Our response to COVID-19

New Westminster, B.C. – {April 28, 2020} –Your past and continued support has enabled Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation to respond quickly to COVID-19 related needs at Royal Columbian these last several weeks. From the outset, we have worked closely with our hospital to identify ways the Foundation could help during the pandemic. In addition to fundraising for the purchase of equipment, which continues to be part of the core of the work we do as a charity, we have engaged in a number of initiatives to assist with Royal Columbian’s fight against COVID-19.

Many of these initiatives are focused on easing the burden on our front-line healthcare providers. We are facilitating daily meal deliveries, offering free taxi service and accommodation, and we launched our Help a Hero volunteer program to match community volunteers with hospital and medical staff in need of assistance with daily chores like grocery shopping and yard work.

Other projects are focused on making the jobs of our healthcare workers easier and safer. We have secured donations of PPE, engaged volunteer seamstresses to make scrubs, and provided iPads, tablets, and smartphones to help caregivers communicate with each other and their patients safely. We also created special ID badges for healthcare providers to help maintain a personal connection with their COVID positive patients while caregivers are obscured by the PPE they are wearing.

We know too that emotional support is an important component of the service we can offer to those who provide care. To this end, we are sharing messages of encouragement and gratitude from the general public on our website and on TVs in the hospital. Additionally, we are using our social media channels and print and digital advertisements to promote important public health messaging in our community and beyond.

We are funding first-of-its kind research into treatment for COVID-19. Hospital Medical Director and critical care physician Dr. Steve Reynolds and his team are analyzing data on heart and lung function of patients with COVID-19 that are intubated and ventilated in Royal Columbian’s Intensive Care Unit. This data will be used to help inform mechanical ventilation protocols for patients with COVID-19 and will be shared with the international scientific and clinical community.

Your help also extends back many years ago, with support for initiatives that today allow the hospital to be better prepared to meet our new challenges. Your support more than a decade ago facilitated an expansion of the Intensive Care Unit to 16 private rooms. In recent years, donors helped to convert former trauma bays into negative pressure rooms in the ER; acquire two new portable machines that take over when a patient’s heart and lungs are failing; and purchase equipment like ventilators, ultrasound machines, bronchoscopes, and echocardiography machines.

This work would not be possible without the tremendous and committed investment of our donors. On behalf of our hospital and its patients, thank you for joining us in our fight against this pandemic. We deeply appreciate your ongoing support.