By Angela Chapman
In March the world seemingly stopped. Plans were cancelled, some of our favourite places closed, and we all learned how to estimate two metres of distance.
But while all this stopping and staying home happened, all across our communities, people were stepping up.
Medical experts at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and other health care centres across the province swiftly pivoted their approach, transforming hospitals in order to best treat COVID-19, all while keeping health care teams and their patients safe.
At VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, our community has shown an incredible outpouring of support from nearly 2,500 donors, contributing more than $2.7 million to COVID-19 related funds. These donations are impacting health care workers on the front lines and funding world-class researchers, who are working tirelessly to uncover the mystery of this disease.
For 40 years, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation has been the philanthropic engine for health innovation in B.C., supporting the most specialized care, groundbreaking research and system transformation across Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).
And with donor support, they will continue to be there for our health care partners, as we face an unprecedented challenge.
Researching new treatments
Now that we have flattened the curve in B.C., we are looking ahead at what is needed in order to return to normal quickly and safely. And the answer to this is accelerating research. This is why the Foundation is proud to be a part of the fight against COVID-19, working alongside our clinician-scientists who are making great strides right here in Vancouver to help patients worldwide.
Clinician-scientists like Dr. Myp Sekhon and Cheryl Wellington, PhD, who are leading a dedicated team of researchers in a donor-supported lab in characterizing changes in the immune system of COVID-19 infected patients.
This bench-to-bedside research is helping patients in our hospitals today. The information gathered at VGH as a part of this and other studies will also be made publicly available in order to inform other research, providing clearer paths to more impactful treatments, and potentially a cure.
Research into prevention and treatment is happening all across VCH in collaboration with national and international efforts.
This work will be crucial in allowing us to “take back normal.” One day we will be able to travel, to attend live sports and concerts, and to hug all of our loved ones. And donor support of local and international research projects will help us get there.
Health care needs philanthropy to beat COVID-19
B.C.’s health care system is strong, and in no small part because of our community. You have empowered us to continually transform health care and allow our health care heroes to do what they do best – improve and save lives.
The hospitals and health care centres which have been impacted by COVID-19 are now looking at replenishing supplies, supporting staff members in any way they need, and resuming non-essential care and rescheduling appointments that were previously cancelled.