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    GRATEFUL: Wimmera Base Hospital nurse-midwife unit managers Katie Walsgott, left, and Michelle Coutts have welcomed Blue Ribbon Foundation Horsham branch’s commitment to raise money for new neonatal equipment.

Blue Ribbon Foundation sets new target

Wimmera Base Hospital maternity-ward leaders have welcomed Blue Ribbon Foundation Horsham branch’s latest commitment to raising money for lifesaving equipment.

The Horsham branch raises money for equipment for Wimmera Health Care Group and has set its sights on raising $30,000 towards a new neonatal resuscitator unit.

Yandilla nurse-midwife unit manager Michelle Coutts said she was extremely grateful for the foundation’s generosity and support.

“Each cot costs anywhere between $35,000 and $50,000 and the Blue Ribbon Foundation’s donation will be a great contribution,” she said.

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“The resuscitation cots in maternity services are a vital part of our standard equipment and it is going to be wonderful to get a new one.

“We need to be prepared to manage the smallest of babies at WHCG, given the vast size of the catchment area we cover.”

Mrs Coutts said the cots were used for a variety of resuscitation measures, such as intubation and breathing support, performing chest compressions and administering medications and intravenous fluids.

She said the cots were designed to promote optimal temperature control and had heaters installed in addition to other monitoring equipment.

“When the team is managing an unwell baby on a cot, we also need to have enough room to focus on everything we are doing clinically,” she said.

“Our focus in these circumstances is the whole baby because often we are working to co-ordinate each particular aspect of care. When babies are unwell, big milestones are often measured in millilitres, grams and the number of wet nappies.”

Mrs Coutts said although the cot’s technical aspects and features were extremely important, it also needed to be ‘family-centred’.

“The cot has to be designed so that interaction of parents and their baby is facilitated and optimised,” she said.

“This is so important because sometimes when a baby is on the cot we enter a world where it can be days or weeks until the parents get to hold or cuddle their baby. It can be very frightening to see your baby on the cot, so one that is designed to be the least intimidating as possible is also really important when we make choices about which one we will purchase.”

Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation branches will honour those who protect and serve the community later this month.

Horsham branch leaders have encouraged the Wimmera to help ‘turn the state blue’ for Blue Ribbon Day, on September 29.

People can call Horsham branch secretary Kelly Schilling on 5382 1351 or email brf to order Blue Ribbon Day merchandise. Horsham ‘Turn Blue’ kits are $20, or $40 for a ‘deluxe’ kit.

People can also contact Ms Schilling to donate to the Horsham branch directly or visit for more information about Blue Ribbon Day, the foundation and its work. 

– Sarah Matthews 


Acknowledging police sacrifice

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The entire September 23, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!