Message from Kyle Shaen

Chair, Board of Directors, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation


March 27, 2019

As any inpatient knows, night time is a balance of light and darkness. You want it to be able to sleep, but at the same time, it’s important to have enough light to see if you have to get up at 2am.

One of our staff in the 3B surgical unit came up with the bright idea (pun intended) of motion sensor lights under the bed. Such a simple but effective solution! Now, the rooms can remain darker while patients are sleeping. But if they get up for any reason, their lamp will automatically turn on and light the way. It’s a significant improvement in patient safety and comfort.

I’m proud to say that the funding for this incredible idea came from the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation and Volunteer Association Family CARE (Care Advancements Recommended by Employees) Grants. Often, it’s the frontline staff members who come up with the best ideas on how to improve patient care. The Family CARE Grant program allows them to apply for funding to put their ideas into action.

Adding under-bed lights in 3B was just one of the 43 projects the Family CARE Grant program funded this year. Other projects included sleeper chairs for care partners visiting loved ones in palliative care, an emergency sterilization kit for the operating rooms, and toys for the Paediatric Department.

It’s the 10th year of the program, and it’s proven to be a great success. Here’s where I think the Family CARE Grant program is most interesting. Grants this year ranged from $86 to $4,495 – in other words, far below the most grant amounts in a hospital. Yet these “micro-grants” provide incredible bang for the buck. It really goes to show how a little can go a long way to improving patient care.

Every little bit counts from our donors, too. Many of our generous donors choose to give directly to the Family CARE Grant program because they fund small but vitally important items that can immediately improve patient care and safety.

You can, too! Simply visit our donor page (, select “Other” from the list of Designation choices, and type “Family CARE”. No matter what amount you give, you can be sure it’s making a difference.

You can find out more about the Family CARE Grant program including a complete list of this year’s projects at:

Thank you!

Kyle Shaen

< back to articles