Methanex donates $375,000 towards heart x-ray machine at campaign launch

The We Heart Taranaki fundraising campaign was launched in Stratford yesterday. From left Taranaki Health Foundation ...
ANDY JACKSON / Fairfax NZ

The We Heart Taranaki fundraising campaign was launched in Stratford yesterday. From left Taranaki Health Foundation general manager Bry Kopu, chairman Michael Joyce, Methanex director of manufacturing Brian Ropitini and Methanex senior vice president global marketing and logistics Vanessa James.

A fundraising drive to bring a state-of-the-art heart x-ray machine to Taranaki was given a major boost yesterday.

The We Heart Taranaki campaign was launched in Stratford with Methanex coming in as the major sponsor donating $375,000.

Run by the Taranaki Health Foundation, the campaign aims to raise $1.2 million for an angiography suite for Taranaki Base Hospital that would save patients from travelling to Waikato Hospital for treatment.

The cost for the suite is $3.6m. Taranaki Electricity Trust has already contributed $1.2m as has the Taranaki District Health Board.

Foundation chairman Michael Joyce said Methanex's contribution had kick-started the campaign.

"We now feel the fundraising target is achievable enough for us to go out to the community and ask other businesses and individuals for their support."

Every cent raised will go towards the purchase of the angiography machine and the special fit out required for the suite, Joyce said.

Angiography is an X-ray technique to visualise the inside of blood vessels. About 400 patients a year travel to Waikato for angiography treatment. The new machine will make it easier for people to access cardiology and vascular care in Taranaki and at a reduced cost.

Heart disease is the biggest killer of people aged over 40 years. Of the 110,000 people in Taranaki, 41 per cent are at risk of cardiovascular disease and this is growing because the population is ageing.

Taranaki DHB cardiologist Dr Ternouth said everyone with a heart will benefit from the new technology.

"For patients and their families, travelling to Waikato is not only an anxious time for everyone but disruptive and very expensive."

The spin off for the community will be massive, Ternouth said.

The machine will be the best in the country and software upgrades will mean the equipment will stay current.

Methanex director of manufacturing Brian Ropitini said the partnership was a great opportunity for staff to get involved in fundraising and giving back to the community.

"We are excited to be partnering with the trust for making a new angiography machine a reality for all of Taranaki. We see this as a great fit with Methanex's Responsible Care Commitment which is focused on health and safety, and as a significant investment from us to help improve the health and wellbeing of the whole community."

Taranaki DHB chief executive Tony Foulkes said a room had been set aside for the angiography suite during the hospital upgrade, but the DHB had to prioritise scarce resources. The partnership with the community and the Taranaki Health Foundation means the suite will be up and running sooner rather than later, Foulkes said.

The new angiography suite will also make it easier for patients to access to a wide range of services including coronary angiography, endoscopic services, interventionist radiology and epidural pain injections.

A fundraising drive to bring a state-of-the-art heart x-ray machine to Taranaki

 - Taranaki Daily News

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