Little comforts, big differences for patients and families: Donors provide $108,957 in Comfort and Care grants

A QEII nurse stands next to an older male patient with her hand on his shoulder laying in bed receiving chemotherapy therapy treatment

From warm blankets, to comfortable furniture and more, donor-funded QEII Foundation Comfort and Care grants provide items and projects to help improve the hospital experience for patients and their families, touching nearly every care area across the QEII.

Sometimes, the smallest items or gestures can mean the world during a difficult time. To have some home-like comforts brought into an unfamiliar hospital room, like phone chargers and art supplies. To have a calming, private space after a devastating diagnosis. To know someone cared enough to help provide support in a time of need. It’s the little things that make QEII Foundation Comfort and Care grants so impactful to QEII patients and their families.

Comfort and Care grants fund items and projects that would not typically receive funding from the health centre’s operating or capital budgets. From blanket warmers, to family room furniture, and many other heartfelt and unique initiatives, frontline healthcare teams apply for grants that are awarded to immediately benefit patients and/or their families.

For the 2022 year, $108,957 in QEII Foundation Comfort and Care grants were awarded to healthcare teams across the QEII.

This translates to 44 individual initiatives – all bringing a unique touch of human comfort for patients and families spending time in hosptial, and all made possible by the kindness and generosity of QEII Foundation donors.

One 2022 Comfort and Care grant was awarded to the QEII’s Patient Care Department 9B, an Alternate Level of Care (ALC) unit at the Victoria General site, where residents wait for long-term care placement.  The unit was awarded a blanket warmer, a highly-coveted item which appears on healthcare department request lists year-after-year because of how much patients love the simple comfort that a warm blanket brings.

“Our patient population is primarily older, frail individuals who have difficulty with regulating their body temperature. They often tell staff that they feel cold,” says Lisa Cicchelli, 9B’s Health Service Manager.

“Having a warm blanket and other linen to lay over them will provide a layer of warmth and comfort, which has been shown to promote a feeling of calm and reassurance.”

Another incredible Comfort and Care initiative that will soon spring to life is a fresh new garden view for cancer patients undergoing radiation treatments.

The radiation therapy waiting room in the QEII Cancer Care Centre has large windows overlooking a currently overgrown green space. “The blinds are kept down to partially block the current view, and patients have commented that it’s a shame that the garden isn’t being used and how they would enjoy seeing something nice in that space,” says Johanna Murray, Volunteer Coordinator for QEII Cancer Care. 

A 2022 QEII Foundation Comfort and Care grant has provided funds for gardening tools, supplies, and a shed to transform the outdoor space into a beautiful garden area.

“A volunteer program will be starting up to take care of the new garden, which will hopefully improve patient experience, reduce anxiety, promote relaxation and leave patients feeling calmer,” Johanna says.

We extend our sincere thanks to our donor community for helping make the little moments count. Thanks to your support, Comfort and Care grants are truly improving the hospital experience for patients and families at the QEII.