The prevention and treatment of kidney disease for Saskatchewan residents was strengthened on September 15 as PotashCorp announced a $500,000 donation to support the St. Paul’s Hospital Chronic Kidney Disease Outreach Program, and to help fund the Hospital Foundation’s purchase of a SPECT-CT, the most advanced molecular imaging equipment available in Canada.

RR-2015-09-16-mural-unveiling2

John Agioritis, SPH Foundation board chair (left) and Wayne Brownlee, executive VP and CFO of Potash Corp, unveil a new mural at St. Paul’s Hospital about nuclear medicine, after announcing a $500,000 donation to support kidney disease prevention and treatment.

“We are so thankful to PotashCorp for the leadership and commitment they have shown in advancing molecular imaging in our region and province,” said John Agioritis, SPH Foundation Board Chair. “The new SPECT-CT will advance diagnosis and treatment options for various forms of cancer and for complications stemming from diabetes. This gift also strengthens the Hospital’s Chronic Kidney Disease Outreach Program which brings nurses and coordinators to northern communities to screen individuals for signs of kidney disease and provide education about disease prevention and management.”

“At PotashCorp, we believe it is important to enhance the well-being of our communities and this investment achieves that,” said Wayne Brownlee, PotashCorp Chief Financial Officer. “We are pleased to support the essential work of the outreach program and the acquisition of new diagnostic technology. Both will make a meaningful difference to patients and their families.”

The SPECT-CT combines two forms of imaging, a gamma camera that provides physiologic information related to function, and CT technology that provides anatomic detail related to structure.

“This combination of technology results in superior physiologic and anatomic images of the body which, when combined, provides much more sensitive and specific information. This allows for earlier and more accurate diagnoses for multiple scenarios such as cancer staging or determining the extent of infection,” said Dr. Sundeep Nijjar, division head of Nuclear Medicine. “Earlier and more accurate diagnoses help physicians choose the best treatments for patients, and also allow physicians to closely monitor treatments once initiated. This equipment will help us provide our best care to many people in our city and our province.”

PotashCorp has been supporting advanced imaging in Saskatchewan for decades. In 1990, the corporation matched $1.5 million in community donations to bring the first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment to Saskatchewan. In 2013, PotashCorp supported the purchase of PET-CT technology, leading to the creation of the PotashCorp Molecular Imaging Centre at Royal University Hospital. The corporation continued to support development in this area by working with the community to attract the industry’s top specialists as well as provide the most advanced technologies, like the SPECT-CT at St. Paul’s Hospital.

 Jean Morrison, John Agiorities, Wayne Brownlee, Dr. Sundeep Nijaar

At the event were (from left) Jean Morrison, president and CEO of St. Paul’s Hospital; John Agioritis, SPH Foundation board chair; Wayne Brownlee, executive VP and CFO of Potash Corp, and Dr. Sundeep Nijjar, division head, Nuclear Medicine.