Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation Encourages Residents to Follow Their Heart

June 7, 2023

Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation Board & CEO (left to right; Cody Dreger, Greg Scott, Tony Harris, Barney Ellis-Perry, Dave Lindblad, Philip Birrer, Michael Smith, Anu Mayer (board members not in photo: Greg Phillips, Ryan Wenner, Moira Jenkins)

NANAIMO – It’s no secret, the population of British Columbia’s smaller cities has been increasing as Canadians leave behind busy lifestyles and follow their heart to find more balanced living. But with more people comes the need for better infrastructure.

“Our community is growing. If we are to care for everyone who needs us, our hospital needs to grow too,” said Tony Harris, Board Chair at the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation.

As advocates for the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation, the Board of Directors and Foundation staff engages the community in meaningful philanthropy to support the priority needs of the hospital and make advancements in care to improve the lives of patients and their families.

But the need has grown significantly in the last five years and very specific improvement are needed to accommodate the health require-ments of community residents.

Currently, the Vancouver Island Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is amongst the oldest in BC, serving more than 450,000 residents north of the Malahat. In spite of that, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s (NRGH) ICU still ranks near the top nationally for positive patient health outcomes.

NRGH New ICU Under Construction

“In 2019, the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation took on our most ambitious cam-paign to date,” said Harris. “To raise $5 million towards purchasing state-of-the-art medical equipment for NRGH’s new ICU.”
“We are happy to report that we have surpassed that goal.”

The new ICU will ensure the most critically ill in central and north Vancouver Island receive the highest level of care NRGH staff can provide in a bright, clean and open space with adequate resources and equipment. Just as important, it will also open the door for essential health care services to be brought to NRGH.

These milestones are being celebrated and, now that they have been reached, Harris and the team is tasked with raising another $5 Million for the High Acuity Unity, another critical space in the ICU that will provide improved care. The organization has embarked upon this new round of fundraising but needs the public’s help to satisfy these lofty goals.

“In the next 5 years, we will be continuing to engage community, build strategic partnerships, celebrate our donors and advocate for our incredibly dedicated healthcare providers that care for our friends, neighbours and loved ones,” said Harris.

“The need is great, and there are many ways corporations can partner with us, including: making a corporate donation, employee payroll deduction, corporate matching, special events,” said Harris. “People can also volunteer at an appreciation event for healthcare workers or sponsor an event, such as our signature Annual Golf for Life which this summer celebrates its 30th year.”

For Nanaimo residents, making an investment to the NRGH is making an investment in your community, in your wellbeing. Hospitals are often the core of a community and serve as an unwavering source of assistance and understanding.

Many BC residents have followed their heart to a new city or town. Now, community members must follow their heart and invest in their communities for a healthier, happier lifestyle and a brighter future.

By Tyler Nyquvest

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