Hospitals facing urgent COVID-19 needs are banding together to close funding “gaps” for their institutions and embattled health-care workers.

Dubbed “The Frontline Fund,” the national campaign seeks donations on behalf of more than 100 institutions across the country for supplies, staff support and research.

Organizers say the money would help hospitals source personal protective equipment and ventilators, fund drug trials and vaccine research, and provide mental-health support to exhausted staff. Ten per cent of funds will also go towards the northern territories and Indigenous health.

Steering committee member Caroline Riseboro, also CEO of Trillium Health Partners Foundation, says COVID-19 has raised unique needs that “wouldn’t necessarily be addressed through government funding.”

Examples of how the money could be spent include extra scrubs so caregivers can change their clothes before going home, or hotel rooms for frontline staff with immune-compromised relatives so they don’t have to fear bringing the virus home with them.

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Organizers say $8.5 million has already been promised by lead corporate partners. That includes $5 million from the Canadian Medical Association Foundation, $2.5 million from Maple Leaf Foods and $1 million from TD Bank Group.

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