December 22, 2023

70 Gifts of Comfort & Kindness Just in Time for the Holidays

With the help of the Ever Hopeful Fund, we’re delighted to announce that our Foundation has been able to provide 70 grants from our Patient Comfort & Kindness Fund to support over 50 different programs and departments at our Hospital.

Every summer, we invite Hospital staff to submit applications for a Patient Comfort & Kindness Grant for requests up to $5,000 to help cover the costs of those “little things” that are not funded by operational budgets but are essential to enhancing the comfort and care provided to patients at St. Joe’s.

These grants are made possible through donations made by our community of donors, friends, partners and Hospital staff members, and for the past three years, an anonymous donor – known as the Ever Hopeful Fund – has provided a series of generous gifts that have helped our Foundation grant as many requests as possible. This year, they increased their donation to $175,000 allowing us to fund nearly every request we received.

Here are just a few of the projects being funded by a Patient Comfort and Kindness Grant this year. Please refer to the table below for a full list of grants and projects for the 2023 fiscal year. We are grateful to all of our donors and the Ever Hopeful Fund, as together, we’re making holiday wishes come true for several of our Hospital departments and the patients they serve.

Bringing Warmth and Compassion to End-of-Life Care
The Critical Care Research team received $4,500 to help grant wishes for patients and their families during end-of-life care. This grant will help to cover the costs of keepsake items such as personalized photo keychains, heart rhythm images, hand mold kits and stuffed animals with recorded messages.

Supporting Crisis Intervention

Our Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) has received a grant of $4,993.32 to equip the mobile response team with portable printers and a laptop to ensure mental health professionals can provide immediate crisis support and enable real-time referrals wherever their clients are. Additionally, the grant will provide essential gift cards to aid those facing food insecurity.

Cooking Up Something Special for Orthopaedic Surgery Patients
A $2,260 grant will help support the creation of a new video series on nutrition and meal planning for our orthopaedic surgery patients, created in collaboration with a registered dietician to support our patients’ health journey each step of the way.

DepartmentItems Requested
10AMHWeighted tables to offer a safe and comfortable environment for patients.
10AMHWeighted dining table and chairs to ensure patient comfort and safety.
10AMHA variety of creative and sensory items such as jigsaw puzzles, tactile items, fidget tools, aquapaint and tumble balls to provide comforting activities for patients. Weighted bariatric chairs to ensure patient safety and comfort.
3OBSComfort care packages for patients who have been experiencing homelessness, substance use and poor social supports. These customized layettes could include a set of pajamas, personal care items and entertainment activities to help foster dignity and support the patient’s health and well-being.
4BD CTUA responsive animatronic dog and cat to bring comfort and companionship to patients with living with dementia. A children’s sized table and chairs to create a more welcoming environment for families visiting the unit. As well as a new overnight recliner chair to support care partners staying long hours to support their loved ones.
6 SurgicalSupplies to stock a comfort cart for palliative patients and their families. The cart will include snacks, games, activities and more, offering comfort and a welcome distraction during this difficult time.
9AMHCreative and sensory items such as jigsaw puzzles, tactile items, fidget tools, aquapaint and tumble balls to provide comforting activities for patients living with dementia.
Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation UnitHearing amplifiers to improve communication between patients and care providers. Oscillating fans to create a more comfortable care environment along with a TV and wall mount for the dining room to promote a sense of community and increase social opportunities.
Acute Mental HealthSupplies to implement a new token reward system to help foster a supportive environment that recognizes and encourages positive behaviours among patients.
Acute Mental HealthVarious therapeutic activities to improve patient happiness and engagement. Bed alarms and rail covers to increase patient safety and comfort.
Acute Mental HealthA rowing machine, art supplies, portable DVD players, Bluetooth speakers and sensory activities to aid in patient recovery and offer leisure opportunities to improve patient engagement and well-being.
Acute Psychiatry (Orchard 1)A variety of music playing devices to promote relaxation and reduce stress or agitation.
Acute Psychiatry (Orchard 1)Art supplies including painting kits, colouring sheets and markers for a weekly drop-in art program supporting their recovery journey.    
ALC and Medicine ProgramMulti-sensory items, cognitive activities and comfort items to aid in behavior management and provide opportunities for social and sensory stimulation.
Brant ACTTGift cards for vulnerable clients, many of whom experience chronic homelessness. These gift cards help to foster dignity and allow our clients to purchase basic necessities to improve their physical and mental well-being.
Bridge to RecoveryGift cards to support vulnerable patients and help them purchase basic necessities to improve their physical and mental well-being. New journals, a Bluetooth speaker, djembe drum holders and YMCA/city rec passes for patients to engage in therapeutic recreation programming.
Chest, Head & Neck, SDU15 Boogie board writing and drawing tablets to facilitate communication with patients who are undergoing a tracheostomy or laryngectomy. This will allow patients to write, ask and answer questions with ease.
COASTPortable printers and a laptop to ensure mental health professionals can provide immediate crisis support and enable real-time referrals wherever their clients are. Additionally, the grant will provide essential gift cards to aid those facing food insecurity.
Complex CareAccess to nail and hair care visits for patients in our post-acute units to improve their overall health, well-being and self-esteem.
Concurrent Disorders Outpatient ServiceGift cards and personal care items to build confidence and empower patients to move forward with treatment. Prepaid mobile phones to give patients with the opportunity to attend tele-health appointments.
Core Labs/SCC/HLAHot/cold compresses, stress balls, snacks, water dispenser, and juice boxes to improve patient comfort and care while collecting blood.
Critical CareProduce an original colouring book designed by McMaster University students and purchase colouring supplies to calm and entertain patients during their hospital stay.
Critical Care ResearchGrant wishes for patients and their families during end-of-life care. This grant will help to cover the costs of keepsake items such as personalized photo keychains, heart rhythm images, hand mold kits and stuffed animals with recorded messages.
Department of MedicineGift cards, recreational activities, comfort items, hygiene and personal care products to support patients seen by the Substance Use Service.
Diagnostic ImagingTV and cable service in the waiting room to provide entertainment and make their wait a bit more enjoyable.
Diagnostic ImagingPremium Spotify account to play music for our MRI patients at both Charlton and West 5th campuses in order to reduce stress and comfort patients.
Diagnostic ImagingIV chair to provide greater comfort and support for patients who undergo IV procedures prior to exams.
Diagnostic ServicesPigg o’stat positioning devices for pediatric patients to comfort patients and allow technicians to produce clearer imaging.
DSUErgo stretcher pillows to offer a more comfortable experience for patients pre/post-surgery.
EndoscopyErgo stretcher pillows to help place patients in the most comfortable and safe position pre/post-surgery.
Eye Clinic2 TVs for the waiting room to offer entertainment and make their wait a bit more enjoyable.
Firestone Ambulatory ClinicReclining patient chair to comfort patients undergoing extended IV treatments.
GI Motility2 TVs for patient waiting areas to create a more calming and welcoming environment for patients undergoing treatment.
Hemodialysis & Dialysis Resource TeamHeated blankets and headphones to provide comfort and entertainment for patients undergoing treatment. Gift cards to ensure low-income patients are able to have nutritious and healthy meals. Infrared thermometers to minimize disruption in a patient’s treatment routine.
ICC and Hospital to HomeGift cards to support marginalized patients with purchasing a balanced meal or other basic necessities.
ICC and Hospital to HomeProvide patients with blood pressure monitors, weigh scales, and fingertip pulse oximeters to support effective disease management.
Internal Medicine Rapid Assessment ClinicMagazines to provide a more entertaining and enjoyable experience in the waiting room.
Mammography & OBSPA TV for the patient change room waiting room to offer entertainment and create a more calming environment. 2 breast phantoms to educate patients about lesions.
Men’s Addiction Service HamiltonGift cards to purchase clothing and basic necessities for our most marginalized patients. These items will help to break down barriers, increase self-esteem and empower patients to be more engaged with their health and recovery.
Mood DisordersPurchase pet supplies and animal care products to help volunteers foster patients’ pets while they remain in hospital and engage in treatment.
Mood Disorders Treatment and Research ClinicAdventure-based activities (rock climbing, hikes, guided canoe trips) to provide patients the opportunity to experience new activities, taking risks they may not normally take, and offering exposure to nature to improve their mental and physical health.
Mountain OneReplacement recumbent bike for the fitness room to provide access to regular exercise to support patients mental and physical health.
NephrologyParking vouchers to assist patients with accessibility limitations. Reusable tote bags for patients to carry important materials and medications to and from their appointments.
Nephrology/Renal Transplant UnitOscillating fans to comfort patients and personal care products such as combs and a hair rinse tray to support patients who have limited mobility.
Nuclear MedicineWater dispenser to provide a more accessible source of water for patients and to reduce the amount of plastic waste from bottled water.
Occupational TherapyA new bariatric manual wheelchair for increased safety and improved rehabilitation.
Operating RoomAdditional patient pillows for increased comfort or improved positioning during intubation.
Orthopaedic SurgerySupport the creation of a new video series on nutrition and meal planning for our orthopaedic surgery patients, created in collaboration with a registered dietician to support our patients health journey.
OSP WestArt supplies, a swinging egg chair, water cooler, waiting room activities and plants to create a welcoming space that will enhance patient comfort and reduce stigma for seeking care.
OSP WestiPads for clients who do not have access to technology for virtual treatment services.
Pediatrics (NICU)New furniture, fridge, coffee machine, phone charger, décor and activities to support the creation of a “Family Lounge” where families visiting babies in the NICU can have a warm and inviting space to recharge.
PESGift cards to purchase basic necessities and hygiene kits to support our vulnerable patients and improve their physical and mental well-being.
RAAMLive plants and UV lamps to create a more welcoming environment and promote relaxation. Gift cards to support patients in purchasing basic necessities and transit vouchers to remove any barriers to accessing treatment.
Recreation TherapyNew tables and white boards to continue to deliver quality programming and ensure patients are in a safe and welcoming environment. A new toaster oven to enhance current food program (promote healthy eating, reintegration back into community and fine motor skills).
Recreation TherapyNew arm chairs to reduce risks of falls and improved comfort and relaxation
Recreation TherapyNew clock radios to replace worn and dated clocks. Activities and supplies to provide meaningful engagement and foster feelings of relaxation and purpose.
Satellite Health FacilityArm/leg pedal machine for patients to strengthen their upper and lower body strength as well as improve cardiovascular health.
Satellite HemodialysisHeated blankets and headphones to provide comfort and entertainment for patients undergoing treatment. Gift cards for patients who are struggling with food security. Reusable grocery bags for patients to help carry their needed items back and forth for treatments.
SCIS, ACTT2Gift cards for our most vulnerable patients to purchase basic necessities to improve their physical and mental well-being.
SCIS, HN ACTT14 pairs of winter boots for patients in need. Gift cards to help patients purchase nutritious food and basic necessities.
Special Care NurseryDevelopmental toys for infants aged 2-18 months to monitor their growth and development.
Stay Well ProgramFans, whiteboards, adaptive equipment and new music to improve programming. This will help to keep clients motivated to attend classes and maintain or increase their current level of physical function and independence.
Stay Well ProgramAn additional NuStep Recumbent Trainer to be able to accommodate more clients within the program.
Transitional Outpatient Program, Schizophrenia ServiceHaircut gift cards for clients in need. This will help to enhance their self-image, foster confidence and support their overall well-being.
Urgent CareTV, charging station and children’s activities to improve the experience and offer comfort for patients and families waiting in urgent care.
Womankind Addiction ServiceStress and anxiety reducing items such as stress balls, fidget spinners, meditation books, weighted blankets, and kinetic sand zen gardens.
Women’s Health Centre & OBSPChairs and a TV offering some entertainment and creating a more comfortable, calming environment for patients undergoing treatment.
Women’s Health Concerns ClinicFunds to cover gym space rentals to provide peer support activities for clients and their babies. Additional funds were granted to develop baby care packages (diapers, formula and clothes) for low-income clients.
YASUPArt supplies for the expansion of a weekly drop in program. The program consists of peer led discussions with impromptu one-on-one sessions. Additional funding was granted to support the participation of community events (e.g. a booth on Overdose Awareness Day).
Youth Wellness CentreCreate Distress Tolerance Kits containing a range of items to help youth cope with overwhelming emotions (ice masks, sensory items, comfort supplies, printed resources). These kits will be distributed to youth who seek to learn how to regulate their emotions and allows the team to offer practical and immediate resources to support this. Additional funding was granted to supply a “Take What You Need” basket to help meet the essential and diverse needs of clients.

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