Forty one grants announced to enhance patient care, all based on employee recommendations

Woman speaking at a podium

The Health Sciences Foundation and Volunteer Association to the Health Sciences Centre recently announced some very special grants, called Family CARE (Care Advancements Recommended by Employees) Grants. Applications for these grants come from frontline. Employees, who work the closest with patients at the Health Sciences Centre, submit requests for new or improved equipment to enhance the exceptional care they provide to patients and their families.

Thanks to a partnership between the Health Sciences Foundation and the Volunteer Association, $65,000 was available this year for the patient-centred enhancements suggested by staff at the Health Sciences Centre. “Each year we see the importance of these staff-initiated improvements to patient care,” said Glenn Craig, President and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. “These grants really do provide the little things that make a big difference to patient care.”

This year saw 50 applications totaling over $192,000. To ensure that the grants have a significant impact, each application requires a Patient and Family Advisor’s endorsement along with that of a Manager and Executive Vice President.

In total 41 Family CARE grants, ranging from $105 to $7,400, were announced. Some of the items making a difference in 2015, thanks to the 2014 grants, include:

  • 8 grants to the Emergency Department totaling over $9,100 for equipment including additional bedside tables and chairs, waiting room chairs, mobile toilets for patients with mobility issues and in isolation, and walkers.
  • $935 for a paraffin bath to provide wax baths for rehab patients in the hand clinic. Dipping hands in wax then wrapping them in gloves provides therapeutic relief of pain from arthritis, joint inflammation, muscle stiffness, as well as increase circulation. It will also be used to treat elbow, feet and shoulder injuries.
  • $560 for a 3D Anatomical Heart Model for the Cardiac Cath Lab to effectively illustrate to angioplasty patients the anatomy of their heart to help them better appreciate their condition and their procedure. The Cath Lab sees 3,000 patients annually.
  • $655 for an Ostomy Training Mannikin for the surgical units as a resource for hands-on training for the approximately 120 patients per year requiring a temporary or permanent stoma following urinary or colorectal surgery. This will help patients become comfortable and familiar with the products needed to care for themselves before being discharged.
  • $1,965 for a Family Sleep Chair in the Intensive Care Unit to allow family members to sleep in their loved one’s room, allowing family members to stay close by day and night and improving the rest and coping of family members.
  • $7,460 for new lobby furniture to replace the existing worn seating in the lobby of TBRHSC, which people use while resting or waiting for appointments or rides. The new seating will meet all infection control guidelines.
  • $2,200 for pictogram wayfinding to provide visual signage on the Health Sciences Centre directories to make it easier for patients and visitors, especially those whose first language isn’t English, to find their way around the TBRHSC.

Since 2009, 218 Family CARE Grant initiatives have been funded at the Health Sciences Centre. “Donors can be proud of the investments they are making in improving care,” adds Craig.