Shenhua Watermark Coal took a tour of Gunnedah District Hospital on Friday to see how its community funding has been spent.
PRAMS (Paediatric and Maternity Support Group) hosted the tour, along with acting health service manager Simone Fuller, and Nursing Unit Manager (NUM) of maternity and general ward, Therese Mills.
The group took in the general wards, maternity rooms and the maternity lounge and courtyard.
Over seven years, Shenhua has granted $373,000 to PRAMS so the members can buy equipment and make changes in the hospital. In 2010, PRAMS used $90,000 to upgrade the maternity ward and courtyard. In 2011, $210,000 was granted to upgrade six bathrooms and purchase 25 televisions for the general ward. In 2013, $73,000 enabled the purchase of an ultrasound machine and an upgrade of the baby wash room.
The ultrasound machine in particular has been of great benefit to the hospital.
“They get to use it throughout the whole hospital,” PRAMS member Kim Street said.
Maternity and general ward NUM, Therese Mills, said the upgrades in the maternity ward brought the hospital up to par and would be well-used by the 25 women booked in for delivery in December.
“We’re offering what any other hospital would in a maternity ward except the bath in the labour ward,” she said.
“PRAMS are amazing. They’ve just been so generous with everything. I think there’s been a lot of benefit to the community from their contributions.
“They’ve been invaluable.”
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PRAMS member Amber said PRAMS wanted to spread the funds throughout the hospital and said the televisions in the general ward had created a stir and helped patients pass the time.
“We’ve had some really amazing feedback from the older people,” Ms Donoghue said.
Acting health service manager Simone Fuller said the hospital was thankful to PRAMS for seeking out the funding.
“We are eternally grateful,” she said.
“We would not have what we have if it wasn’t for PRAMS and Shenhua.”
Member of Shenhua’s Community Fund Committee, Owen Hasler, said PRAMS was chosen from a large list of applications.
“We’ve had very positive feedback from the community about how much more pleasant it is to come to Gunnedah hospital,” he said.
“From a council perspective, we’re very aware that having a good hospital service is vital in attracting people [to the town] and maintaining them.”
Shenhua’s human resources manager, Gerry McDonald, said he was impressed with PRAMS efficient use of the funds.
“It really is great that an organisation such as PRAMS can make such good use of the money,” he said.
Ms Street said PRAMS aimed to make a difference.
“We love this spot and we’ve enjoyed making it nice for the community and the amazing staff here,” she said.
“The community will reap the benefits not only today but into the future.”
Over almost a decade, PRAMS has acquired and raised $700,000 for use in the hospital. Members have completed a number of projects including the refurbishment of the maternity kitchenette and the purchase of beneficial equipment including a Biliblanket for the maternity ward, which delivers phototherapy to babies suffering from jaundice.