“The Jeffrey Dawson Lifeline to Palliative Care Program”

“The Jeffrey Dawson Lifeline to Palliative Care Program” was created to honour an esteemed supporter, champion and advocate of Emily’s House, Jeffrey Dawson.  Leadership donor support made in Jeff’s name has made it possible for Emily’s House to install a new Nurse Call Communications System, plus cover an additional $45,000 towards clinical equipment costs for 2020.

Jeff and his wife Janice first supported Emily’s House in 2015 with a personal donation through the Toronto Foundation. Since then, he has been instrumental in grant applications submitted, sponsored, and funded by other donors; most recently, he inspired the 2020 gift of “The Jeffrey Dawson Lifeline to Palliative Care Program.” While the first gift was realized in 2015, Jeff’s impact will continue for the lifetime of the new Nurse Call Communications System; and, hopefully, he will continue to be an inspiration to others to give to Emily’s House for years to come.

Jeff has a heart for children, people in need of complex medical care, for families who outlive their children, and for Emily’s House children’s hospice in Toronto. In the past, he has influenced the donation of gifts of vital medical equipment and programming supports for children and families, as well as to children’s recreation and art programming at Emily’s House. He explains: Where hospitals and established charities have secure funding bases, it is vitally important to consider new projects and grassroots initiatives where there is a gap that needs to be filled – to build awareness, core funding and sustainability. I can't even fathom having a child of our own in a similar situation. However we can help … we will.  Our hearts go out to all families with children who have life-limiting illnesses. We are grateful that Emily’s House is there for them.”

“We are very grateful for the support of Jeffrey Dawson. Compassionate care begins with individuals who have a heart for hospice,” says Rauni Salminen, C.E.O., Emily’s House and Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care: “When there is no cure – there is still care and support…there is hospice.” 

The new Nurse Call Communications System, at the core of “The Jeffrey Dawson Lifeline to Palliative Care Program,” will enable real-time, crisis and risk communications from patient rooms to nursing stations, and to nurses accessible by hand-held phone sets who may be working anywhere within the ten-bed, four-level children’s hospice. “Since its implementation families have been able to reach the nursing station in a timely and reliable manner,” explains Sandra Ross, Director of Clinical Programs, Emily’s House. “Communication within the house is vastly improved as is the communication with outside providers. Gone are the errors attributable to ‘broken telephone.’  Nurses and doctors can now have meaningful discussions and generate plans of care for our fragile population. Moreover, through expanding the nurse alert to the third floor, all staff in the house have the ability to respond to emergencies in real time.” Currently in our sixth year of operation as Canada’s sixth paediatric hospice, and supporting increasingly complex care needs of clients, our medical equipment is aging and subject to 24/7, high-use wear-and-tear.  Medical equipment required for this level of critical care is ideally replaced every six-to-ten years, to ensure optimal performance in the monitoring of end-of-life vitals for children in our care, as well as for safety and quality assurance purposes.

Emily’s House, Toronto’s first pediatric residential hospice, opened in July 2013, in response to the special needs of children facing the challenges of living with a life-limiting illness and their families.  Emily’s House offers specialized paediatric hospice care, as well as play, art and recreation programs to help enrich lives through all stages of a child’s illness.  (emilyshouse.ca)