Friends dedicated to hospital


THE Mareeba Friends of the Foundation recently handed over about $30,000 towards equipment at Mareeba Hospital, the latest in a long line of donations.
The community organisation has been operating for more than 10 years, and in that time has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and items to the hospital, including televisions and the recently completed $100,000 children’s playground.
The latest donation was for a portable ultrasound device improving the recognition of abdominal trauma, heart conditions and the early detection of bone trauma for example after a fall or accident when an x-ray will be delayed.
The probes also allow for quick look obstetrics ultrasounds.
“The Mareeba Friends is a great way for the community to connect with the hospital and they know we’re there to support them,” said chairperson for the group Ida Portella.
“Whatever they need, they come to us and let us know and if we’re happy with it and if we feel it’s going to improve patient services, then we say let’s do it,” Ms Portella said.
A lot of the group’s funds come from private donations, Rotary and Bendigo Bank but each year the Mareeba District Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association hold a fundraising dinner with all proceeds going to the Foundation. In 2017 they raised more than $18,500.
They currently have two chairs for the palliative care rooms to make life comfortable for those sitting with dying loved ones,  on order. They also are waiting for a cuddle cot sleeping system which allows parents to stay with their babies a little longer after they have passed away.
“In the last six months we’ve spent well over $160,000 at the hospital,” Ms Portella said.
“Queensland Health know we are here and we do care about our hospital and by giving to our hospital it’s great for our community. We’re all going to benefit from it.”
The Mareeba Friends of the Foundation is currently looking for a new project and considering buying some dialysis units, refurbishing the chapel or buying an outdoor kitchen.
“We’re working with the hospital at the moment looking at a range of things,” Ms Portella said. “These are all things that enhance the patient services. If there’s more that we can do, we will do it,” she said.

Photo: Mareeba Friends of the Foundation chair Ida Portella checks out the ultrasound probes with Acting Medical Superintendent at mareeba Hospital Toby Hopton and Senior Medical Officer Brian Treanor.


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