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COVID-19: An update from our CEO

An update from our CEO

April 2, 2020

Dear Foundation friends,

Over the last few weeks, we have been humbled by the outreach we’ve received from so many of you. Despite the turmoil in the world and the many ways your own lives have been impacted, you have reached out to ask how our hospital is responding to COVID-19 and what you can do to help. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your continued support during this time and share the creation of a Rapid Response Fund to address the immediate needs facing BC Children’s Hospital.

As you may have seen, BC Children’s has been designated one of the 19 primary COVID hospital care sites—which means that every child in our province who requires intensive care due to the virus will be treated here. During these trying and uncertain times, health care providers at BC Children’s Hospital continue to do what they’ve always done: ensure our kids get the best possible care. 

But this pandemic has made their difficult jobs even harder. Physicians, nurses, support service staff and more, all here at our hospital, are having to overcome bigger obstacles to care for kids from across the province. In particular, they are working tirelessly to protect the health of vulnerable populations who are at greater risk due to COVID-19—including infants and children with complex or underlying medical conditions. 

In response to your caring outreach, I wanted to share the specific challenges currently facing those who count on our hospital. Of course, the situation is changing every single day—and our greatest priority is to ensure that the hospital is prepared to respond immediately to the critical needs that arise.

Kids: We all know that a hospital stay is difficult for a child. But now, it’s even more so. With physical distancing measures in place, kids are unable to see many of their loved ones when they need them the most. And when children are feeling more isolated than ever, playrooms have closed and child therapy experts are facing a shortage of bedside activities to comfort and engage them.

Patient families: Families who have sick or injured children in our hospital are already going through the most challenging moments of their lives. At a time when the only thing they should have to think about is the health of their child, the pandemic has brought unthinkable stressors—from financial stress related to their jobs and homes, to simply getting a proper meal.

Health care providers: Our health heroes—those working on the frontlines to provide the best care possible for our kids—are experiencing enormous obstacles. They are dealing with a shortage of equipment and other supplies to protect their health, as well as the health of the patients they care for. Their mental well-being is also impacted, as they work harder than ever to deliver care under these circumstances.

As one of the great champions of children’s health, your support plays a profound role in helping BC Children’s Hospital confront the challenges ahead of us. For that, I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for continuing to be by our side at a time when we need you more than ever. 

If you are able, please consider a gift to help our dedicated health care providers respond to these rapidly evolving needs and continue to deliver the highest level of care to kids and families. We are so grateful for your generosity.

I hope that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe during these unprecedented times. 

With heartfelt thanks,

Teri Nicholas, RSW
President and CEO
BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
 

Dear Foundation Friends,

Mister Rogers said that when he was a boy and would see scary things in the news, his mother would say to him: “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” During this time of unprecedented crisis, we don’t need to look far to see them. Health care providers, from right here on campus, to across our province, country and around the world, are selflessly stepping up to help the people who need it most. All of them—our “helpers”.

As a Foundation, we must do our small part to help as well. As global concerns surrounding COVID-19 continue to grow, we are taking proactive steps to practice “social distancing” and prioritize the health and safety of our community, including our staff, donors, supporters, and the kids, families and front-line staff on our hospital campus.

We’re here for you through our virtual offices

Starting March 17, 2020, Foundation staff will work remotely from home. While our physical office will be closed until further notice, our Foundation team is still here to support you.

  • You can email us at info@bcchf.ca, and your inquiry will be directed to the appropriate team;

  • You can call and speak to a live operator at 778-655-9858, Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

During this transition, we thank you for your patience as we adapt to a new working environment. There may be some delays in responding to voicemail messages and donation receipts may take a bit longer than usual. 

We understand that you may also have questions regarding Foundation plans for the near future. This is an unprecedented situation for all of us, but rest assured, it is a priority for us to determine next steps and get back to you.

Our events will resume when the time is right

All in-person Foundation events from now through mid-May have been postponed. We are in the process of assessing events scheduled from the end of May onwards. In the meantime, we are working on devising new ways to engage our passionate communities online who want to continue to support the work we do. 

You’ve been one of our most important “helpers”

At this crucial time, it is evident that the state of our healthcare system is more vital than ever and that in the coming weeks, it will be challenged. But we take great comfort in knowing that because of the support you have provided, you have helped BC Children’s Hospital be in the best possible position to continue providing critical care for BC’s kids. Your help has enabled them to help, and for that, we are profoundly grateful.

Lastly, while advice on ways to stay healthy and safe in this environment seem to be everywhere these days, please do take care and remind yourself of these healthy practices. You can also find more information or updates on COVID-19 at this link.  
 
With heartfelt gratitude,

Teri Nicholas, MSW, RSW
President and CEO
BC Children’s Hospital Foundation 

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