When The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) experienced a Code Orange — a mass casualty event — following the Westboro Station bus crash in January 2019, staff didn’t panic. They were well prepared despite tragedies like this one being rare.
That’s because the hospital’s staff regularly simulate life-or-death emergencies where coordination is key and lost seconds can mean everything.
Fortunately, The University of Ottawa’s Skills and Simulation Centre at The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus had conducted a Code Orange training session just weeks before the devastating crash north of Scott Street.
This training helped save lives. In fact, these education sessions happened thanks to previous support from RBC Foundation.
A $2.25M investment in training and wellness
Such complex and involved training requires ongoing funding, and a recent $2.25M investment by RBC Foundation to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation (TOHF) will ensure staff can continue keeping their skills sharp.
The Centre provides enhanced learning and skill development to train staff for emergencies, resulting in better preparation along with improved job satisfaction, career advancement opportunities, and reduced staff turnover.
But the gift will do more than fund the hospital’s simulation training. It will also help expand a series of innovative wellness initiatives at the hospital. This all helps drive recruitment and increases staff retention.
“Giving back to community is part of our DNA. This investment builds on RBC’s national focus on upskilling and supporting the wellness of health care professionals – especially those early in their careers. This will ultimately improve patient care for all of us and for our loved ones,” explains Marjolaine Hudon, RBC Regional president for Ontario North and East.
Corporate philanthropy vital
The Foundation’s president and CEO Tim Kluke says corporate support like that of RBC, as well as others like Deloitte Canada and Gabriel Pizza, has helped TOH become one of Canada’s largest teaching and research healthcare institutions. And it’s setting the stage for the future.
“We are very fortunate at The Ottawa Hospital — we’ve had an incredible partnership for many years with RBC,” adds Kluke. “This gift is part of a critical investment in our community. We’re changing the healthcare landscape.”
This kind of corporate support is helping fuel The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s Campaign to Create Tomorrow — which aims to raise $500 million for what will become one of Canada’s most modern, technologically advanced and accessible academic research hospitals.
Hudon says this most recent gift by RBC Foundation — the largest gift ever by a financial institution to TOH — continues the organization’s culture of corporate giving. RBC donates a minimum of one per cent of the company’s pre-tax profits to the community each year via RBC Foundation, and regularly measures the effectiveness of its donations.
“Giving back to community is part of our corporate social responsibility,” she explains, adding that the company donates around $140 million every year to charitable causes in Canada — with around $3 million each year directed to local Ottawa initiatives.
Hudon says this year’s gift was especially important due to the significance of the Campaign to Create Tomorrow and the impact it will have on the community.
The combination of having such a cutting-edge facility with programs to help build health-care resiliency and staff retention is a win-win for the city, adds Hudon.
“Having a leading facility that facilitates applied research is critical to what Canada’s fourth largest city deserves. There are huge economic benefits, and it will help attract and retain talented healthcare professionals, which we all benefit from.”