What if your generosity could help reduce a family’s stress and anxiety in their hardest moments? What if your donation helped bring the comforts of home to the hospital?


Every year, many generous donors do just that by ensuring $100,000 in QEII Foundation Comfort & Care grants can be awarded to healthcare teams — funding little items that make a big difference for patients and their families. One-hundred per cent donor-funded, these grants help purchase everything from stationary bikes for dialysis patients to starlight projectors that simulate the night sky around a hospital bed.


Awarded every summer by the QEII Foundation, healthcare staff and physicians apply for these one-time grants to improve the patient experience.


We recently spoke with Michelle Morrison, health services manager of the QEII’s Coronary Care Unit (CCU) and the Cardiology IMCU. Last year, the CCU team was one of 44 departments who received a QEII Foundation Comfort & Care grant. In this Q&A, Michelle highlights the impact they’ve witnessed firsthand through these donor-funded items.


Q: What kind of patients does the QEII’s Coronary Care Unit (CCU) treat?

A: Our CCU team cares for patients and their families on some of their toughest days. Each year, more than 1,700 patients from across Atlantic Canada arrive in our CCU, sometimes by air ambulance and, often, in critical condition following a heart attack or life-threatening heart event.


They are sent to our CCU for assessment and evaluation. Often, CCU patients proceed to one of our Cardiac Cath Labs for a life-changing procedure, then return to the CCU for their initial care needs.


Q: What is the medical team environment like in the CCU?

A: We have very experienced registered nurses working in this critical care area and a complement of allied healthcare providers supporting this care. We rely heavily on this multidisciplinary team to help us provide care and navigate the continuum of care for our patients.


Q: What items has the CCU received through QEII Foundation Comfort & Care grants?

A: Over the years, there have been many items within the CCU that were made possible thanks to QEII Foundation Comfort & Care grants. This includes everything from blanket warmers to help comfort a patient after their heart procedure to sleeper chairs that easily convert to a cot, allowing a patient’s loved one to sleep next to their bedside.


Last year, donors enabled the purchase of much-needed furniture for our CCU family room. This is a quiet, private space where families spend long hours and overnights, anxiously awaiting news while their loved one receives life-saving cardiac care. This family room space will be home to new comfortable chairs — increasing the amount of seating for families and allowing a patient’s loved ones to rest and stay close by, 24 hours a day. This is critical for both the family and the patient.


Q: Have these donor-funded items made a difference for patients and their families?

A: Items like comfortable furniture may seem small, but they really do have a big impact during difficult moments. To a family who needs a comfortable, private space that’s close to their loved one who may have just arrived by air ambulance — those family room items can make a significant difference in their comfort, experience and ability to navigate an incredibly stressful time. Any one of us can relate to that.


Q: Why should donors support QEII Foundation Comfort & Care grants?

A: From my perspective, these grants provide care teams with the resources to enhance patient and family comfort and fund items that otherwise wouldn’t be available to our teams. In our case, having a calm and comfortable environment in a critical care area certainly helps to relieve stress and anxiety for both the patient and their family. I know we’re one of many teams who see the impact of these donor-funded items each day.

To learn more about QEII Foundation Comfort & Care grants or to donate today, visit QE2Foundation.ca/ComfortCare or call 902 334 1546.