Milk River is now home to world–class portable ultrasound technology, thanks to the foresight and generosity of local health professionals and residents.
The community, an hour south of Lethbridge, is now home to new SonoSite Edge portable Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) equipment, adding to the diagnostic tools available to local health professionals to enhance the services currently being offered to people of Milk River and surrounding communities.
The system was purchased by Dr. Pieter Krog, who saw the value it could add to patient care by improving diagnostic certainty.
Dr. Krog’s eyes were opened to the potential of Point of Care Ultrasound in the community after he and Mark Simons, local Physician Assistant, took a Point of Care Ultrasound Course partially subsidized by RhPAP. The Emergency Department Echo (EDE, pronounced “Eddie”) Ultrasound Course was held in Claresholm earlier this year. The EDE Course provides health professionals from across rural Alberta with four days of intensive training, leaving them well prepared to bedside ultrasound skills in the real world.
Upon completing the course, Dr. Krog purchased the equipment, covering the $50,000 cost of the equipment out of his own pocket, for use in the clinic and Emergency Department. To help offset the cost to Dr. Krog, the Quad Municipality Healthcare Support Committee stepped up to help. The Committee, which is made up of local residents and council members from Coutts, Milk River, Warner, and the County of Warner, assisted Dr. Krog and the Milk River Medical Clinic to fundraise for the new equipment. Thanks to the generosity of local residents, community organizations, businesses, and local town and county councils, fundraising efforts covered the cost of the SonoSite equipment in only four months!
There was some additional money raised above the ultrasound costs that will go towards subsidizing future physician’s training in the future. One new physician who will be joining Dr. Krog soon, has already shown interest in taking the course so he can use this diagnostic tool. The equipment is already of great benefit to patients in both the clinic, and the Milk River Health Centre Emergency Department.
Our sincerest thanks and appreciation goes out to all of those who donated!