The North Bay Lions Club has donated $10,000 to the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s (NBRHC) Ophthalmology Clinic.

President of the NBRHC, Paul Heinrich commends the work that the Lions Club put in to raise the money.

“The Lions have been a tremendous support for us for years. We have a very robust ophthalmology program here and it’s because of the generosity and the equipment that we need that helps us bring new doctors to town. It’s an amazing partnership between the community, the doctors and the hospital,” he said during the presentation on Friday. 

The NBRHC is one of the only places in Northern Ontario capable of performing procedures such as cataract surgeries. President of the North Bay Lions Club, Wendy Porter, says that was one of the reasons behind donating to the Ophthalmology Clinic. 

“Anybody in North Bay, as you get older, will need cataract surgery. So why go out of town when you can get it here?” Porter said, adding that the Lions Club also helped open the Ophthalmology Clinic years ago. 

Porter says that the Lions Club has been raising more money than usual through the pandemic through its weekly TV bingo. She says it’s nice to be able to spread the wealth.

“Not only this amount of money. We’ve given to the crisis centre, food banks, women’s shelters and we’ve got another 10-thousand to spend,” she said. 

The NBRHC saw over 2,500 patients come through its Ophthalmology Clinic and Ophthalmology Operating Room last year alone. The clinic says that the average age of these patients was 70 years old. 

Ophthalmologist at the NBRHC, Dr. Niranjan Vijay, says the donation will go a long way towards fighting a treatable condition.

“Ultimately, we’re using it to update and add to our cataract surgery trays… Cataract is one of the leading causes of reversible blindness here in North America,” Dr. Vijay said. 

President and CEO of the NBRHC Foundation, Tammy Morison, appreciates the relationship between her foundation and the Lions Club.

“We are grateful for the close relationship we share with the North Bay Lions Club. For more than 20 years, they have championed the healthcare needs of our community with ophthalmology and vision care being one of the areas they are most passionate about. Our community is grateful for their leadership and generosity.” said Morison.