Moving is a big job. Packing up a houseful of furniture, tools and knick knacks can take weeks. So imagine moving the contents of an entire hospital.
When staff from Hamilton Health Science’s Chedoke Campus moved to Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, not everything could go with them. Outdated tools, children’s play equipment and furniture that no longer met infection control standards needed to find a new home. The prospect of rehoming useable items and disposing of the rest was daunting. Patient equipment analyst Jay Moffatt, and his team, knew they had to find a way to keep the majority of the items out of landfills without breaking the tight budget they’d been allotted for emptying Chedoke.
“They wanted to make sure that this stuff was going to be used”
First, clinicians identified specific patients they knew would benefit from some of the items. Once those were distributed, staff began to put the word out to local schools and day cares, inviting those who were interested a chance to stop by and see if anything suited their needs.
Teachers and principals came from as far as Oakville to collect items for their classrooms.
Pat Codispodi, principal of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Elementary School, took a number of items, including a kid’s basketball net, an outdoor playground, small desk chairs and locking cabinets to store confidential files. He and his staff were incredibly thankful to receive the items, especially a set of books and tools for children with autism spectrum disorder.
“The furniture is one thing,” he says, “but what we have in terms of PCS symbols (shown above), those are not something you can just pick up so we’re certainly grateful.”
The the staff at Chedoke that had to part with these items are happy to know they will continue to benefit kids. “They wanted to make sure that this stuff was going to be used,” says Moffatt, “so it’s really satisfying.”
In addition to the school donations, more than three truck-loads of equipment including artificial limbs and assistive devices were sent to developing countries. Though the items no longer meet Canadian standards of care, they are in great condition and will benefit dozens of people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to prosthetics and orthotics.