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New Free Wi-Fi connects Lady Minto Hospital patients and visitors

    Health & Wellness, People & Places    September 18, 2018

Free public Wi-Fi is now available to patients and visitors at Lady Minto Hospital thanks to financial support from the Lady Minto Hospital Auxiliary, Lady Minto Hospital Foundation, Country Grocer, Island Health and the Salt Spring Exchange.

“We are thrilled to be bringing public Wi-Fi to patients and visitors at Lady Minto Hospital. We know how important a strong support network is for people who are in hospital, having internet access can help patients feel less isolated and more connected to their loved ones. ” Diana Hayes, Lady Minto Hospital Foundation Executive Administrator

Patients and visitors can access the new service by searching for and connecting to the wireless network “IslandHealthGuest”. Free public Wi-Fi will support basic internet browsing, but not the large bandwidths associated with high-definition video streaming.

“Country Grocer is proud to contribute to the provision of Wifi at Lady Minto Hospital. Connecting with friends and family in a time of need is so important.  From it’s initiation to today’s implementation, we’re pleased to be part of this new and needed service at the hospital. ” Rob Lowrie, Community Relations, Country Grocer, Salt Spring Island

Photo Left to Right in Back Row – Rob Lowrie (Country Grocer), Christopher Roy (Salt Spring Exchange), Rick McKinnon (Country Grocer), Ann Muller (Auxiliary); front row: Shana Hall VIHA Manager for ECU and Community Health Services Program and Diana Hayes, Executive Administrator for LMH Foundation

A total of five Island Health hospitals introduced public Wi-Fi this month, with the support of their local foundations or auxiliaries; Victoria General Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Cowichan District Hospital and West Coast General Hospital are the latest hospitals to offer this service.

“The care and comfort of patients is our priority. The greatest comfort often comes from family, friends and support groups – especially in times of crisis. We hope that the introduction of public Wi-Fi will make patient stays a little more comfortable.” Ann Muller, Lady Minto Auxiliary President

Free Wi-Fi Signal at the Hospital is IslandHealthGuestWIFI

Rick MacKinnon had this to share about his own experiences supporting his friend, and well known Salt Springer, Arthur Black during his time at the hospital without having access to Wi-Fi. His personal journey supporting Arthur and his work with Country Grocer is now a part of how this new service has become available for the entire community.

Art was part of group of 40 people who regularly attended the 8 AM aquafit classes three times a week with Brenda Akerman. His absence from the class one day was very notable. Shortly afterward, we sadly learned of his palliative condition.

Our aquafit class, and many others from the pool, signed best wishes to Art on a gift to him. When Brenda and I delivered it to Art and Lynne at the Lady Minto Palliative room, we had a very emotional visit with him. Despite his condition, he was in great spirits and at one point mentioned he had no operating Wi-Fi, which stunned us. Arthur wanted the Wi-Fi to continue his blog journaling about his experiences while going through the medical system.

After we left, I thought I would go direct to the Shaw office and speak to them about booking Wi-Fi for Art. After explaining the situation with Art, the staff at the Shaw office they said that it was possible…and could actually set it up that afternoon…I was elated…so I ordered the service and covered it for the month. I ran back to the hospital and asked the nurse to let Art know that his Wi-Fi would be up and running that day!

In my capacity at the time with Country Grocer’s Community Relations department, I spoke with Matteo Hermani, Operations Manager at Country Grocer who was very supportive in committing Country Grocer to finding a longer-term solution for Wi-Fi access for all visitors and guests to the hospital. Fast forward to today, after many meetings by the Lady Minto Hospital administration this new service is up and running for all to use.

“When we, or our loved ones, are in need of care or in the midst of a medical emergency or longer-term care, being able to stay in touch is a vital part of that care. We have an incredible community resource in The Lady Minto Hospital, but it has been absent of easily accessible data services for years. The Salt Spring Exchange is very grateful to give back to the community and the Foundation as one of the sponsors of this project. ” – Christopher Roy, Founder, Salt Spring Exchange

Photo Left to Right in Back Row – Rob Lowrie (Country Grocer), Christopher Roy (Salt Spring Exchange), Rick McKinnon (Country Grocer), Ann Muller (Auxiliary); front row: Shana Hall VIHA Manager for ECU and Community Health Services Program and Diana Hayes, Executive Administrator for LMH Foundation

Look for these signs at the hospital for instructions on accessing the service when visiting the hospital.

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