It was this day 134 years ago that Thomas Edison announced one of his greatest inventions, the phonograph.
On Nov. 21, 1877 the famous American inventor presented a device capable of both recording and playing sounds. It was the beginning of an era, which lead from innovation to innovation â€” from the gramophone to the record player, to the cassette player to the compact disc player, and finally to the modern day iPod and other MP3 devices.
While technology certainly has improved significantly over the generations since Edison created his breakthrough device, the basic principle has remained the same â€” from 19th Century analogue to 21st Century digital.
Likewise, in the realm of health care there have been significant technological achievements throughout the decades. What is achievable now was mere science fiction 50 years ago, and would have been unimaginable 150 years ago. Medical science certainly has come a long way since the days of bloodletting or homeopathy.
And while some methods have been disproven over time, as other technologies and techniques have come into practice, the basic purpose of medical science remains the same â€” to save lives, extend lives and improve the quality of lives.
Thank goodness for Moose Jaw Union Hospital and the Five Hills Health Region. If the Friendly City is to remain a healthy city with a healthy future, then access to modern professional science-based health care is absolutely paramount.
With the provincial governmentâ€™s recent announcement of a new hospital project to replace the current facility by the end of 2015, the task of providing residents access to the latest in medical services is soon to be underway.
Of course, key to maintaining local health-care facilities with the best medical equipment possible is the fundraising work of the nonprofit Moose Jaw Health Foundation (MJHF), which each year through various events raises money so as to add improvements to the hospital.
Over the weekend, MJHF hosted its annual Festival of Trees at Heritage Inn. This year, the goal of the fundraiser is to purchase state-of-the-art electrosurgical units to help cancer and surgical patients, as well as buy items for patient care for the medicine unit.
Electrocautery is a surgical technique that involves introducing high frequency current to a specific area of the body in order to remove unwanted tissue such as cancer, seal off blood vessels or create a surgical incision.
However, just because the Festival of Trees fundraiser is over doesnâ€™t mean one cannot still support MJHF and its local cause. For more information or to donate, call 694-0373 or visit www.mjhf.org.
Technology in an evolving animal that dwells in the environment of human invention. As devices for recording and playing sound have improved over time and will continue to do so, so too is the nature of our speciesâ€™ medical marvels.
Moose Jaw is very fortunate to have an organization such as the Health Foundation working to keep this city current with such marvelous medical devices.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.