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Because we CARE


THUNDER BAY, ON  ----  November 23, 2010   ---Today, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Rhonda Crocker EllacottFoundation is celebrating another successful year of Family CARE Grants.  Family CARE (Care Advancements Recommended by Employees) Grants were created as a way to provide Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre employees with an opportunity to steer patient care initiatives. 

Last year’s Family CARE Grants funded initiatives such as pagers for visually and auditory impaired patients in the Emergency Department, fitness programs for cancer patients, and an exercise bike, step machine and MP3 players in Adult Mental Health. “Because last year’s grant cycle was so successful, we increased the funding by $10,000 this year, providing $30,000 towards initiatives recommended by the Health Sciences Centre family,” says Glenn Craig, President and CEO of the Health Sciences Foundation.

The Foundation received 50 applications for Family CARE Grants, totaling over $90,000 in requested funding. “I am very impressed by the level of dedication and creativity put forth by the Health Sciences Centre staff in terms of their ideas for improved patient care,” says Bob Stewart, community representative on the Family CARE Grant Review Committee. “The level of participation exuded by employees speaks to their commitment to world-class healthcare.”

Of the 50 applications received, 26 were selected as grant recipients. Some of the initiatives to receive funding from Family CARE Grants this year include:

·         Compassion kits for Adult Mental Health patients

·         Benches to be located outside the Health Sciences Centre main entrance and Emergency entrance

·         TV’s and DVD players for Emergency/Trauma waiting rooms

·         Foot Care products for diabetic Renal patients

“Family CARE Grants are a testament to how seemingly small initiatives can make a big difference in the quality of patient care,” says Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, Vice President of ER, Critical Care, Surgery and CNE.  “They allow the knowledge and creativity of Health Sciences Centre employees to be translated into improved patient and family centred care in inexpensive but significant ways.”

Family CARE Grants are made possibly by generous donors and their continued support of the Health Sciences Foundation. “By engaging Health Sciences Centre employees, healthcare professionals and community members, we ensure donations have a significant impact on the lives of patients and families,” says Brian McKinnon, Chair of the Board for the Health Sciences Foundation.

 Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation

2010 Family CARE Grants

 The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation will provide funding for 26 Family CARE (Care Advancements Recommended by Employees) Grants. The following is a list with brief description of grant recipients.

 Renal Service – Personal Amplification System – ($263.56)

·         The system will be used to assist with patient hearing, ensuring they can hear and understand what is being said to them regarding their health.

 Stroke Prevention Clinic – Transport/Wheelchair – ($232.50)

·         The Stroke Prevention Clinic is located in the Medical Centre adjacent to the Health Sciences Centre on the second floor. A transport chair will enhance access, provide support for clients and their caregivers and decrease the risk for falls and/or accidents.

 Environmental Services – Benches – ($1,395.55)

·         These benches, to be located outside the Health Sciences Centre main entrance and one outside of the Emergency entrance, will be used to make waiting outside for a ride easy and more accessible to patients and families. They will provide relief to patients who would otherwise have to stand outside.

 TBRHSC Portering – Bariatric Transport Chairs – ($2,000)

·         Bariatric (oversize) wheelchairs will be used to provide safe and comfortable transportation within the Health Sciences Centre for patients who require a higher weight capacity chair.

 Renal Service – Foot Care Products – ($400.00)

·         Basic foot care products will provide the tools for diabetic and renal patients to examine, soak and look after their foot health, preventing the need for amputations.

 Mental Health – Compassion Kits – ($527.25)

·         A small radio and a distress tolerance kit along with other donated items make up a survival kit used to ease the transition for a patient’s first night at home post discharge from the Health Sciences Centre.

 Adult Mental Health – Shower Chairs (2) – ($289.28)

·         The shower chairs will make showering easier and safer, as well as increase the independence of disabled patients.

 Adult Mental Health – Pocket Talkers (2) – ($330.00)

·         The pocket talkers will enhance the ability to interact with patients that have hearing impairments. It is important for patients to fully hear and understand what is being told to them with regards to their health.

 Rehabilitation – Tilt Wheelchair – ($2,000)

·         A specialized tilt wheelchair will greatly benefit patients who cannot get up into regular wheelchairs due to reduced endurance and sitting balance. Mobility is an essential daily activity that allows for reduced recovery times, reduced complications and improved socialization with family and caregivers.

 Rehabilitation – Four wheel and two wheel walkers – ($2,000)

·         Walkers are a valuable tool used by clients in all areas of the Health Sciences Centre and allow people with weaknesses or balance difficulties to walk independently and safely while they recover from an illness or surgery. The ability to get up out of bed safely results in shorter hospital stays, fewer falls, less complications and a greater sense of control for patients.

 Rehabilitation – Quickie 2 Manual Wheelchair – ($2,000)

·         Specialty wheelchairs such as this are required for patients who need a wheelchair while in the Health Sciences Centre. They ensure safe transport to therapy, enable them to participate fully in the rehabilitation process with minimal discomfort, and provide them with appropriate seating for pressure relief and sitting balance.

 Rehabilitation – Bariatric Wheelchair – ($1,000)

·         A bariatric wheelchair will provide safe and comfortable transportation and support for larger clients. A properly fitting wheelchair helps maintain client dignity, and prevents accidents due to broken equipment.

 Rehabilitation – Walkers (7) – ($1,270.30)

·         Walkers are used as a first step to get immobile patients out of bed and in a standing position. They may also be used for safety purposed by patients being discharged. The walkers will allow therapists to practice with patients, ensuring they are safe when they leave the hospital.

 Rehabilitation – Pocket Talkers (5) – ($760.17)

·         The use of Pocket Talkers will reduce the level of difficulty experienced by elderly patients when communicating with staff. They reduce patient confusion by ensuring the patient can hear the directions or diagnostic information given to them, reducing delays in discharge.

 Cardiac Rehabilitation – Digital Pedometers (50) – ($1,736.88)

·         Many patients are unable to undergo stress testing for functional capacity or exercise prescription development. Pedometers will allow the option of giving exercise targets in steps as opposed to target heart rate changes. The use of pedometers has been shown to increase exercise levels and motivate clients to achieve healthy living goals.

 Forensic Mental Health – Material and Labour to Recover Pool Table – ($987.00)

·         The pool table is a form of recreation thoroughly enjoyed by the patients and is used consistently. It provides a recreational component to those individuals who are unable to leave the unit for unique reasons.

 Cardiac Rehabilitation – Patient teaching models and Staff AED Trainer – ($1,136.37)

·         A heart model will help many cardiac rehabilitation patients who are visual learners. It will be an effective learning tool for teaching sessions. The AED is used for emergencies because the cardiac rehabilitation program is located off-site. The trainer will allow for routine training sessions for staff in use of the AED, better preparing them for such emergencies.

  Emergency – Couches – ($990.11)

·         The purchase of the couches (1-3 seat, 1-2 seat) will provide the first step in making the Emergency family room a comfortable space, creating a calm and relaxing setting where families can be together as they come to the emergency department and are dealing with tragedy or loss.

 Falls Prevention – Nightlights (61) and Falling Star Magnets (61) – ($1,991.14)

·         Falling star magnets will glow in the dark to signal to staff that the patient is a high fall risk. Nightlights will be placed at the bedside of patients who are at high risk of falling to help them see when getting up during the night. This will help to reduce the incidence of falls, preventing injuries and lengthened hospital stays.


Emergency/Trauma – TV’s and DVD players – ($1,403.94)

·         Two LCD television screens with DVD players mounted on the wall for use by paediatric emergency patients and families will provide much needed distraction during procedures and entertainment during wait times.


Critical Care – Support Walker with IV pole and Oxygen Tank Holder – ($1,919.00)

·         The support walker with attachments for an IV Pole and Oxygen Tank Holder will ultimately improve clinical care for patient in addition to safety for staff.


Critical Care – Visitor Chairs (4) – ($1,446.00)

·         The purchase of chairs will provide families with a place to sit while visiting a critically ill loved one or grieving over a loss. The chairs will create a more welcoming and supportive atmosphere.

 Critical Care – Patient High Back Chair with rocker (2) – ($866.00)

·         High back chairs will provide safe and comfortable seating for patients. The chairs will help mobilize the patients by allowing them to get out of bed.  This will help the patient reach the rehabilitation phase of recovery.

 Surgical – Patient Overbed Tables (4) – ($2,212.50)

·         New patient overbed tables will ensure that all patients have the proper equipment during gridlock.

 Ophthalmology – Boombox – ($69.99)

·         A music player will help pass the time for patients who have to stay in dark waiting rooms while they wait for their dilatation drops to take effect.

 Ambulatory Care – Murals above colposcopy exam tables and PICC insertion stretcher – ($1,740.00)

·         Murals above colposcopy exam tables will help distract patients and reduce their level of stress during procedures.

 Total amount funded = $30,395.27

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