Freemasons COVID-19 Grant helps Mareeba Hospital in fight against pandemic

Mareeba Hospital Large

Mareeba Hospital has been given a hand up in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic with vital new equipment donated by the local Freemasons.

Granite Freemasons Lodge together with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland have provided almost $45,000 towards additional equipment including a Lifepak 15 defibrillator, trauma stretcher trolley and a mobile workstation.

Mareeba Hospital COVID/OPERA ward Nurse Unit Manager Tanya Barker said clinicians were extremely grateful for the Freemasons donation in providing medical equipment used to prevent or treat emergency situations during potential COVID-19 public health emergency situations.

“This equipment is critical in maintaining staff and patient safety, reducing and rationalising the use of PPE and supporting optimal health outcomes,” Ms Barker said.

Granite Freemasons Lodge representative Roy Blakeney said the Lodge contributed $5,000 in addition to Hand Heart Pocket having provided almost $40,000 through its Grassroots Grants program.

“When the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation put out the call for donations to help support hospitals within the Cairns and Hinterland District amid the pandemic, we felt it was important to respond to this need by supporting our local health service here in Mareeba,” Mr Blakeney said.

Mareeba Friends of the Foundation president Neil Setford welcomed the funding, saying it would greatly assist the 52-bed hospital which services about 20,000 residents.

“The outpouring of support for our regional hospital has been amazing,” Mr Setford said.

“We are especially grateful to the local Freemasons for their generosity to help equip our local hospital. Last year the local Freemasons and Hand Heart Pocket also donated funds towards a Malmet blanket warming cabinet and bladder scanner in the Rural Older Persons Evaluation and Rehabilitation Assessment (OPERA) Unit at a cost of over $23,000.

“Physical pain and psychological stressor post-surgery and or injury can be reduced with the application of a warm blanket. Pre-warmed blankets can also reassure patients that the nurses and doctors genuinely care about their comfort and wellbeing and assist in prevention of prolonged recovery. Additionally, warmed blankets can be used to maintain core temperature in patients who are acutely unwell,” Ms Barker said.

“The Verathon prime plus Bladder scanner is beneficial to every patient in the sub-acute OPERA Unit. Accurate diagnosis, evaluation and treatment associated with the bladder includes early detection of Urinary tract infections which may lead to rapid patient deterioration discomfort and pain.”

Hand Heart Pocket Acting Chief Executive Officer Robert Qualtrough said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic, having provided over $785,000 in support across Queensland over the past eight months.

Photo: Granite Mareeba Freemasons Lodge representatives Kevin Clarke, Carl Richardson and Roy Blakeney inspecting the new equipment donated to Mareeba Hospital.  

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