VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation today announced a $250,000 donation to support a number of community healthcare leaders in their COVID-19 response for homeless and marginalized citizens across Canada. The funding will bolster efforts to provide a multitude of services, including COVID-19 assessments; triage service at temporary isolation shelters; and personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to ensure a clean and safe environment for patients and clinicians. With the spread of COVID-19 persisting and more than 235,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in Canada each year, these services are crucial to help vulnerable populations through the pandemic.
“During this global health emergency, our team’s unwavering commitment to helping those in our communities who need our support the most has never been more evident as we leverage our technology and resources to improve the health outcomes for some of our most underserved and at-risk citizens,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO, TELUS. “Now, more than ever, it is critical that every Canadian have access to healthcare when and where they need it, regardless of their socio-economic status. This contribution from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation will further bolster the efforts of these frontline health organizations as they respond meaningfully to this crisis. It is a privilege to be supporting our community partners as they work tirelessly to provide comfort and care to some of the most vulnerable amongst us.”
“This pandemic has underscored the importance of having robust virtual health capacity to complement our extraordinary healthcare teams. Healthcare workers are a finite and precious resource, and the money the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation is granting us will help amplify and extend the reach of healthcare professionals to vulnerable patients who cannot be in hospital,” said Jane Adams, CEO, Surrey Hospital Foundation, British Columbia.
“While the health and shelter accommodations at Edmonton Expo Isolation Shelter will provide our marginalized clientele with a safe space to seek treatment, isolate, and recover, the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation’s generous support will provide the means to make the space more comfortable and provide necessary support for our clients – from funding basic clothing, hygiene items, reading materials, crafts, to providing telephones to connect with family and friends, and technology to provide movies and other entertainment to pass the time in isolation,” said Jackie Liu, Director of operations at the Boyle McCauley Health Centre, Alberta.
“Maintaining frontline health and support services to the homeless and precariously housed in our community is absolutely essential, and this funding will help ensure that Sanguen Health and our partners can continue to provide much needed care during these unprecedented times,” said Dr. Chris Steingart, Executive Director & Founder, Sanguen Health in the Waterloo Region, Ontario.
“We thank the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation for recognizing the humanitarian expertise and proximity approach of Médecins du Monde Canada and for contributing to the collective COVID-19 pandemic efforts. More than ever, we are working with public health authorities and community partners to protect and care for people who are experiencing homelessness. Thanks to the Foundation’s support, we can provide them with preventive and essential care, as well as referrals to the health system,” said Dr. Nicolas Bergeron, President, Médecins du Monde, based in Quebec.
In addition to financial support from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, TELUS has extended support to its TELUS Health for Good™ partners by repurposing the Mobile Health Clinics powered by TELUS Health, aiding in the response to the COVID-19 health crisis. The TELUS Health for Good program is the result of an innovative partnership approach between TELUS, charitable organizations and other community leaders in healthcare across Canada. The program helps to remove many of the barriers that Canadians living on the streets face in receiving medical care, and supports over 20,000 patient interventions per year nationwide. For more information on the TELUS Health for Good program and partners, visit telus.com/healthforgood.
This $250,000 donation is the latest contribution by TELUS Friendly Future Foundation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation announced a $10 million commitment to help urgently support and enhance public healthcare capacity and community response across Canada including purchasing new medical technology and equipment, such as ventilators, as well as increased support for food security, outreach to isolated seniors, virtual education programs, and mental health initiatives.
For the latest information about TELUS’ support during the crisis, visit telus.com/covid19.