When the Western Health Foundation reached out to the local community to help bolster the response of Western Health to the COVID-19 crisis, we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity and kindness from so many people.
In addition to providing donations to fund specialised equipment for the treatment of patients with COVID-19, as well as essential care items for vulnerable patients, supporters also sent through hundreds of messages of support, giving our frontline healthcare workers a much-needed moral boost in the face of the unfolding crisis. The messages were shared across the organisation in staff wellbeing rooms, through the hospital Intranet and on social media.
"It is a real testament to the generosity and connectedness of our community that even during these challenging times we still give so selflessly," says Julia White, Director Western Health Foundation.
"We are so very grateful to everyone who has made a donation or sent through words of encouragement. The last few months have been immensely challenging for all of us, and having the community behind us as we work through this pandemic has meant so much."
Launched in March, the Western Health Emergency Response Fund has assisted the Foundation to contribute over $300,000 towards the purchase of essential medical equipment to support staff and patients during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as providing practical support to some of our more vulnerable patients.
Donations so far have assisted with:
Three video laryngoscopes – a device that enables doctors to safely examine a patients lungs from a safe distance who may be experiencing respiratory difficulties due to COVID-19 complications.
200 Halo mask respirators for staff working on the frontline. The cutting-edge design, which includes an air filter powered by a rechargeable battery, means the masks can be worn comfortably by ICU and emergency staff for long hours.
Funding of the initial pilot and patient trials of the COVID-19 protective hood designed by Associate Professor Forbes McGain and researchers from the University of Melbourne. Fitted with a fan and extractor, this innovative design filters up to 99.99% of contaminants from the air to contain the droplet spread of coronavirus within Intensive Care Units.
Groceries and essential care items for patients in need identified through the BreastWest and Greatest Need support programs.
The setup of Western Health staff wellbeing rooms at Sunshine, Footscray and Williamstown to provide a relaxing and supportive environment for staff working long-hours on the frontline.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold across our community, the Western Health Foundation remains focussed on raising funds to support the response of Western Health.
"As its name implies, donations to the Western Health Emergency Response Fund allow us to respond quickly when and where it is needed most," says Julia.
"We do not know for how long this situation will continue. Having the resources on hand to purchase equipment, or to provide emergency support to patients when needed, gives us the reassurance that we can meet the needs of those in our community."
Donations to the Western Health Emergency Response Fund can be made here.