Nipissing University partners with North Bay Regional Health Centre to offer temporary accommodations for frontline workers
North Bay, ON – Nipissing University is partnering with the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) to provide temporary accommodations in its vacant residences for healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our local frontline healthcare workers, many of whom are alumni of our institution, need all of our support right now as they work to keep our community safe,” said Dr. Mike DeGagné, President and Vice-Chancellor, Nipissing University. “As a university, we have been seeking ways to serve our community during this time and are pleased that we are able to assist in providing a safe space for healthcare workers to get some much needed rest while keeping their families, and our community, safe.”
Nipissing University was in contact with the NBRHC at the onset of the pandemic to discuss ways to offer meaningful support to the hospital and its employees. Through these conversations, a significant gap identified was the availability of temporary accommodation for healthcare professionals who need to self-isolate from their families while caring for patients. As students have been moving out of residence, the University identified an opportunity for a few of its buildings to be repurposed to address the housing gap for Health Centre staff.
Four suites at the Monastery have now been made available for the Health Centre’s use in addition to 55 suites in the Founders House Residence. Two individuals can be accommodated in each four-room suite, ensuring a private washroom for each occupant to maintain appropriate physical distancing. After the emergency passes, the space will go through a deep cleaning and sanitization process before being occupied by students. Accommodations are being provided at no cost to the hospital.
“This partnership is a testament to our community’s support of frontline healthcare workers by implementing innovative ideas to address the unique demands that our hospital is experiencing during the pandemic. These accommodations will help workers get the rest they need and protect their families who may be vulnerable,” shared Tammy Morison, President and CEO, NBRHC Foundation. “We are grateful for this generous donation at this critical time,” she added.
“In making these arrangements, the health and safety of our students remains paramount and every precaution will be taken to ensure the suites will be ready for student use again in the future,” said Assistant Vice-President, Students, Dr. Casey Phillips. “In the meantime, we are happy and honoured be able to address this pressing need in our community during this challenging time.”
Nipissing University’s efforts to support the community are ongoing. Earlier this month, the University responded to the Health Centre’s call for personal protective equipment with a donation of gloves, goggles, wipes, N95 masks and a ventilator.
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