PARRY SOUND - April 2012 was the West Parry Sound Health Centre Foundation’s first deposit of pennies to the bank. Seven months later those pennies bought a Vital Signs machine for the Health Centre’s Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). RN Kathy Hamer received the machine several weeks ago and has been helping patients with improved service since.
Pictured from left, West Parry Sound Health Centre nurse manager Sandra Quathamer; WPSHC Foundation executive director Lynne Atkinson; volunteer roller Tomas Webster; RN Kathy Hamer, and WPSHC Foundation chair Joan Conn gather with the new Vital Signs machine bought with pennies. Tomas is one of the master rollers responsible for over 30,000 pennies rolled. One box pictured holds 2,500 pennies.
The machine takes temperatures, heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. It also enables Hamer to do a three lead echo-cardiogram (ECG) to monitor a patient’s heart rhythm while providing a copy of readings for the patient’s health record.
So in its demise, the poor discarded penny transformed itself into pure gold. The mountains collected made it possible to buy important equipment. Critical to the patient, the new Vital Signs machine allows Hamer to quickly gather vital signs and repeat them as necessary. In turn, patients are able to see their own vital signs which helps a patient understand their own “normal.”