Women’s College Hospital staff show their appreciation to WCHF’s donor community for their ongoing support.


Women’s College Hospital staff show their appreciation to WCHF’s donor community for their ongoing support.

From Extraordinary Challenges Come Extraordinary Impact

Facing a global pandemic with generosity

In the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) staff, physicians and frontline workers continued to play a unique role within the healthcare system and responded to the needs of our community with courage and conviction. In turn, our community of donors and supporters also generously stepped forward – with an outpouring of donations and support.

Shortly after COVID-19 struck Toronto in March, WCH Foundation established the COVID-19 Response Fund to help WCH cope with urgent needs related to supporting frontline workers and reaching vulnerable patients and communities who needed immediate care and support.

As of August 2020, over 150 donors had made philanthropic gifts to the COVID-19 Response Fund, with donations ranging from $20 to over $160,000 – each meaningful and invaluable, with notes of support that inspired us all.

In addition to cash donations to the Response Fund, new and current community members also reached out with creative, in-kind ways to show their support and thanks to us all for our courage to care during unprecedented challenges.

The Girl Guides of Canada and Sobey’s Canada sent cookies; SpinMaster quickly converted plastic headbands from their famous HedBanz game into much-needed protective face shields to help keep WCH staff and patients safe; the LCBO donated ad space; a myriad of restaurants donated meals; and the response to our call for Personal Protective Equipment was overwhelmingly appreciated.

L-R: Jennifer Bernard receives cookies from Girl Guides of Canada President Jill Zelmanovitz; a WCH staff member wears a new HedBanz face shield; WCH staff accept a generous donation of meals for frontline workers.

Our community’s support provided the wind in our wings to keep going, and became the critical funding needed to help the hospital launch a number of vital initiatives. These included our onsite and virtual COVID-19 Assessment Centre; the ramp up of Long-term Care Plus (LTC+), an innovative 24/7 hotline that is reducing unnecessary emergency room transfers for long-term care home residents; and the launch of COVIDCare@Home, a virtual care program designed to help patients with COVID-19 manage their symptoms safely from home. It also enabled us to continue to respond to the most urgent needs of vulnerable patients, including conducting screening at refugee and women’s shelters and launching culturally-sensitive support for the Indigenous community via the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health.

Lawn signs produced by a WCHF board member share messages of thanks and encouragement to WCH healthcare heroes.

Women’s College Hospital exceeded every expectation there was on how quickly we were able to ramp up our activities to meet the urgent needs of our community. The challenges were faced head on, with courage and conviction, values we share with our entire community of donors and that carry forth from our founders. As we continue our journey, we know that every step of the way, our community is by our side – investing, volunteering, advocating and enabling us to harness the opportunities that emerge from the challenges we face. We are proud and inspired by all of you. Thank you.

Jennifer Bernard
President and CEO
Women’s College Hospital Foundation

If you would like to learn more about our Foundation, please click here, or to make a donation in support of the WCH COVID-19 Response Fund, click here. We would also love to hear from you and can be reached at 416-323-6323.

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