Women in Action Prioritizing Privacy


Women in Action recently granted $40,000 to the Emergency Department at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre to fund items related to maintaining patient privacy.

By Heather Vita - May 15, 2019

It was time to ‘Seis the Day’ on May 6 as Women in Action celebrated Cinco de Mayo, albeit a day late. And seize the day they did, granting $40,000 from their members to the Emergency Department at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre to fund items that will enhance patient privacy in that busy department.

Formed in 2016, Women in Action is a united membership of dynamic and dedicated women with a shared philanthropic interest of improving healthcare at the Health Sciences Centre. Now 135 members strong, they continue to have a tremendous impact on enhanced patient care in the Emergency Department. All members pay an annual fee of a minimum of $500 and all fees are directly granted back to the Health Sciences Centre to a project that’s voted on by all members. These grants are made possible thanks to the ongoing sponsorship of Women in Action by Northern Credit Union.

This year, voting was held on May 6 and members overwhelmingly decided to focus on patient privacy. Chair of Women in Action, Pam Peterson said, “We were presented with several very worthwhile funding requests from the Emergency Department and ultimately voted to fund new privacy curtains, privacy screens and a glass partition for a nursing station.”

Continued Peterson, “So many of us have either been patients in the Emergency Department, or found ourselves accompanying a family member there, and we know how exceptionally busy it can be in there. Privacy screens can be used to provide privacy for patients who may have to wait or be treated in the hallway. We also heard that these new screens are retractable and can be wiped down, which helps both with privacy and infection control.”

Added Peterson, “Just like in our homes, after lots of use, curtains can get worn down and need to be replaced. It’s the same in the Emergency Department, especially when you consider that the curtains separate beds and are used constantly. The ones in there now are extremely old and needed replacement and we felt that providing a fresh look to the curtains would ensure that patient privacy could be maintained as best as it can be.”

“And finally,” said Peterson, “we funded a new glass partition that will be installed along the front of the Nursing Station in B area. It was explained to us that patients can be placed in stretchers in the hallway in-front of the nursing station. When a Nurse in B area is working behind the desk, it's not uncommon for a patient to be sitting up in their stretcher, putting the nursing staff and patient in close proximity. This is often noisy for the patient as the nursing station is a busy place and patients may overhear confidential conversations and patients often place their food and/or drinks on the current counter. The glass partition is a win-win for both the patient and the nursing staff.”

This latest grant builds upon the $50,000 that Women in Action has already provided to the Emergency Department over the past two years – for reconfiguration of the Trauma Room to make it  a more patient-centred treatment space and for a renovation of the Resuscitation Room.

Of course Women in Action is always happy to welcome new members! Throughout the year members gather for fun events, and, once a year, get together to vote on what to fund in the Emergency Department.

Join now!
Online: healthsciencesfoundation.ca/wia
By Phone: 807-345-4673
*A charitable tax receipt will be provided for the full amount of the membership donation.

< back to articles