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Maclean District Hospital Senior CT Radiographer Kiera Fahey (left), and Senior Sonographer Katie Becker with the hospital’s new portable ultrasound unit donated by the United Hospital Auxiliary (UHA). Image: contributed

New ultrasound for Maclean Hospital

The Maclean Hospital is now in possession of a new $125,000 ultrasound unit thank to the tireless efforts of the Maclean Lower Clarence United Hospital Auxiliary and the support of the community.

The ultrasound machine which has been in use since March, was denied an official hand-over hand over by the auxiliary members, due to the restrictions surrounding the onset of COVID-19.

Below are the comments from both the Maclean Lower Clarence United Hospital Auxiliary and the Northern NSW Local Health District, regarding the Maclean Hospitals latest gift from the auxiliary.

The Maclean Lower Clarence United Hospital Auxiliary had raised over $1 million dollars from 2007-2018 to buy equipment for Maclean District Hospital.

In November 2018, the members decided they wanted to buy a big-ticket piece of equipment and thus an ultrasound, with a price tag of $145,000, was put onto the Maclean Hospital wish list.

This was a mammoth task, but all the members were committed to raising the funds as they knew it would be of enormous benefit to the Lower Clarence community. The 90-100 volunteer members thus continued their fundraising with gusto by holding Maclean and Yamba street stalls; selling raffle tickets at Yamba Fair; organising Maclean and Yamba Bingo; doing the trolley at Maclean Hospital; holding the annual Yamba UHA garage sales; Golf Club charity days; Mothers’ Day morning teas; Yamba Cinema film events; UHA fashion parades; selling baking, craft and plants at the Maclean Markets and the annual Maclean Lions MacMarkets; Yamba Bowlo trivia nights; “Are You Game?” events; and, the annual UHA Christmas luncheons.

Members of the Maclean Lower Clarence United Hospital Auxiliary, during Maclean’s MacMarket Day 2019. Image: Lynne Mowbray

It would not have been possible to raise the funds without the enormous support of the Lower Clarence community. It is almost a roll call of sporting and services clubs who donated funds and waived fees; including:

  • Iluka Woombah Rotary Club
  • Iluka Ladies Golf Club members
  • Lower Clarence Cricket Association
  • Lower Clarence Line Dancers
  • Maclean Bowling Club
  • Maclean and Lower Clarence RSL Services Club
  • Maclean Golf Club
  • Maclean Lions Club
  • Maclean Rotary Club
  • Maclean Veteran Golfers
  • Maclean Women Bowling Club
  • Yamba Bowlo Sports and Leisure Club
  • Yamba Golf Club
  • Yamba Ladies Golf Club members
  • Yamba Lions Club
  • Yamba Women’s Bowling Club


Community groups and individuals were outstanding by holding raffles and donating funds and these included:

  • Brooms Head Sunshine Club
  • Brushgrove Social Club
  • Carol Cameron and family
  • Chatsworth CWA members
  • Chris Seal
  • Clarence Valley Council
  • Craig and Kaye Spackman (Yamba Bowlo caterers)
  • Denise Quick (Raine and Horne Yamba)
  • Grafton Vintage Motor Vehicle Club
  • Islay Holdings
  • John Nieass
  • Lower Clarence Community Choir
  • Lower River ‘000’
  • Maclean Anglican Ladies Friendship
  • Maclean Anglican Op-Shop
  • Maclean Hospital Hydro Pool Volunteer Group
  • Maclean Hospital Kitchen Staff
  • Maclean Patchwork and Quilters
  • Maclean Senior Citizens
  • Maclean Uniting Church Special Projects
  • “Steel Waters” Ladies Friendship members
  • St Mary’s Craft Group
  • Wellspring Christian Life Centre
  • Wellspring Community Care Op-Shop
  • Wellspring Craft Group
  • Yamba Catholic Ladies’ Group
  • Yamba Cinema
  • Yamba Patchwork Group
  • Yamba Red Cross
  • Yamba Seniors


There was also a bequest and individuals who generously donated funds but preferred to remain anonymous. 

Therefore, it was with great delight that the MLCUHA were able to instruct Maclean Hospital to order the ultrasound on 12 January 2020 and it had only taken fourteen months to raise the amount; but with a new total of $125,000. The ultrasound arrived and was functional on March 10.

The members were looking forward to having a group photo with the ultrasound. Unfortunately, all UHA activities were shut down from the members monthly meeting on Monday March 16 due to COVID-19. However, this was not before the members had approved the acquisition of a further $25,000 in equipment for Maclean Hospital including wheelchairs, Pulse oximeters, Agilia IV pumps, recliner chairs, bariatric high back chair, four seater beam seat, telemetry unit, speech aids, excessive vocabulary test kit and a children’s movement assessment kit.

The Maclean Lower Clarence Hospital Auxiliary president, Sandra Bradbury stated, “I would like to thank the executive, the members and the Lower Clarence community for rising to the occasion. The ultrasound has illustrated what a cohesive force the community is and how they will always come to the fore when fundraising for equipment for Maclean Hospital. The acquisition of the ultrasound would not have been possible without everyone’s hard work but special thanks to our members.”

  • The Maclean Lower Clarence United Hospital Auxiliary


Clarence Health Services Radiology Manager Simon Fenn said the new ultrasound unit had superior image quality to handle the complexity of ultrasound examinations undertaken at the hospital.

“The new ultrasound unit has an ergonomic design that allows greater flexibility in the clinical workplace, as well as a tablet-like touch interface that allows for increased examination efficiency,” Mr Fenn said.

He acknowledged the Maclean District Hospital United Hospital Auxiliary (UHA) conducted extensive fundraising activities to raise the $125,000 required for the new ultrasound unit, which they donated in March.

The new ultrasound provides examinations for Emergency Department patients, hospital in-patients, fracture clinic outpatients, obstetric out-patients, and GP referrals five days a week.

Mr Fenn said the new unit’s digital capability had enabled an easy integration into the hospital’s electronic medical records (eMR) system.

“This new unit has had such a positive impact on our team’s ability to provide high quality diagnostic images for our patients, that are able to be reviewed by Radiologists in Lismore Base Hospital, or local specialists including physicians, paediatricians, obstetric and gynaecological, orthopaedic and general surgeons,” Mr Fenn said.

“We are truly appreciative of the dedicated and continued effort of the Maclean UHA. Their tireless effort, enthusiasm, and unwavering commitment is inspiring.”

  • Northern NSW Local Health District
Maclean District Hospital Senior CT Radiographer Kiera Fahey (left), and Senior Sonographer Katie Becker with the hospital’s new portable ultrasound unit donated by the United Hospital Auxiliary (UHA). Image: contributed