Emergency Department Social Worker sorting through supply closet

Christine Bradshaw, Emergency Department Social Worker, sorting the clothing supply closet.

 

Every day the employees in Mount Sinai Hospital’s Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Centre care for some of Toronto’s most marginalized patients who often have complex health needs. These patients may also face many non-health challenges such as inadequate clothing, which can present a barrier to safe and timely discharges. That’s why our Emergency Department has teamed up with a local charity called New Circles Community Services to provide clothing to those in need in our Emergency Department.

“In addition to helping improve patient flow through the department, providing clothing to those who need it is another way we care for our patients and offer them dignity as they leave our doors,” says Christine Bradshaw, Emergency Department Social Worker who navigates the complexities that may arise during discharge.

Christine says there are a number of reasons why patients require clothing, including not having a jacket, having soiled clothing and everything in between. “One time a patient was treated for a broken arm and he was unable to put his jacket back on. Because of this partnership with New Circles, I was able to find a tailored solution so he could go home comfortably on a cold winter day.” There’s still a need for clothing during the warmer summer months, she added.

While New Circles’ primary purpose is to provide basic necessities for low-income communities in Toronto, it graciously provides Mount Sinai with freshly laundered and folded clothing to help us serve our patients better. Last year alone, New Circles met the basic clothing needs of over 12,000 Torontonians. In our Emergency Department, we have a selection of clothing and regularly receive deliveries when supplies run low so we can continue to meet patients’ needs.

Mount Sinai staff can support New Circles and the patients we serve through financial and/or clothing donations. Stay tuned for more information about a clothing drive later this summer, or  learn more about how you can get involved here.

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