KGH shows off new gear

Madison Erhardt

Kelowna General Hospital unveiled a new Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory on Thursday.

It was made possible by a donation from the Colin and Lois Pritchard Foundation.

The lab in the microbiology unit has sophisticated testing abilities with the real-time PCR. The highly advanced diagnostic instruments allow staff to detect and identify specific antibiotic resistance gene mutations, bacteria and viruses faster than ever before.

Previously, most viral diagnostics were sent to Vancouver for testing, with delays due to the transport required.

“These days, philanthropy in health care is often focused on cancer or cardiac care,” said Dr. Edith Blondel-Hill, a medical microbiologist who has worked directly with the Pritchards. 

“Supporting the microbiology laboratory with new technology to improve the diagnosis of infections will ultimately result in better antibiotic use, to preserve these life-saving medications for future generations. This donation demonstrates this family’s commitment to the present and future health of our community.”

“The Pritchards’ history of giving is really unique,” said KGH Foundation CEO Doug Rankmore. 

“Over the years, they have been exceptionally engaged with our specialty medical teams to determine where needs exist that might typically be overlooked because it’s not top of mind in the media or even within the general medical community. Their gifts have had an incredible impact in this hospital.”

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