While the non-monetary donation program run by Patient
Experience is a longstanding initiative at BC Children’s Hospital, BC Women’s
Hospital + Health Centre and Sunny Hill Health Centre, the generous support the
program has received from companies and community members during the COVID-19
pandemic has been particularly beneficial for patients and families.
The program normally accepts donations of items like art kits, toys
and games year-round on behalf of patients. However, since March, donations
like toiletries, bed linens and non-perishable food have poured in, making a
significant difference in the comfort of patients and families while at the
hospital, and, for the first time, benefitted care providers staff, according
to Mary MacKillop, Director of Patient Experience.
Analyn Perez, program manager for oncology, hematology and blood
and marrow transplant at BC Children’s, says patients and families have
appreciated the generous and thoughtful donations during the pandemic and have
also been grateful for the extra care taken to individually wrap and sanitize
them, particularly for patients with cancer who are immuno-compromised.
“Pediatric cancer doesn’t stop, even in the midst of the pandemic. This
essential care has kept our inpatient unit and outpatient
clinic busy and full. Many of our inpatients
have been admitted for weeks at a time so donations of meals, snacks, and items
that were especially difficult to find in stores
have been truly appreciated. It’s one less worry during such an unusual and
“Donations like the full sets of bedding brought so many smiles
and have made rooms cozier and more comfortable. Kudos
and gratitude to Patient Experience for
coordinating and organizing these donations to ensure they get to all the
patients and families on campus!”
Catherine Zarchynski, Patient Care Coordinator for BC Women’s Families in Recovery (FIR) Square which cares for expecting
and new mothers with substance use challenges and
their newborns, shares that the snacks and treats that made their way
to the unit have been greatly appreciated. “These items have been really supportive to our patients
and their partners and have significantly reduced the amount of time women are
off the unit which directly reduces the risk of infection to this already
Mary also shares that donations are helping to relieve
pressure on families of patients staying at the hospital who cannot leave to
pick up groceries or other essentials. Often these families are managing a long
stay on-site coupled with COVID-19 precautions. One example is a couple who
came to BC Women’s for the birth of their child and ended
up staying at the hospital longer than expected when their newborn required
“They were not expecting
a longer stay,” Mary says, "so being able to provide food and toiletry kits goes a
The donations are also helping to provide snacks in
high-traffic areas like the Teck Acute Care Centre lobby for convenient pick up
on weekends, for care staff who can enjoy snacks in staff rooms, and for family
lounges. Mary says this has been greatly appreciated by many including women
delivering babies late at night who may benefit from the convenience of a
complimentary, quick snack before a well needed rest.
Damian Duffy, whose “day job” is as Executive Director at
the Office of Paediatric Surgical Evaluation and Innovation (OPSEI), has been a
part of the efforts to create an off-shoot to the existing non-monetary
donation program, to help provide similar supports to front-line staff during
COVID-19. He established a hand sanitizer program, which provides front-line
staff with the opportunity to refill their personal containers from donated
jugs. They have recently secured an additional 120L of hand sanitizer, which
will be distributed in the coming weeks.
Damian’s team, new to the Non-Monetary Donation Program
has been taken aback by the generosity of BC residents who want to help. Local
businesses and individual donors want to support patients, families and health
care workers who face difficulties accessing grocery stores during the
“I would like to say thank you to all of our donors who
are generously dropping off gifts for our families and frontline staff, every
single day,” he says.
For questions or requests regarding non-monetary
donations, please contact C&W Patient Experience by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (1-844-874-3267).
Information on how staff can access these donations is
available on the C&W Patient Experience page on POD.
For times when staff
doesn’t have access to POD, information on donations can be found here: Non-monetary Donations + Gifts to BC Children's, BC Women's and Sunny Hill Staff and Providers.