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Vernon hospital fundraiser targets new X-ray machine

Donations help increase diagnostic capacity and reduce waitlist for North Okanagan patients

Efforts to reduce wait times for patients with increased diagnostic capacity are underway at Vernon Jubilee Hospital (VJH)

The VJH Foundation’s 36th annual Light a Bulb campaign is focused on purchasing a new state-of-the-art X-ray machine.

An X-ray is an important imaging test that helps in the detection and diagnosis of various medical conditions. Doctors use X-rays as a baseline for treatment and to screen for many conditions and illnesses, like arthritis, lung infections, hip or knee replacements and more.

They are essential if you need to be referred to a specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon.

“You don’t know how important X-rays are until you need a lot of them,” said Ethan Sawka, a local firefighter with BC Wildfire Service, who badly broke his leg last Christmas, requiring multiple surgeries.

“I never expected to need monthly X-rays to monitor my recovery. But that’s how my doctor discovered something was very wrong, and that I would require further treatment.”

Vernon Jubilee’s Imaging Department is one of the busiest in B.C.’s Interior, performing more than 45,000 X-rays annually, working seven days a week. That’s about one exam every 10 minutes. Still, wait times for an X-ray are up to three to four weeks.

“X-rays are an essential part of our practice, helping assess, guide treatment and monitor progress,” said Dr. Julian Sernik, VJH orthopedic surgeon. “By decreasing wait times for X-rays, we are improving our ability to care for patients and respond with surgical plans that can change someone’s life.”

Each year, Light a Bulb helps to support initiatives that may otherwise go without funding.

Last year’s campaign contributed to the Foundation’s goal of doubling CT scanning capacity in the North Okanagan, with the purchase of a second CT scanner, which will be operational this month.

“We are dedicated to ensuring our North Okanagan facilities have access to the highest quality equipment and resources to provide enhanced care in our region,” said VJH Foundation executive director Kate McBrearty.

“Through the incredible generosity of our community, we are able to focus on the most urgent needs for our medical teams.”

Learn more and donate at

READ MORE: Vernon hospital in desperate need of 2nd CT scanner

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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