Massive donation gives Kelowna General what's needed to become full-service heart centre | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Massive donation gives Kelowna General what's needed to become full-service heart centre

From left to right: KGH cardiologists Dr. Jaymi Chernoff; Dr. Frank Halperin; Allison Ramchuk, KGH Foundation; Marshall & Judi Eliuk; Wes Shields, KGH Foundation; KGH cardiologists, Dr. Kevin Pistawka; Dr. Kathryn Brown.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / KGH Foundation
October 30, 2019 - 11:11 AM

By the fall of 2020, Kelowna General Hospital will have a fully operational advanced heart rhythm services and electrophysiology unit, and it's going to be due, in large part, to the generosity of an Alberta man who knows exactly what it's like to need that kind of care.

Edmonton and Peace River based businessman, Marshall Eliuk, gave the $1.4 million needed to complete the KGH Foundation’s $7 million fundraising campaign aimed at bringing these services to Kelowna General Hospital, which is the regional hub for Interior Health’s Cardiac Sciences program.

“I have experienced much success throughout my life. I whole-heartedly believe in giving back to support the communities we live in,” Eliuk, experienced a cardiac incident several years ago, said in a press release. 

“And I’m a grateful patient myself. It gives me great joy to know that this gift will ensure heart rhythm patients can access the life-saving care they need, right here at KGH.”

It will be called the Marshall Eliuk Cardiac Interventional and Advanced Heart Rhythm Program will be fully operational at Kelowna General. Patients requiring advanced heart rhythm services will no longer have to travel to Vancouver or Victoria for treatment.

The majority of the funds were raised in just eight months, including over $1 million raised on the KGH Foundation’s Day of Giving.  

Every year, hundreds of patients from across the Interior suffer urgent, life-threatening complications arising from conditions associated with abnormal heart rhythms or cardiac arrhythmia. In all cases, they must wait for a bed to become available at a hospital in the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island. When this is operational, they won't.

“This is a historical moment,” said Dr. Frank Halperin, medical director of Interior Health’s Cardiac Science Program said. “We are so proud of the high quality service the cardiac program already provides. Now, with the addition of advanced heart rhythm services/electrophysiology, our program is complete and we can fully serve our community.”

“We are truly grateful to Mr. Eliuk and the entire community of donors who have made bringing electrophysiology to KGH possible.”

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