Hospitals facing urgent needs for COVID-19 are coming together to fill the funding “gaps” in their establishments and in healthcare professionals in difficulty.
Nicknamed “The Frontline Fund”, the national campaign solicits donations on behalf of more than 100 institutions across the country for supplies, staff support and research.
Organizers say the money would help hospitals get personal protective equipment and ventilators, fund drug trials and vaccine research, and provide mental health support to exhausted staff. Ten percent of the funding will also go to the northern territories and Aboriginal health.
Caroline Riseboro, member of the steering committee, also CEO of the Trillium Health Partners Foundation, said that COVID-19 had raised unique needs that “would not necessarily be met by government funding.”
Examples of how the money could be spent include additional scrubs so that caregivers can change their clothes before going home, or hotel rooms for front-line staff with immunocompromised parents so they don’t have to worry about bringing the virus home with them.
Organizers say $ 8.5 million has already been pledged by major partner companies. This includes $ 5 million from the Canadian Medical Association Foundation, $ 2.5 million from Maple Leaf Foods and $ 1 million from TD Bank Group.
Riseboro says the goal is to raise $ 50 million. Canadians can donate at www.frontlinefund.ca.
“All of our hospitals in Canada are facing an unprecedented crisis here,” said Riseboro.
“We know Canadians want to help, but Canadians don’t know who to support. So we created this national initiative. It is historical in nature. Never have all of these hospitals across the country come together to raise funds together for what is probably one of the most serious health crises we have faced in a generation. “
The money will stay in the province where it is donated and will be allocated based on the number of beds in each facility. Each hospital foundation will decide how to spend the funds for their unique needs, says Riseboro.
“This initiative really aims to fill some gaps in the response to COVID, particularly with regard to our front line health workers,” said Riseboro.
The CMA Foundation says its $ 5 million contribution to the Frontline Fund is part of a larger $ 20 million commitment to the medical system.
It is also setting up a $ 5 million fund for community hospitals and providing an additional $ 5 million to a COVID-19 grant program from the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine.
Another $ 5 million will help medical students and residents in financial difficulty, and $ 250,000 will be donated to Doctors Without Borders’ COVID-19 crisis fund.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 21, 2020.