June 2011

Greetings from the ARCH desk.

Uppermost in our thoughts are all those who were caught up in the tragic and devastating Christchurch earthquake on February 22nd and the ongoing aftershocks. It was with relief that we learnt that the Canterbury Charity Hospital had suffered only minor damage. However, all elective surgery lists there have been suspended while the facility focuses on providing counseling seven days a week to those in the community suffering from psychological stress and trauma. So huge and overwhelming has the demand for this service been, that the hospital has enlisted over 20 volunteer professional counselors and moved additional portable cabins on site to accommodate the increase in staff and patients. It is a real credit to those at the hospital that the changing needs of their community were recognized and addressed.

A flow-on effect from the Christchurch quake and subsequent Japanese tsunami has been the strain put on trying to raise the charity dollar. However, despite tough economic climes, ARCH continues to grow, with a steady stream of patient referrals translating into procedures performed.

It is heartening and gratifying to see how often a simple surgical procedure can so alter an individual’s quality of life. It is also satisfying to see that the systems set up at ARCH are robust and working well. This pilot phase of ARCH’s existence has proven beyond doubt that there is a real need for such a service in Auckland.

Goals for the next half of this year include expanding our doctor-base, which would see a greater sharing of the load of referrals, and facilitate a greater number of procedures being done. To this end we are particularly keen to enlist surgeons “south of the bridge”.

We are now registered with Fundraise Online – an innovative way of connecting athletes, events, charities and donors. We already have an ARCH team entered into the Auckland Marathon in October. If you would like to sponsor them, or if you are thinking of entering an event yourself and would like to use it as an opportunity to support ARCH, please go to the website. http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/fundraise/about-us.aspx and search for us under ARCH.

A media campaign has been waiting in the wings for some time. We are dependent on the goodwill of various media outlet for this to be realised, but I have it on good authority that this should go to air within the next few months. The aim is to both spread the word about ARCH and fundraise to ensure ARCH’s continued growth, as well as fulfill the important goal of building a permanent, dedicated facility for Aucklanders. We would like to thank Ogilvy’s for their continued support in making this media campaign possible.

Till next time,

Dr Fiona Sussman
Director ARCH