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Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign $1 million shy of $7 million goal

It’s Critical aims to build Vancouver Island’s first high acuity unit
Dr. Omar Ahmad (left), Island Health’s department head of emergency and critical care medicine, Avery Brohman, Island Health’s executive director and Joe O’Rourke, Seaspan Victoria Shipyards vice president and general manager, announced a $2.65 million donation toward the Its Critical campaign on Nov. 17, 2020. (Victoria Hospitals Foundation photo)

A donation-matching pledge hopes to inspire the community to help Royal Jubilee Hospital fund building a new critical care unit.

Seaspan Victoria Shipyards and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation committed $2.65 million to the hospital’s It’s Critical fundraising campaign last November. That commitment included Seaspan and the Foundation matching donations made by the community, up to $500,000.

A Victoria Hospitals Foundation press release said that match announcement hopes to inspire the community into donating. The $7 million campaign is looking to nearly double the critical care capacity at the hospital and is currently about $1 million shy of its goal.

It’s Critical aims to build Vancouver Island’s first high acuity unit (HAU). The release said the unit provides an intermediate level of care for patients recovering from surgery, trauma, severe respiratory distress and those being treated for serious medical conditions such as COVID-19.

An interim high acuity unit that opened at the hospital in October 2020 has helped more than 185 patients.

“The HAU will help relieve pressure on the ICU and support Vancouver Island’s aging and growing population,” the release said. “The HAU is also a vital resource to manage hospitalization surges due to influenza, a pandemic response or mass casualty events.”

READ: It’s Critical hospital campaign gets $2.65M donation to advance Victoria critical care

“We are proud to play a role in transforming healthcare here, and we hope the community will join us in our mission to make the first permanent high acuity unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital a reality” said Joe O’Rourke, Seaspan Victoria Shipyard’s vice president and general manager.

The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation’s executive director said the pandemic has reminded people about the importance of families and loved ones having access to critical care.

“Improving the quality of life in our communities is something we deeply believe in,” said Mike Halligan. “Along with Seaspan, we look forward to matching the community’s donations to complete the It’s Critical campaign and bring this much-needed care to Vancouver Island.”

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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