The doctor is in

Dr. Tim Bell, a surgeon at Penticton Regional Hospital, stands in front of a specialized hip surgery table. This year’s Tree of Dreams campaign by the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation is raising funds for a second hip surgery table, along with other key pieces of medical equipment required at PRH.

The number of hip surgeries performed at Penticton Regional Hospital should increase significantly with the purchase of a second specialized hip surgery table.

That’s one of four major equipment purchases for PRH included in the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s 14th annual Tree of Dreams fundraising campaign this holiday season.

The SOS Medical Foundation hopes to raise $925,000 to fund the surgery table, plus a new mammography machine, electro-encephalogram unit and colonoscopy scopes.

Dr. Tim Bell is one of two PRH surgeons who perform anterior hip surgery (incision from the front) which results in a much faster recovery period. No ligaments or tendons are cut and a key muscle is simply moved aside. However the procedure does requires a specialized table to align the hip.

“Anterior hip surgery allows for patients to go home the same day or within 24 hours,” Bell said. “Here in Penticton about 70% of our patients go home the same day.”

Carey Bornn, executive director of the SOS Medical Foundation, said following last spring’s opening of the David E. Kampe Tower, the Tree of Dreams campaign is now focusing on other medical equipment needs for PRH.

“We gained a fantastic response from donors to our $20-million tower campaign,” Bornn said. “Now we’re looking for support for other key items to make sure we continue offering the best health care available for residents throughout our region.”

A Tree of Dreams brochure has been mailed out to area households. This year, a separate campaign was launched for residents in Oliver and Osoyoos to donate towards an upgrade of South Okanagan General Hospital.

For more information, contact the SOS Medical Foundation at 250-492-9027 or visit sosmedicalfoundation.com.