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$5M donation means better care for Island residents at Greater Victoria hospitals

Foundation’s biggest donor, Lai family, donates $8M to date
Relatives of Wilson S.C. Lai join care providers, Island Health board chair Leah Hollins, Island Health president and CEO Kathy MacNeil, hospitals foundation board chair Tom Siemens, and executive director Avery Brohman to celebrate a $5-million gift to Victoria hospitals. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)

One family’s $5-million gift is helping Victoria Hospitals Foundation transform care for Islanders.

The Lai family members say they are driven by a motto – “Derived from Society, Giving Back to Society.” The latest donation of $5 million through the Wilson S.C. Lai Trust, does just that by giving back to society through the Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals.

“(It’s) a gift back to the community and to thank our care teams for all they do in support of our community, and to continue to establish strong hospitals on the Island. We hope others can join us in this season of giving in appreciating our doctors, nurses, and healthcare teams,” the family said in a statement.

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The first $3 million advances critical care, including supporting the first High Acuity Unit at Victoria General Hospital. The unit provides intermediate care between the intensive and acute care units. Island Health was the only health authority without a High Acuity Unit until donors, including the Lai family, offered Royal Jubilee Hospital a permanent unit in 2020/21.

“This generous gift comes at a time when it will make such a difference in our hospitals, not only for patient care but as a reminder to our Island Health family that the community deeply values their tireless efforts,” Island Health board chair Leah Hollins said.

The remaining $2 million will support advanced equipment needs and supplement the Lai Family Scholarship Fund, which has supported 325 Island Health employees since 2013.

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The Lai brothers’ charitable endeavours are inspired by their grandparents, who always provided assistance and support to the less fortunate in their village near the city of Canton, China. With $8 million in donations to date, the Lai family remains the largest donor in Victoria Hospitals Foundation history.

“This incredible display of generosity is philanthropy in its purest form. The Lai family has become part of our family at VHF, and it deeply resonates that this gift is helping many, many other families in our community through a gift that is so far-reaching. Future patients will benefit for years from expanded services and equipment that this family has gifted us, and care teams will feel the gratitude and recognition they so deserve,” foundation executive director Avery Brohman said.

The Lai family hopes their donation creates momentum and encourages others to give back to the hospitals and care teams.

To make a contribution or for more information, visit or call 250-519-1750.

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About the Author: Oak Bay News Staff

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