April 6: Update from the President and CEO

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the critical importance of Manitoba’s health care system. I have watched events unfold, unprecedented in our lifetime, as this virus has spread to every part of our globe, arriving finally in our own back yard. As I write this, more than three-quarters of a million people worldwide have been infected, and tragically, tens of thousands have died. What will these grim numbers mean for Manitoba?

The weeks ahead will bring more uncertainty to many aspects of our lives, but one thing we can all be sure of is that Manitoba’s health care professionals stand ready to save lives and provide compassionate care to all in our province who need it. Our health care system is strong, and well-prepared.

St. Boniface Hospital will play an important role in this response effort. The restricted access in place at the Hospital entrances highlights that our caregivers are among those on the front lines of the fight against the virus.

While COVID-19 has dominated the news and our lives in recent weeks, it is important to remember that St. Boniface continues to serve thousands of Manitobans who face critical and complex conditions outside of the pandemic. The Hospital’s Cardiac Sciences Program continues to provide life-saving surgery; our Palliative Care Unit offers comfort to families; and our Woman and Child Program is first to welcome new joy into the world every day. These programs and more continue to need donors to support them – especially at this challenging time.

For patients in all areas, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation has been proud to work with the Hospital to improve their comfort and connection with the outside world. With the help of our business partners, the Foundation is working to expand patient access to bedside telephone service and bringing television into more of their Hospital rooms this spring.

In most cases, patients are not able to visit with friends and family, to prevent the spread of illness. With that in mind, we’re offering the Hospital’s Well Wishes program to anyone who wishes to contact a patient. You can send a message of support online, from stbonifacehospital.ca/visitors/well-wishes/.

We need your help – now, more than ever. The Foundation has established a new COVID-19 Response Fund to support the most urgent needs of St. Boniface Hospital. Already, through the generosity of our donors we have been able to support the Hospital in the purchase of equipment – including new handheld ultrasound devices – and other supplies to add to the safety of staff and patients alike. To everyone who has been a part of this effort, thank you for your generosity at this critical time.

The Hospital has been blessed with offers of food and comfort donations for our caregivers and front-line staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you would like to donate food in individually wrapped portions, please call the Foundation at 204-237-2067 or email info@stbhf.org for important guidelines and instructions. Restaurants may be eligible for an in-kind business receipt from the Foundation, or alternatively, can receive recognition from Foundation social media channels.

If you can help St. Boniface Hospital, we need your support. Your support means the world to front-line health care professionals and patients at St. Boniface Hospital.


Vince Barletta
President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation