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SIMCOE - The Norfolk General Hospital is one step closer to new technology.

More than $137,000 was raised during a radiothon held Wednesday to benefit the NGH Foundation's new campaign, Taking Care Every Day.

The one-year campaign aims to raise $1 million to upgrade and maintain technology in the hospital.

"The focus is on patient care and how (technology) will help us deliver the best patient care," said Julie Powell, NGH Foundation's director of development.

Jim Malcolm has experienced first-hand the quality of care the hospital strives for. The Long Point resident has been in and out of NGH for the past nine weeks due to an infection in his thigh.

"The quality of care in this hospital has been absolutely amazing," said Malcolm from his hospital room. "They have the equipment they need to get you on your feet."

By the noon hour, the radiothon had already raised more than $60,000.

The event also drew in some friendly competition between emergency services in the area.

Norfolk County OPP media relations officer Ed Sanchuk challenged the Norfolk County Fire and Rescue Services to raise more money than the OPP.

"I think it's a great opportunity to support our local hospital," said Sanchuk.

OPP officers at the detachment office opened their pockets Wednesday morning to donate $172 to the cause, which Sanchuk said was collected within 15 minutes.

"I can guarantee you if we had more time we could have raised more," said Sanchuk.

The fire department had no problem answering to the challenge, donating $200 for NGH.

"It's kind of a fun idea," said Scott Pipe, fire prevention officer with Norfolk County Fire and Rescue Services. "We thought that it was a great idea. We're just glad to be a part of it."

In the previous nine years, the annual fundraising event has raised just under $1 million for the hospital. Wednesday's event, which was broadcast over local radio station CD98.9 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., pushed that amount over the magic mark.

"Norfolk County residents are very generous - residents and businesses," said Powell.

Each year, $1 million is brought into the hospital through donations.

"That's phenomenal considering the size of Norfolk County," said Powell.

Sarah Doktor

519-426-3528 ext. 112

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