In the early days of COVID-19, the staff at Shoreline Medical were down to their last two face masks when an outpouring of community support answered the need.
The Saanich Peninsula Hospital & Healthcare Foundation had launched its COVID response campaign, and generous donors answered the call, right when it was needed most. The response underscores both the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, and the community’s support for local healthcare workers and those especially vulnerable to the virus.
“We raised $280,000 in that first response and I was just overwhelmed by the community’s generosity, especially at a time when there was so much economic uncertainty for people,” says Karen Morgan, the foundation’s executive director.
Funds supported the vital work of hospital staff, including essential personal protective equipment, and helped improve the quality of life for those in long-term care with opportunities for virtual and window visits, for example, and later buying several tents to allow for outdoor garden visits protected from the elements.
“The community’s support is a huge morale boost for our hospital staff and at no time has that been more important than now, especially in long-term care where staff have the added burden of seeing patients separated from their families,” Morgan says.
Preparing for what’s next
This fall, as we eye the uncertainty of what a second COVID wave paired with flu season might bring, it’s more important than ever for the hospital teams to be prepared. The foundation has launched a new fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for equipment and preparation at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital, to ensure they’re ready for whatever comes next.
- Small renovation projects will create overflow space to treat patients safely with COVID protocols requiring greater physical distancing.
- New equipment will allow the hospital to open a third operating room to help clear the backlog in surgeries and diagnostic tests created by the pandemic.
- Additional sterilizing equipment will support the increase in instrument cleaning.
- Replacement of key operating room equipment will support catch-up of orthopaedic, gynaecological and dental surgeries;
- New equipment will support surgeries new to Saanich Peninsula Hospital, such as medically necessary plastic surgeries.
Donors can choose to direct their gift to areas such as equipment or the renovations, for example, or leave their donation flexible, allowing the foundation to apply it where they see the greatest need, Morgan says.
The generosity highlights the hospital’s essential place in the hearts of Peninsula residents. “Our community fought to get the hospital and they continue to recognize it as a vital part of the community,” Morgan says.
To donate today to help your hospital Get Ready, visit sphf.ca/donate