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Residents donate over $7,000 to Community Christmas Card Fund benefiting University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center patients

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Proceeds will purchase new ultrasound technology for Critical Care Unit

Ashtabula County – University Hospitals (UH) Geneva Medical Center will purchase a new Ultrasound machine for its critical care patients with the proceeds from Geneva’s 2013 Community Christmas Card Fund. This year, community members contributed more than $7,000 over a four-week period.

The volunteer Community Christmas Card Committee was established by Geneva residents in 1970 to raise money for a new Critical Care Unit at UH Geneva Medical Center. Each year since 1972, donations to the Community Christmas Card Fund have helped purchase a piece of medical equipment the hospital has needed. Since the Fund’s inception, more than $272,000 has been donated to purchase equipment ranging from defibrillators, EKG monitors and stress testing machines to ventilators, electrocardiographs and a medication infusion system.

This year’s contributions will purchase a state-of-the-art ultrasound system – real-time imaging technology which will allow UH Geneva Medical Center’s intensivists to place central venous catheters by direct visualization in order to provide optimum care to critically ill patients. The technology will enable increased success rates leading to improved patient outcomes.

“The new system will upgrade our current ultrasound technology and be a tremendous addition to our critical care capabilities,” says Amitabh Goel, MD, FACS, Director of Critical Care, UH Geneva Medical Center. “It will enable our hospital to remain at the forefront of delivering high-quality critical care in the county.”

Donations are collected each year at UH Geneva Medical Center and at banks throughout the Geneva area. “It really is a Geneva tradition and every dollar counts,” says Jan Perala, a Community Christmas Card Committee member since 1983. “People know they can participate and help at whatever level they can, whether it’s with one dollar or 100 dollars.” Each year, every person who donates has his or her name listed in the full-page Community Christmas Card that appears in the Ashtabula Star Beacon on Christmas Eve.

Over the last 43 years, people’s lives have been saved by the equipment purchased as a result of the community’s annual donations. “That is the essence of what the Community Christmas Card is all about,” says Perala.

“We are grateful for the generosity of the community and the Christmas Card Committee which allows us to give back to our community in the form of sophisticated health care,” says Dr. Goel. “All the devoted individuals involved with the Christmas Card Fund will continue to touch the lives of the many patients that come to the Critical Care Unit at UH Geneva Medical Center.”

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