Aliant partners with AHSC to help patient recovery throughout New Brunswick with $45,000 donation for innovative videophone technology



    SAINT JOHN, NB, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - Today, Aliant announced that as part of
its ongoing support of the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation (AHSC), it is
donating $45,000 worth of innovative equipment to the Telehealth Program with
a donation of 30 videophones which will allow patients to connect with loved
ones during their recovery. Aliant's videophones will be rolled out first in
New Brunswick and expanded to other hospitals across Atlantic Canada later
this year.
    Since 1998, AHSC's Telehealth Program has been using a unique technology
to care for post cardiac surgery patients in their homes-a videophone that
only requires the use of a telephone line to connect two parties who are
separated by geographic or other barriers. Based on the success of this
technology in post cardiac surgery patients, other patient populations are now
also benefiting. AHSC front line clinicians and the Telehealth team are now
able to further extend the videophone program to help connect patients with
their families and loved ones in circumstances where traveling to visit each
other may be not be an option.
    President and CEO of AHSC, Dora Nicinski, commented on Aliant's important
donation to the Telehealth Program at AHSC. "The Telehealth Program has worked
hard to provide supportive care through the use of technology. We are very
pleased with Aliant's willingness to support patient care in New Brunswick
with this donation. Dealing with an illness can be a frightening, confusing
time for families. Being separated from your loved ones while getting
treatment makes the whole experience that much more difficult. Today's
announcement will help ease that burden."
    One of the first patients to benefit from this supportive care tool was
Ken Herrell. Ken travelled to Halifax to undergo a life saving bone marrow
transplant and had to remain in hospital there for a significant period of
time. When faced with the option of receiving a bone marrow transplant or
seeing his only son graduate, Ken thought he would have to make a choice.
However, through the use of AHSC's videophone technology, Ken was able to
participate in his son's graduation in Saint John, from his hospital room in
Halifax.
    Ken helped to demonstrate the technology at today's announcement event.
From his place of work, Ken used the videophone to connect to a videophone in
the light court at the Saint John Regional Hospital where the event was held,
demonstrating the ease and flexibility of the technology.
    Helena Cain, Aliant's Vice President of Enterprise & Marketing, was also
on hand to present the videophones to AHSC. "At Aliant, we are committed to
investing in the communities we serve and to connecting people throughout the
province with innovative technologies. We are very excited to be able to help
patients with their recovery. Ken's experience with the videophone is truly
moving and we hope this will continue for patients throughout Atlantic
Canada."
    Through Aliant's donation today, videophones will also be available to
Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Healthcare organizations
in these Atlantic Provinces will work with AHSC and Aliant to implement the
videophone technology so that all Atlantic Canadians have the opportunity to
take advantage of this innovative and important service to help ease the
burden of patient recovery.
    Today's announcement followed a recent commitment by Aliant to donate
$1 million towards the new Positron Emission Tomography (PET) that is housed
in the SJRH that has helped to revolutionize Healthcare in New Brunswick. PET
provides more accurate diagnosis, more effective treatment planning and can
help avoid many invasive procedures.

    About Bell Aliant

    Bell Aliant (TSX:BA.UN) is one of North America's largest regional
communications providers and through its operating entities serves customers
throughout six Canadian provinces with innovative information and
communication services including telephony, wireless, Internet, data, video
and value-added business solutions. Through its xwave offices, Bell Aliant
also provides IT professional services across Canada, the US and in Ireland.
Bell Aliant's 10,000 plus employees are committed to deliver the highest
quality of customer service, choice and convenience.




For further information:

For further information: Fraser Smith, Aliant Communications and Public
Affairs, (877) 351-4100, Fraser.smith@aliant.ca

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