Family CARE Grants

Helping fund the 'little' things that make a big difference to patient care

Imagine you work with children who are about to undergo the scary prospect of surgery. You’d probably think of ways of making the experience easier for them. Maybe a little red wagon to help bring them upstairs to the OR? But how would you make that happen?

We’re all familiar with the concept of a workplace suggestion box: you have an idea for making things better, fill out a form, and put it through the slot. The Volunteer Association / Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation Family CARE Grant is like that suggestion box except that it provides the funding needed to bring the idea to life.

“CARE” stands for “Care Advancements Recommended by Employees” – it’s a way to encourage ideas from front-line staff at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for improving patient care, and then provide them with up to $4,000 in funding to put their plans into action. The program honours the role employees play in patient care, and empowers them to make a difference.

july-27-2013-blanketwarmerTo date, there have been a wide variety of projects funded through Family CARE Grants including:

  • A blanket warmer for patients waiting in Diagnostic Imaging
  • An armbicycle used in the Rehabilitation Department
  • The restoration and installation of a York Wilson mural on the third floor of the Health Sciences Centre
  • And (yes!) even a fleet of little red wagons as a fun mode of transportation for children going up to the operating room.

The only stipulations for the Family CARE Grant are that it has to improve patient care or the patient care environment at the Health Sciences Centre in some way, and that funding cannot exceed $4,000 (although larger requests are sometimes considered).

Each year, the program provides up to $60,000 in funding, with preference going to those projects that demonstrate the greatest patient need and benefit. These funds – $30,000 contributed by the Volunteer Association and $30,000 by the Health Sciences Foundation – come directly from our generous donors, many of whom designate their donations directly to the Family CARE Grant program.

Help Us Fund The Next “Little Red Wagon”!

For more information about the Family CARE Grants program or to donate to the program, please call the Health Sciences Foundation at (807) 345-4673. You can also donate online. Please specify that you'd like to donate to this program.


Apply for a Family CARE Grant

Employees who wish to make an application for a Family CARE Grant should download the form below, come by the Health Sciences Foundation office, or contact us at (807) 345-4673.

Download Application

2020 Family CARE Grants

For the 12th year in a row, staff at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre applied for Family CARE grants for the ‘little things’ that can make a significant difference to patient care. Thanks to funding provided by donors to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation along with the Volunteer Association to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, this year over $61,000 was provided to fund 24 Family CARE (Care Advancements Recommended by Employees) Grants.

Here's a list of the funded 2019 grants!

1A Medical Oncology Unit

  • Tympanic Thermometers x 14 ($3,500.00)
  • High Back Chairs x 4 ($3683.80)

2C Stroke Unit

  • E-Z Type II Transfer Disk ($988.75)
  • Platform Walker with Accessories ($2,085.00)


  • Commode Chairs x 4 ($3,718.32)


  • Patient Room side chairs x 16 ($3,600.00)

Child Life - Paediatrics

  • Children's Push Vehicles ($2,030.55)

Maternal Newborn

  • Newborn Cotton Baby Hats ($4,045.50)

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

  • Sounds Ear Noize Activated Warning Signs ($1,539.00)

NWO Regional Stroke Network

  • Creation of Video for Stroke Patients ($4,000.00)

Operating Room

  • High Definition Sinuscope (0 Degree) ($3,500.00)
  • Applied Scope Warmer Bottles and Bases x 8 ($3,984.29)
  • Compact Sized Blanket Warmer ($3,559.50)

Palliative Care

  • Williams Sound Pocket Talker and Amplifier x 4 ($800.00)

Regional Cancer Program Outpatient Clinics

  • Tympanic Thermometers & Berrcom IR Thermometers x 5 ($1,774.10)


  • EVA Platform Walker with Accessories x 3 ($6,255.00)
  • E-Z Type II Transfer Disk ($988.75)
  • Physio Trainer Pro UBE Chair Bike/Utility Cart ($2,699.43)
  • Small Bariatric Staircase ($1,237.35)
  • Bowflex Extreme 2 Total Gym with Attachments & Accessories ($3,766.18)

Renal Services

  • Miscellaneous Items for Home treatment option ($2,688.92)

Women & Children's Program

  • Oculus GO VR System ($1,148.07)


2019 Family CARE Grants

Here's a list of the funded 2019 grants!

1A Medical Oncology Unit

  • Chemotherapy Chairs x 2 ($3,981.22)
  • Commodes x 3 ($525.85)
  • High Back Chairs x 5 ($3,351.85)
  • Tympanic Thermometers x 10 ($2,011.40)
  • Motion Activated Bedside Lights x 49 ($2,324.99)
  • 3-in-1 Commode & Footrest ($1,050.43)

2A Medical/Renal Unit

  • Fall Mat with Sensor x 10 ($2,398.90)
  • Bedside Lamps x 10 ($386.40)

2B Medical Impatient Unit

  • Seat Belt Alarms x 10 ($1,714.00)
  • Inflatable Shampoo Basins x 6 ($511.00)

3C Surgical Unit

  • Pneumatic Support Walker with Oxygen Tank Holder ($2,527.63)

Adult Mental Health Unit

  • Anti Suicide Blankets x 5 and Smocks x 5 ($4,025.06)
  • Kitchen Stove, Sink, Dishwasher, and Sink Garbage Disposal ($3,226.15)
  • Guitar and Musical Instruments ($744.52)
  • Safehouse Nightstand ($1,369.04)

Cancer Program/Outpatient Clinic

  • Blood Pressure Unit, Anderoid Dial, obile Stand with Adult Cuff x 10 ($3,275.00)

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Unit

  • Interactive Panel Device ($3,785.00)

Emergency Department

  • Fetal Doppler ($536.75)
  • Speculum Light for Exams ($603.00)
  • Portable Cardiac & Oxygen Monitor ($3,950.00)
  • Toilet Safety Rail ($695.00)

Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)

  • Alzheimer's/Dementia Activity Blankets x 5 and Pillows x 5 ($696.45)

Indigenous Collaboration

  • 20 ft Tipi with Storage Shed, Birch Firewood, and Swiss Army Blankets x 20 ($3,997.00)

Intensive Care Unit

  • Overbed Tables x 11 ($2,685.38)

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

  • Breast Pump with Trolly x 2 ($5,000.00)

Operating Room

  • Vac-Pac Surgical Positioning System ($881.00)
  • Armboards for Spine Bed ($4,517.74)

Perioperative Services

  • Bulkamid Scope & Sterilization Containers ($3,450.00)

Rehab Services

  • Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablets x 5 ($226.00)

Renal/Kidney Clinic

  • Folding Metal Patient Walker ($89.99)

Surgical Day Care

  • Free-Standing Bar Fridge ($451.99)