The fight against COVID-19 rages on as our health care heroes remain strong on the front lines, caring for our most vulnerable patients and risking their safety to selflessly help our communities.
In response, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation has partnered with 100 hospital foundations across the country to help launch The Frontline Fund — a way for all Canadians to help support front line health care workers across the country with the supplies, supports and research funding they need to fight this pandemic.
“The defence against COVID-19 continues to rest on the shoulders of our front line health care workers: the nurses, doctors, caregivers and support workers in our hospitals and long-term care homes. Our researchers offer us an offensive line to win the fight against this novel virus,” says Angela Chapman, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “In long-term care homes, the emergency department, ICUs, and research labs, many are working tirelessly to care for the vulnerable and for the sick, while others seek to find an effective treatment and develop a vaccine. In this fight, these are our heroes. They are here fighting for us. We can be there for them.”
During this unprecedented time, hospital workers across the country are shouldering the pressure of COVID-19. The Frontline Fund will directly provide relief to these caregivers through three key pillars.
- Supplies: This includes personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, disinfectants, and disposable clothing; life-saving ventilators and testing equipment; and digital infrastructure to enable virtual patient care.
- Supports: Peer-to-peer mental health support, hotel rooms near the hospitals to help front line workers protect their families, get much needed rest, and prepare themselves for the effort ahead; gift cards, etc.
- Research: Hospitals need funding to conduct vital research like clinical drug trials to discover therapeutic breakthroughs and intense vaccine development efforts.
“VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is proud to join efforts with hospital foundation across Canada to advance the goals of this national campaign. We are grateful to the founding Frontline Fund partners for gifts of $8.5 million launching the campaign,” says Chapman. “These funds will support front line health care workers with supplies and supports, and fund critical research, connecting the best minds across Canada with their global counterparts.”
VGH and UBC Hospital continue to be global leaders in research of COVID-19, trialing new options for treatments and preventative measures against the disease. Donations empower these researchers and other across the country to sustain and accelerate their goals.
These donors include Maple Leaf Foods with a donation of $2.5 million, Lead Financial Institution donor TD Bank Group with a donation of $1 million, and the CMA Foundation with a donation of $5 million.
“Our governments are doing everything they can to help, but they can’t do it alone,” says Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. “Our health care workers are not just on the front lines — they are the last line of defence against COVID-19 and without them, we are hopeless. We need to do everything we can to support them right now.”
The Frontline Fund has partnered with CanadaHelps.org to make it easy and efficient for Canadians to get involved. All donations from individuals will flow through Canada Helps and be aggregated so that funds given remain in the province of the donor. Individuals and corporations can donate to The Frontline Fund by visiting FrontlineFund.ca. The first round of fund disbursements will take place on April 30, 2020.