Where Do Families Come From?
The official catchment area for the Kingston
hospitals extends from Brighton in the east to Brockville in
the west, and from the American border to the far north of Ontario.
But this does not tell the whole story, since it is not unusual
for patients to be transferred from much farther away when hospitals
in Sudbury, London, or Toronto are full.
Sometimes children come from even farther
away. The trans-Canada highway passes through Kingston, and
motor-vehicle accidents unfortunately account for a significant
fraction of children who use Almost Home. Kingston is also a
popular tourist destination in its own right, but illness and
accidents do not take vacations. Our distance record is a family
from East Timor in Southeast Asia!
Long distances to Kingston pose special problems
for children being treated as outpatients. Appointments start
as early as 7:00am, even for families who may be a three-hour
drive from Kingston. Children who could be discharged to a home
in Kingston may be held overnight if their community has no
In both these examples, Almost Home provides a place for the
child to stay in a home-like environment, rather than spending
a night in hospital solely because they live too far away.