Push for PET scanning in Sudbury continues
Sudbury Star | Friday, October 23, 2015 1:47:04 EDT PM
The provincial government is studying whether to make mobile positron emission topography (PET) scans available in Sudbury, Ontario's Health minister said Thursday.
Dr. Eric Hoskins, responding to a question from Nickel Belt NDP MPP France Gelinas, said a committee is looking into the idea.
Gelinas, the NDP's Health critic, had called on Hoskins in the Ontario Legislature to make mobile PET scans available here.
"Ontarians living in the northeastern region of the province still do not have access to this technology without travelling long distances. Mobile pet scans are becoming more frequently used in Ontario, but we need your permission before it can come to northeastern Ontario."
"When will the minister agree to let a mobile PET scanner come to Health Sciences North in Sudbury to serve patients living in the North East?" Gelinas asked.
Hoskins, however, refused to commit to doing so and said the "responsible" course of action was to let the PET scan committee study the issue first.
PET scans are a three-dimensional imaging technology that aid in diagnosing cancers and heart problems.
Sam Bruno, who lost his battle with cancer at 55, was a strong advocate for bringing a PET scan to the Sudbury region. Last night, hundreds of people will join Bruno's family and friends for their sixth annual fundraising gala to help secure access to the lifesaving technology.
"The Sam Bruno family and friends are hosting their sixth annual gala on Thursday night to raise money for a permanent PET scan in Sudbury and to bring a mobile PET scanner in the region," said Gelinas. "Minister, people from northeastern Ontario deserve equitable access."
"The mobile PET scanner will not cost Heath Sciences North a penny. It will not add to the provincial budget expenses, but it will bring fairness and equitable access to this technology," said Gelinas. "The people of the North East are ready, Health Sciences North is ready, mobile PET scanners are ready.
"So, minister, after making us wait for six years, do the right thing - grant permission for a mobile PET scanner to come to Sudbury," Gelinas said.
Dragon Boat Festival keeps paddling along, helping charities with every stroke
By: Darren MacDonald - Sudbury Northern Life | Jul 12, 2015 - 7:00 AM |
Monday, January 19, 2015 3:38 PM
Hundreds of paddlers took to the waters at Bell Park on Saturday, backs by sunny skies, hot weather and a breeze at their backs.
In short, it was a perfect day for a festival, as 49 teams took to the water at Bell Park for the 16th edition of the Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival. In the process, they raised $70,000 for the Northern Cancer Foundation's Sam Bruno PET Scan Fund. The group will also be recipients of funds raised next year.
Jim Smith, chair of the festival's planning committee, said the money adds to the $1.5 million paddlers have raised since the event was founded at the turn of the century.
We're very happy with that, and I can tell you the charities are delighted," Smith said. "We made that money through the work of the paddlers collecting pledges from their friends and their families, etc. So the credit really goes to them.
Every cent they gave us, we donated to the charities. Not one cent is consumed in operations."
Sponsors pay operating costs, and the rest of the herculean task of putting on the event goes to the volunteers, which Smith said number about 140 this year. For many of them, helping out has become a long-term commitment
"We've had a lot of volunteers here since Day 1, he said. And many of them have 10-year warranty on their work."
When they founded the festival, Smith said the main idea was to organize an event big enough to get people outside and active.
"We thought that would be a great goal," he said. "But after awhile we thought it would be great if we could collect pledges, so we'd be able to help people in the community.
"The community has been very supportive of that, and we've been able to pick charities with which the community can identify."
The festival is also a reminder of how lucky we are to have Bell Park, a natural area on a beautiful lake right in the heart of the city.
"The city is absolutely perfect for this, he said, as a live band entertained the paddlers near the main beach, and temperatures approach 30 degrees. We're here in Bell Park, we have shade, we have lots of areas for sun. The water is perfect and the wind is in a direction that helps the paddlers.
"To go back-to-back with Northern Lights Festival Boreal, it's a nice two weeks in July."
And while raising money for good causes is important, Smith said the original intent of the festival holds true: bringing people together for a day of fun and physical activities.
"The real idea has always been to have fun in the park, on a beautiful Saturday in July," he said. "This is our 16th year and we've been fortunate just about every year to have good weather.
"This is one of our big ones in the park, No doubt about it."
After half-decade of fundraising, PET scan group undeterred
Sudbury Northern Life | Oct 23, 2015 - 11:00 AM
Steering committee has raised $840,000 for PET scanner
The Sam Bruno PET scanner steering committee may not have achieved its goal of bringing the medical to device to Sudbury after a half-decade of fundraising and lobbying, but it is undeterred.
The group held its sixth annual Sam Bruno gala dinner Oct. 22, which drew its largest turnout yet with a sellout of 423 tickets at the Caruso Club.
The dinner is held in memory of Bruno, a Sudbury man who advocated for bringing a PET scanner to the region before his death from cancer in 2010.
As it stands, there are nine permanent PET scanners in Ontario, one in Thunder Bay, and the rest are in the south of the province.
This is our best turnout we've ever had, and it really shows the impetus of the community behind this cause, said Brenda Tessaro, Sam Bruno PET scanner steering committee member.
Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas called on the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to make mobile PET scans available in Sudbury. At a cost of between $10,000 to $20,000, they are much less expensive than the $3.5 million price tag that comes with a permanent scanner.
The province will not cover the capital costs to purchase a PET scanner, but will pay most of the operational costs once one is up and running.
The steering committee has jumped on board with Gélinas' initiative, but are not losing sight of their goal of bringing a permanent PET scanner to Health Sciences North.
Our goal is always to bring a permanent PET scanner but in the interim we are behind bringing in a mobile scanner as a bridge, said Tessaro.
Last year's gala raised around $140,000, and the total brought in to date is around $840,000. With the ticket sales alone from the 2015 gala, another $35,955 has been raised, but a good majority of the money raised on the evening comes from silent auctions, raffles and donations.
A GoFundMe account has also been set up to raise money by Sam Bruno's stepdaughter Jody Third, who is also a member of the steering committee.