Island ventilator appeal fund tops $149,000


Four units ordered for Manitoulin hospitals’ use

MANITOULIN—Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC)’s ventilator campaign has now received donations far exceeding the purchase price of the four additional ventilator units, which will allow all surplus funds to go toward the health group’s efforts to fight the virus through other needed activities such as purchasing supplies.

As of 3 pm on Friday, April 3, MHC had taken in $149,190 in confirmed donations from a large number of Island foundations, businesses and individuals. The original goal was $80,000 to cover the purchase of the four ventilators and the additional funds will be used for other COVID-19-related purposes such as the new sub-acute care centre in Little Current and exploring techniques to disinfect medical objects.

Because the surplus funds are being directed toward the COVID-19 fight, the hospital is still welcoming donations that will be used for those purposes.

Several donations of $10,000 came in from sources including M’Chigeeng First Nation (which organized and launched the campaign), Sheshegwaning First Nation, Manitoulin Transport, The Douglas A. Smith Family Foundation, B.J. Corbiere/Wright Memorial Hockey Tournament, Little Current Lions Club, Bousquet Realty/Bousquet Family Holdings, Whitefish River First Nation, the Municipality of Central Manitoulin, the Township of Assiginack and Zhiibaahaasing First Nation.

Donors who agreed to be named at the $5,000 level were the Town of Gore Bay and Marcel and Lucille Gervais. At the $3,500 level were Stanley Park Campground and JK Automotive’s Joe and Kim Moor.

MHC will be using the funds to purchase four LTV-1200 ventilators. These are well-known units that are a staple in emergency stockpiles across the United States and are well-used in health care settings across the continent. LTV-1200s, while not the largest or most intricate pieces of equipment, are known for their reliability; one American health care worker referred to the model as “the Ford Econoline van of medical air movement.” 

LTV-1200s carry the brand names of several companies including CareFusion and VyAire and they are sold through many medical equipment resellers. The 1200s are a portable ventilator unit like the existing ones at MHC but they provide diverse functionality within intensive care units as well as mobile applications.

MHC physicians and nurses are already trained on the LTV-1200, which is another advantage compared to bringing in an unfamiliar model. Once the units arrive, biomed will have to certify the units and then they can be put into operation.

The Expositor contacted a medical equipment supplier which had originally offered MHC a quote on these units, but that company declined to comment on any specific transactions. 

Some of the original correspondence indicated a usual delivery time of two to three weeks following order; however, this is the turnaround time under more ‘normal’ circumstances. Given the massive spike in global demand, those orders are expected to take longer to fulfill.