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COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund supports hospital renovations to help prevent infection

When COVID-19 struck, hospitals rushed to implement strict hygiene protocols to protect patients and health care workers. Surgical and treatment areas were a top priority, but staff quickly realized that to control infection, they also needed to upgrade even the most innocuous items: waiting room chairs.  

At Almonte General Hospital — a 52-bed hospital east of Ottawa — chairs were spaced close together and upholstered with cloth. Not only did it hinder physical distancing, but the material supported microbial growth and was difficult to sanitize.

In January 2021, the problematic bench seating was replaced, and new chairs and shields were installed.

The CMA Foundation established the $5-million COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund to help hospitals with fewer than 100 beds. More than 80 hospitals across Canada received funding for renovations, equipment, wellness supports and other initiatives. Learn more.

“It allows for ease of physical distancing in our emergency, main lobby and rehabilitation areas,” said Patti Morton, integrated director of allied health at Almonte General Hospital. “The pieces clean easily and have been approved to stand up to hospital-grade disinfectant products …. The renovations were a morale booster.”

These upgrades — funded through the COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund — are just one of many ways hospitals across Canada are protecting their staff. Here are some of the projects supported by the fund:

Infographic map showing five hospitals in Canada with renovation programs. 1. Almonte, Ont. (Almonte General Hospital): Replaced cloth-covered furniture throughout the hospital to prevent infection. 2. Amos, Que. (Fondation Hospitalière d’Amos): Replaced wood furniture in the surgical suite with stainless steel carts that can be easily disinfected. 3. Barry’s Bay, Ont. (St. Francis Memorial Hospital): Redesigned and renovated the area that was annexed for COVID-19 because of overcrowding. 4. Burin, Nfld. (Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre): Upgraded wooden furnishings with metal and plastic. 5. Lower Sackville, N.S. (Cobequid Community Health Centre): Removed curtain doorways and replaced them with sliding doors and magnetic blinds.

About the author(s)

Originally established in 2005, the CMA Foundation is a registered charity, designated as a private foundation, whose sole member is the Canadian Medical Association. Its purpose is to provide impactful charitable giving to registered Canadian charities and qualified donees to further excellence in health care.

Profile Photo of The CMA Foundation staff