Family CARE Grants Announced

Media Release
For immediate release: February 12, 2014

$65,000 made available to fund grants to enhance patient care

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

The Family CARE Grants started in 2009 at $30,000 and grew to $60,000 in 2011 as a partnership was formed between the Health Sciences Foundation and Volunteer Association.

“We realized the importance of these staff-initiated improvements to patient care,” said Glenn Craig, President and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. “Thanks to this partnership, $65,000 was available this year for the patient-centred enhancements suggested by staff at the Health Sciences Centre.”

This year saw 73 applications totaling over $157,000. 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.

We’re delighted to be a part of the Family CARE Grants and to see first-hand where the funds are spent,” said Dolores Mechtab, President of the Volunteer Association Board and member of the grants committee. “The committee really had to take the time to review all of the applications and do our best to impact as many areas of the Health Sciences Centre as possible.”

In total, 43 Family CARE grants were announced which will fund the purchase of equipment that will benefit patients across the Health Sciences Centre. Some of the items making a difference in 2014, thanks to the 2013 grants, include:

• New bedside safety mats to prevent falls for at-risk patients while getting in and out of their beds.
• Specialized wheelchairs to promote quicker progress to independence for acute stroke and acquired brain injury clients.
• A television, dvd/vcr player and Wii in Adult Mental Health to improve patients’ moods, lessen their anxiety and support their relaxation.
• A new, improved vital sign monitor to collect and transit patients’ vital sign readings during video consults with specialists and physicians located outside Thunder Bay.
• Translated patient consult forms for patients who communicate in Oji-Cree, Cree and Ojibway.
• A mobile ergometer that can be used at bedside by patients who aren’t able to access the gym for their exercise therapy.

“Family CARE Grants are a testament to how seemingly small initiatives can make a big difference in the quality of patient care,” said Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, Executive Vice President, Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive. “They provide an opportunity for Health Sciences Centre employees to contribute to improved patient care in inexpensive but significant ways.”

“We are grateful to the Health Sciences Foundation and Volunteer Association for their ongoing commitment to the Family CARE Grant program,” said Angelo Melchiorre, Physiotherapist at the Health Sciences Centre. “The new ultrasound, exercise bike and mobile ergometer for the Physiotherapy Department will reduce wait times for treatment, and increase capacity and accessibility for patients in rehabilitation programs.”

Added Glenn Craig, “Donors can be proud of the investments they are making in improving care.”

Since 2009, 142 Family CARE Grant initiatives have been funded at the Health Sciences Centre.


For more information, please contact:

Kelly Arnold
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation
807-684-7111 (Direct) 807-631-3793 (Cell)


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