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Stevenson lands funding for unique PPE

July 3, 2020   ·   0 Comments

A steady stream of generosity and acts of kindness have filled communities with hope throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) has been on the receiving end of many generous donations as of late through its COVID-19 Response Fund and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Drive.

Late last month, SMH received $7,500 for PPE in the form of a grant from the Innisfil Community Foundation, a recently established non-profit that is seeking to improve the quality of life for its residents.

“There’s so many residents of Innisfil who utilize the hospital services and work at Stevenson Memorial, it’s a big part of our community, so keeping the workers safe will ultimately lead to keeping our community safe,” noted Jenn Rae, Innisfil Community Foundation Executive Director.

The $7,500, which is being doubled by the Morningview Foundation, was used to purchase a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) which can be worn in replacement of an N95 mask. The battery powered device better protects staff from contaminated air.

PAPR is being designated for use in SMH’s Operating Room and Emergency Department during intubations or procedures that could involve airborne particles or respiratory droplets.

“We really appreciate the support in being able to purchase equipment such as the PAPR, that will keep our staff safe throughout the pandemic,” said William Bye, Chief Financial & Information Officer and VP Corporate Services, SMH.

“From a financial perspective, our costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the hospital significantly, affecting our budget and bottom line. I thank the Innisfil Community Foundation for their support.”

The Innisfil Community Foundation was initially set to launch in June but jumped into action as COVID-19 began effecting its residents. The Town of Innisfil allocated $50,000 to the foundation in April and it started accepting applications to its COVID-19 Relief Fund.

In total, 11 organizations received grants, including some that serve Simcoe County such as CONTACT Community Services, Candlelighters Simcoe, and Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka.

In addition to SMH, another donation that’s benefiting New Tecumseth residents went to Matthews House Hospice early last month, totalling $3,500.

“They moved to virtual programming so the funds that we gave Matthews House Hospice is helping with facilitating those virtual programs so that people can still have the supports that they need just not physically at the Matthews House Hospice location,” explained Rae.

“The supports are still really needed right now. People are feeling very vulnerable in not having those supports.”

Meanwhile, the Innisfil Community Foundation’s $50,000 pool of funding is now dry, but an additional $75,000 was recently allocated to the foundation through the federal government’s Emergency Community Support Fund.

These funds are specifically designated for charities supporting a COVID-19 response, and are in partnership with the Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and Canadian Red Cross.

A unique approach being utilized by the Innisfil Community Foundation has been dubbed “trust-based philanthropy,” noted Rae.

She said her organization is breaking from the traditional format between a funder and grantee.

“We’re looking at becoming partners with the organizations that we grant funds to, so it’s support beyond the paycheque, it’s helping to get word out about the good work that organizations are doing in the community,” Rae explained.

“It’s a different approach to that traditional relationship which can sometimes be like a power dynamic between them, where ‘we have the money you have the need.’ We’re really looking at how can we work together to do more,” she added.

Innisfil Community Foundation’s website launched last Friday and individuals interested in applying for grants can visit and view their guidelines.

Once COVID-19 becomes less of a concern, Rae said her organization will shift its focus.

“I think we’ll have to regroup and figure out our next steps in the fall after the next round of grants closes, but we want to be here for the community and it’s an exciting time to get started,” she said.

“We’re here to listen to our community’s needs so if someone has a great idea, we want to hear it.”

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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