Thanks to the generosity of the community, more than 370 pieces of urgently needed medical equipment were funded last year to help local hospitals provide care to all 800,000 residents of Vancouver Island. In 2018/19, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation received over $12 million, including gifts from over 4,000 donors. (Photo provided by Victoria Hospitals Foundation)

Victoria hospitals get $1-million boost from local businessman’s estate

Donation from Wilson Lai Trust will fund critical equipment for surgical procedures

Critical care at Victoria’s hospitals got a $1-million boost thanks to the generosity of a late Victoria businessman.

Trustees for the Wilson Lai (2016) Trust made a $1 million donation to The Victoria Hospitals Foundation (VHF) to fund critical equipment in the Medical Device Reprocessing departments at Royal Jubilee (RJH) and Victoria General (VGH) hospitals.

Lai was a successful businessman and left his estate to advance charitable causes in Canada, as well as overseas. His family’s motto – translated to Received from Society, Giving Back to Society – led many charitable initiatives throughout Lai’s life, including this gift.

ALSO READ: Significant donation boosts Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s most ambitious fundraising campaign

To honour Lai’s generosity, the 7 North surgical recovery unit in the Patient Care Centre at RJH will be renamed the Wilson S.C. Lai Surgical Unit in the coming months.

“Because of Mr. Lai’s remarkable gift, critical equipment that could no longer be serviced is now being replaced to support every surgery performed in our hospitals,” said Avery Brohman, executive director of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. “We are deeply grateful for Mr. Lai’s ongoing generosity and legacy. What a humbling reminder that we have many heroes to thank for advancing health care in our Victoria hospitals, both in the community and on the frontline. On behalf of all who are benefiting, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

The donation will fund a new cart washer for the Medical Device Reprocessing Department at RJH and a new sterilizer at VGH. This crucial equipment was identified as a priority need by Island Health, and supports the cleaning and sterilizing of surgical equipment for thousands of surgeries every year. The Lai family viewed this equipment first-hand prior to COVID-19 and saw how their gift was already making a difference.

The Lai family has been supporting health care in Victoria for more than 15 years, funding many pieces of medical equipment and staff education to support care providers throughout Island Health who wish to advance their skills. The generosity of the Lai family has funded scholarships for nurses to help with advanced education for critical work in emergency departments and intensive care units. This was recognized by the naming of the Lai Brothers Lecture Theatre at RJH.

Donors fund 40 per cent of the equipment in Victoria’s hospitals, and are instrumental in supporting vital equipment, research and education initiatives in the community.

ALSO READ: Foundation funds High Acuity Unit for Royal Jubilee Hospital to support COVID-19 patients

Inspired by frontline caregivers and hospital staff at RJH and VGH, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation has launched Hospital Heroes of Victoria, a fundraising and awareness initiative that celebrates health care professionals. Funds raised support local hospitals’ Greatest Need Fund so care teams have access to any immediate support they may require as identified by Island Health, and the newly launched It’s Critical campaign. That campaign highlights VHF’s commitment for $1 million invested in critical care equipment today, and $6 million towards the first High Acuity Unit for Vancouver Island. It’s Critical will nearly double critical care capacity at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

To help honour health care workers and give back to hospitals, visit www.victoriahf.ca/hospitalheroes or call 250-519-1750.

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca

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