Addressing the need for increased COVID-19 testing in the GTA
St. Michael’s Hospital has served downtown Toronto for 128 years. Every year, the hospital cares for more than 1 million patients – no matter who they are or where they come from. Like the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, St. Michael’s recognizes the barriers that many individuals encounter accessing healthcare. About 30% of St. Michael’s patients fall within the lowest socioeconomic bracket and 6% of its patients experience homelessness and marginalization.
As one of the first COVID-19 assessment centres in Toronto, St. Michael’s needed the resources to respond to those impacted by COVID-19 while providing the quality of care its non-infected patients had always received. With more equipment, health teams could quickly and efficiently test more patients coming through the doors.
The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation’s grant of $150,000 helped St. Michael's Hospital purchase a comprehensive diagnostic testing machine, the BD MAX. Known for its fast processing time, the BD MAX enables St. Michael’s to care for its more vulnerable patients who need results as soon as possible. What’s more, it tests for viruses beyond COVID-19 and will be used for years to support the hospital’s testing needs.
The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation grant is helping St. Michael’s acquire such sustainable, long term equipment to offer a range of testing services and support to its diverse community of patients. With our help, St. Michael’s has been able to dramatically increase its COVID-19 testing – from 300 tests per week in March to over 2500 tests per week just four months later.
“Thanks to the generosity of the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, St. Michael’s Hospital is ramping up the volume and increasing the accuracy of our COVID-19 testing," says Lili Litwin, President of St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation. "Thanks to their support, we’ve purchased a BD Max machine, which means we can identify those who have been exposed to the virus and prevent its spread in high risk communities. This is crucial in helping St. Michael’s care for the marginalized communities we serve, including those experiencing homelessness, on whom the pandemic is taking a massive toll.”
The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation and St. Michael’s Hospital have a common goal: to build healthier communities and advance healthcare using cutting-edge technology. We’re proud to fund the BD MAX and support a healthier and friendly future for all.
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