COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund boosts wellness supports for health care workers

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by The CMA Foundation staff

One year in, health care workers continue to grapple with the stress and anxiety that comes with caring for patients during a pandemic. Providing space where staff can recharge, while also staying socially distant, is one way to help people cope. The need for such a refuge is what led to the creation of the Zen Den at a community hospital on BC’s Sunshine Coast.  

“It’s a serene oasis,” said Jane Macdonald, executive director of the Sechelt Hospital Foundation. “It offers them a chance to de-stress during breaks and before or after shifts.”

The tent — a yurt, to be exact — features comfy chairs, music and aromatherapy; it’s a welcome reprieve from the cramped and hectic 64-bed hospital. Even before COVID, the Sechelt Hospital was running overcapacity, serving a community of 32,000 with the second largest cohort of seniors in the province.

Macdonald said that along with stress reduction, the tent will help with staff recruitment and retention.

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.

The program — funded through the COVID-19 Community Hospital Fund — is just one of many ways hospitals across Canada are addressing burnout: