The Lake Windermere District Lions kick off a major fundraising campaign for the East Kootenay Foundation for Health

The Lake Windermere District Lions presented the East Kootenay Foundation for Health (EKFH) a cheque for $25,000 to put towards fundraising efforts for a MALDI TOF for the East Kootenay Regional Laboratory.


(In photo: EKFH Executive Director Brenna Baker and i Claude Oram, President of Windermere District Lions Club)

The MALDI TOF is used to rapidly identify organisms in blood cultures from patients who are critically ill. It is capable of detecting and identifying bacteria. Some examples of the types of bacteria include, but are not limited to, are Staphylococcus – Staph infection, Group A Strep which is the cause of flesh eating disease, E. Coili, and meningitis. Currently, samples are being sent to Kelowna and Vancouver and results are taking 7-14 days. In the meantime, doctors are putting patients on strong antibiotics without knowing what the real cause of illness is. With the MALDI TOF, results will be available within hours instead of days for life threating infection. This important diagnostic machine is going to save lives. This is a huge improvement that will benefit every single resident in the East Kootenay Interior Health Region.

Brenna Baker commented, “The East Kootenay Foundation for Health is extremely thankful to the Windermere District Lions for their generosity. They have always been very supportive of the EKFH but this is going above and beyond! This project is truly life changing! I have had a personal experience with having to wait for test results and it was not a good one. My daughter was very sick and we brought her into emergency. She had a very high temperature and an elevated heart rate. The Doctors did a spinal tap on her and admitted her to hospital. There was a possibility that she had meningitis. She was in isolation for 8 days. The sample was sent to Vancouver and after 8 days we still did not have test results back! If we had had the MALDI TOF we would have known within 12 hours if she had meningitis or not and the Doctors could have come up with a treatment plan. Instead, she was given broad-spectrum antibiotics and released after 8 days. Not only will the MALDI TOF save lives but it will decrease the length of stay, avoid people being put on broad-spectrum antibiotics unnecessarily, and it will save money. Just over the past few weeks, I have heard so many stories about people having to wait for test results. This is huge for our region!”The cost of the MALDI TOF is $300,000. All donations are greatly appreciated and tax deductible. Please donate by going online to or call 1-877-489-6481. Together we will save lives!