Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Funds Innovative Ideas for Better Patient Care


Enhancing Patient Care One Idea at a Time

Thunder Bay, ON – NEWS – Celebrating its 15th year, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s frontline staff have once again championed improvements in patient care through the Family CARE Grant program. This unique initiative, powered by the dedication and creativity of the hospital’s staff, transforms their ideas into reality, directly enhancing patient experiences.

This year, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, bolstered by generous donations, including a notable $15,000 from the Volunteer Association, allocated a record $123,417.60 to fund 66 Family CARE (Care Advancements Recommended by Employees) Grants. This marks a remarkable 65% increase from the previous year, allowing for quicker and more impactful healthcare improvements.

“The growing number of grant submissions each year showcases our frontline staff’s commitment to the Family CARE Grant program,” said Barry Streib, Director of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation and Chair of the selection committee. “We’re excited to fund 66 projects, each enhancing patient care in meaningful ways. Often, the smallest gestures yield the greatest results, and our staff’s contributions are invaluable.”

Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, President and CEO of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and CEO of Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, praised the staff for their innovative ideas and dedication. “The Family CARE Grants empower our physicians, staff, and volunteers to better meet the needs and values of our patients and their families. This initiative underscores our commitment to exceptional care for every patient, every time.”

2023-2024 Family CARE Grant Highlights

The grants this year will fund essential equipment and resources across the Health Sciences Centre, including:

  • Zaky Hug Positioning Aids: Ten aids for NICU infants, mimicking the comforting touch of a parent’s hand and carrying the parent’s scent to soothe infants during separation.
  • Joey Band Pro Adjustable Wraps: Twenty-five wraps for NICU parents to enhance safety during skin-to-skin contact, especially beneficial for c-section deliveries.
  • Code OB Emergency Backpacks: Stocked with vital medical supplies, these backpacks ensure timely care during obstetrical emergencies.
  • Venoscope II Vein Finder Transilluminators: Two units to help staff locate difficult veins, reducing the number of IV attempts.
  • Care Communication Cards: Representing 10 languages, these cards assist non-English speaking or non-verbal patients in communicating their needs to healthcare providers.
  • Backless Quarter Benches: Four benches for the Spirit Gardens, arranged in culturally significant circles, providing a safe and sacred space for Indigenous patients and their care teams.

In addition, the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit will benefit from sensory items like stress balls, fidget spinners, stuffed animals, and Rubik’s cubes, providing comfort and distraction for patients in a restricted environment. “These items help patients stay calm and manage stress during their admission,” said Donna Ross, Therapeutic Recreationist, Adult Mental Health.

These Family CARE Grant initiatives exemplify how thoughtful, staff-driven ideas can significantly enhance patient care at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Explore the full list of 2023-2024 grants here.

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