VICTORIA -- The Victoria Hospitals Foundation has launched a new website that allows residents to donate or send messages of appreciation to health-care workers across the region.

The website, Hospital Heroes of Victoria, is designed to be a platform for community members to support the thousands of local health-care workers contributing to the fight against COVID-19.

According to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, more than 6,500 healthcare workers are working non-stop at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria General Hospital and Gorge Road Hospital to help amid the global pandemic.

The foundation adds that while hospital staff respond to the novel coronavirus, regular hospital visits – like heart attacks, car accidents and broken bones – continue, putting unprecedented stress on healthcare workers.

With extraordinary strain being placed on Victoria’s healthcare system, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation is asking for the community to provide donations to the Greatest Need Fund, which ensures local hospitals are equipped with priority equipment at all times.

“Right now, you can help ease this strain on our hospitals,” reads the Hospital Heroes of Victoria website.

“You can get them the vital funds they need to purchase priority equipment, when they need it, as directed by Island Health.”

Residents can also recognize specific health-care workers by nominating hospital staff under the “caring spirits” feature of the Hospital Heroes of Victoria website. 

The nomination will still contribute financially to local hospitals while also giving health-care workers recognition from the community and their colleagues.

Besides monetary donations, the foundation is encouraging residents to simply share messages of appreciation to frontline workers through the Hospital Heroes of Victoria website.

“In a very short time, the world around us looks quite different. But, what remains a constant is the dedication of our hospital teams, their dedication to health, to our community, to you,” said Victoria Hospitals Foundation executive director Avery Brohman.

“In the simplest but most sincere of words: our frontline caregivers and hospital staff are our heroes.”

The Hospital Heroes of Victoria website can be found online here