are responsible for cleaning and nursing their loved one. All of the IV bottles hang empty, and the four patients have nothing to drink. I suggest we make up some oral rehydration solution, which the local doctors agree is a good idea. We mix up a 16 litre bucket by pouring it back and forth into a second bucket, then carry it out to the tent and set it on a table. I gesture wildly to the patients to drink as much as they can. This becomes my daily occupation. I am the “Kool-Aid” doctor, I think. I suggest we should put some gowns and gloves in the tent for the families to wear, and write some standing orders in English to the head doctor. When patients are admitted, they should have inputs and outputs measured and balanced. They could have postural vital signs checked twice a day. Diapers need to be burned in one place. Every stool should be followed by a drink. These things seem so elementary to me, but the staff are very thankful for my input.

“You are the only doctor we will see this year…” Our team arrives after dark from the village, for dinner together in the guesthouse. They have travelled in the back of the pickup truck along the rocky and dusty pathway down from Fontina, at a walking pace since this is as fast as the truck can go through the tire-swallowing potholes. Representing the Dartmouth General are Dr. Brian Addie, Dr. Lynne McMahon and RN Amanda Jamieson. We recall the events of the day together while we enjoy cold colas from the fridge. We swear that Coke tastes somehow better here 6

in Haiti. Tonight we will sing and pray together before settling into our dormitories under the mosquito nets, but only after we spend quite a while making sure the bed contains no bugs before we get into it.

Our departure from Haiti comes far too soon. On our last day we go snorkeling in the turquoise water, looking at colorful fish and corals. As I watch the palms and white sandy beaches slip past the boat, I marvel that Haiti is located on the very same island that so many

Canadians come to visit on their winter vacation. The fish don’t seem to care that they are swimming in the poorest country in the western hemisphere, instead of enjoying the beaches at the nearby five star resort. Haiti “Team Delta” appreciates the donations of medicines and supplies provided by the Dartmouth General Hospital and Capital Health. We had more than we could use in our short trip, and left many behind for further use. If you are interested in helping Haiti, Deep Water church has organized a luvHaiti Christmas catalogue, where your donation could buy a goat or a pig for a needy family. How about a fruit tree or school supplies for a child? You could provide community health training or help rebuild a home. Check out and download the form to donate. - Peter Daley, M.D.

Best Reasons to Give

Enrich People’s Lives Every day, people are helped and lives are enriched by the work of charities and foundations. Provide Support Financial assistance is essential to support and sustain charitable work. Leave a Memory Choosing to leave a gift from the heart brings meaning, dignity and purpose to a life well lived. A Contribution for the Future Personal giving can help contribute to the sustainability of not for profit organizations and charities.

WINTER 2011 •

Family Waiting Room Project The Dartmouth General Hospital Auxiliary is embarking on a project to refurbish the Family Waiting Rooms throughout the hospital.


Auxiliary Bursary Awarded To Jessica Thompson

These waiting rooms are crucial for family members who are waiting for information about their family and friends. In many instances, people may be waiting to discuss circumstances with physicians or other members of the clinical team, and in other cases it is a place to relax away from stressful situations. Due to constant use, the need to refurbish the waiting rooms is a high priority for the hospital. Providing a clean and comfortable area for family members is essential for the wellbeing of patients and family members. The DGH Auxiliary has committed $125,000 towards this project.

Arlene Frizzell presents Jessica Thompson with a bursary to help further her education

Jessica Thompson was awarded a $1,500 bursary by the DGH Auxiliary to help further her studies at Dalhousie University. Jennifer, a first year science student, is pursuing a healthcare career. She is the granddaughter of Auxiliary member, Pauline Thompson. Arlene Frizzell, President, presented the bursary to Jessica at the November meeting.

Happy Retirement Dr. Verge! Doctor Wylie Verge retired his practice in August 2010 after 55 years of service to the Dartmouth community in general medicine and surgery. In 1976 he and Mr. Joseph Zatzman developed the Dartmouth Professional Centre and the Pleasant Street Medical Group was located within the Centre until its move in November 2009. Dr. Verge was one of the original physicians who lobbied to have the Dartmouth General Hospital built. Initial attempts to convince politicians to build the hospital were unsuccessful until a temporary emergency hospital proved the need was great. Dr.

Verge and many local doctors worked 12 to 24 hour shifts on top of their normal practice to prove the need for a community hospital. He was instrumental in raising the 1.5 million dollars needed to start the construction of the Dartmouth General. In order to raise money for new medical equipment he and others developed the Lobster Dinner & Auction, a very successful fundraiser which celebrated 25 years in June of 2010. Dr. Verge’s contribution to the Dartmouth General is remarkable. We wish him the very best on his retirement.

Dr. Wylie Verge


Thank You very much for your support! Helping us today could mean saving the life of a loved one in our community.

“Yes, I want to support the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation for priority medical equipment” Option 1

Enclosed is my cheque or money order for $_______ payable to: DGH Foundation.

Option 2

Please charge $_______ to my credit card. Visa Mastercard AMEX Card Number:__________________________________________________ Expiry:_________ ________________________________________________________________________________ SIGNATURE (TO PERMIT TRANSACTION)

Option 3

I’d prefer to pay in monthly installments. Please deduct $__________ from my bank account on the 1st or 15th of each month for _______ months or until further notice. I’ve attached a ‘voided’ cheque. Ms. Mrs. Mr. Dr. Other Name (please print) ____________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ Postal Code___________________ email (optional)________________

A TAX RECEIPT WILL BE ISSUED PROMPTLY. CHARITABLE REGISTRATION #BN 12245 5611 RR00011 Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation 325 Pleasant Street Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 4G8 Tel. (902) 465.8560/8531

Agreement No.40028771

InTouch Winter 2011  

InTouch is a semi annual newsletter for friends and donors of the Dartmouth General Hospital

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