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Cardiac MRIs on the horizon at GBGH

Image of Dr. Nick Lougheed looking at cardiac MRI scans.

From February 1 to 14, 2024, the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Foundation held their Kickstart Your Heart campaign, raising funds to bring cardiac MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology to the Midland hospital. The two-week event raised a total of $113,597 from individuals, local businesses and generous match donors, Conrad & Donna Huber.

The funds raised will be used to purchase a specialized cardiac MRI coil, which directs the scan to the heart, allowing the best possible images of the entire heart system. The service, which is currently not available in any hospitals between Barrie and Sudbury, will be offered at GBGH when the new MRI machine is installed and operating in early 2025.

“Although there are many different ways to image someone’s heart, the level of detail that can be obtained from the MRI is unmatched by any other images,” says Dr. Nick Lougheed, chief of radiology, GBGH. “This allows us to detect conditions that would otherwise be invisible on other tests. When conditions are detected earlier, treatment can start sooner, and outcomes can be improved.”

A $25,000 match gift from Conrad & Donna Huber inspired more than 60 individuals to make gifts to the campaign. Donor Doug Lamon joined the Hubers by making a $25,000 gift to help the Foundation reach the fundraising goal of $75,000 on February 14.  Local couple, Steve & Brenda, also made a $25,000 gift, which is designated to fund the overall MRI project, helping to ensure this equipment is available at GBGH so cardiac MRIs can be performed.

“We were inspired by Conrad & Donna Huber’s generosity,” says Steve. “We know how critically important it is for our community to have proper equipment in our hospital.

The campaign had support on air and online from media partners Pure Country 106 and BOUNCE 104.1.  The stations ran a Balloon Selfie Contest to help encourage the community to visit the fourteen local business partners who pledged a portion of sales over the two weeks to the Kickstart Your Heart campaign.

“Our business partners were so supportive once again this year,” says Victoria Evans, community giving officer, GBGH Foundation. “Collectively, they raised $4,600 for Kickstart Your Heart, with promotions that focused on love, community and a little bit of indulgence. And, we are so thankful to our friends at Pure Country 106 and BOUNCE 104.1 for helping us spread the message of Kickstart across our community.”

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