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HRF, Municipal Hail Insurance teaming up to bring latest technology to Regina General Hospital

Municipal Hail Insurance will match donations to the HRF up to a total of $1 million dollars to help the foundation reach its $2.5 million fundraising goal. (DonovanMaess/CTVNews) Municipal Hail Insurance will match donations to the HRF up to a total of $1 million dollars to help the foundation reach its $2.5 million fundraising goal. (DonovanMaess/CTVNews)
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Municipal Hail Insurance and the Hospitals of Regina Foundation (HRF) has teamed up to raise money for upgrades to the Mosaic Heart Centre at the Regina General Hospital (RGH).

Municipal Hail Insurance will match donations to the HRF up to a total of $1 million dollars to help the foundation reach its $2.5 million fundraising goal.

“The connection between heart disease and farming is the reason why [we] are so interested in partnering with the Hospitals of Regina Foundation,” CEO Rodney Schoettler said.

In 2020, the HRF fundraised to upgrade a first Catheterization (Cath) Lab and now the new Cardiac Care Campaign is doing the same for the second Cath Lab at the centre.

The fund will support the purchase of life-saving technology upgrades.

“The quality of cardiac care available to the people of southern Saskatchewan and Regina is about to be dramatically improved,” HRF President and CEO Dino Sophocleous said.

Sophocleous said 1 in every 12 Sask. residents lives with a heart disease and is the second-leading cause of death in Canada.

Cardiologists use Cath Labs to diagnose and treat numerous heart conditions.

RGH lead cardiologist Dr. Andrea Lavoie says the demand for their services is increasing.

“With an aging population, we see more cardiovascular disease as we get older,” she said. “We hope to have people live longer and that means helping them stay well and have a great quality of life.”

According to the HRF, the RGH’s Cath Labs completed almost 2,500 procedures last year alone. An increase of 300 per cent from 2016.

Approximately 70 per cent of patients came from outside of Regina.

Reports suggest rural residents, particularly producers, have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

Shoettler pointed to one study that showed 70 per cent of farmer deaths were related to heart disease.

“Researchers theorize this is connected to the high number of working hours, stress, lifestyle and physical exertion,” he said.

“The investments to upgrade the second Cath Lab with essential equipment will help our cardiology team continue to provide the best care possible to patients,” Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Andrew Will said in a media release.

Regina Mayor Sandra Masters was invited to Tuesday’s event.

She says the announcement hits close to home.

“[My father] died of a heart attack at the Regina General Hospital,” she said. “But the care he received from the team here was exceptional.”

“These [investments] are ways to retain the talented cardiologists [in Saskatchewan],” she added.

“We know the generosity of the Saskatchewan community and we invite everyone to support the Cardiac Care Campaign,” Shoettler said. “It gives me great pleasure to be apart of guaranteeing exceptional cardiac care to Saskatchewan.”

The hospital hoped to complete the upgrades by late 2024.

In the meantime, just one of the labs is operational but Dr. Lavoie expected minimal delays in care.

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