It was a little more than a year ago that the Surrey Hospitals Foundation created its COVID-19 Response Fund and since then, about $2.6 million has been raised.
But SHF president and CEO Jane Adams says more is needed.
“Nothing has gone as it should with the pandemic, but I would anticipate we need another $400,000 to $500,000,” said Adams, looking at the foundation’s run rate.
This comes after spending more than $65,000 the week prior, she noted.
“We are calling on our COVID fund quite regularly and we have … (for) 14, 15 months. The community was and has been very generous,” Adams explained. “Largely, it’s made up of hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands, of donations from people from all walks of life who were aware that Surrey is one of the busiest COVID centres in Canada and certainly the busiest COVID centre in B.C.”
However, she noted there have been several large-scale donations, with more coming from local developers recently.
“Our goal was by the end of the pandemic was to have widely invested all of the money and we have been doing that,” she said. “The fund is quite depleted and we are in the throes of wave three, so we could use, definitely could use some further investment.”
That $2.6 million, Adams said, has been used to purchase more than 115 pieces of “life-saving equipment.”
“They really run the gamut, from very large pieces of equipment to smaller pieces of equipment.”
Some of those smaller pieces include iPads.
Surrey Memorial Hospital, Adams said, has had record numbers of COVID, ICU and critical-care patients during the pandemic.
“Those patients spend all of their time in isolation and for those who are conscious, it’s frightening and it’s isolating. They need very simple tools, things like iPads to stay in touch with their loved ones,” said Adams, adding the hospitals has also turned on all of the TVs in COVID rooms so they don’t feel as “dislocated” from the rest of the world.
Meantime, Adams said the funds have also been used to buy a specific carbon dioxide monitor for the neonatal intensive care unit.
“We are seeing a growing number of women getting COVID and needing to be hospitalized, and of course we know it can result in pre-term labour and that is increasing the numbers of babies we’re seeing in our NICU,” said Adams, adding that SMH serves a lot of young women in the community and has a busy birthing unit.
“What we need to do, among many things with these little ones, with these preemies who end up in our intensive care units, is we need to monitor their carbon dioxide levels.”
She said that’s traditionally done by drawing blood, but this carbon dioxide monitor can be used just on the skin.
“With the growing number of admissions into our NICU, related to COVID, we needed equipment for our newborns too. People might not think of newborns and what we need. But we are a hospital from birth to palliation, so we’re caring for all of those people as they contract COVID or are impacted by COVID.”