Philanthropist and business mogul Jim Pattison has made a $30-million donation to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation in New Westminster, which will be directed towards the second phase of the hospital's redevelopment project.
A larger emergency ward and more intensive care and surgical beds are among the features.
Along with the demolition of some old buildings, including the recently demolished Sherbrooke tower, Phase 2 of the Royal Columbian Hospital redevelopment includes construction of a new acute care tower with more beds for intensive care, cardiac intensive care medicine and surgical patients.
It also includes a new, larger emergency department with a satellite medical imaging unit; more maternity beds and a maternity operating room; and a “super floor” in the existing health-care centre that includes three more operating rooms, three more intervention suites for cardiology, two more intervention suites for diagnostic radiology and one more MRI.
In honour of Pattison's historic donation, the tower will be named the Jim Pattison Acute Care Tower.
The project also includes the replacement of the old power plant, a new main entrance, a new rooftop helipad and an underground parkade with more than 350 stalls.
“We are honoured to join the thousands of other donors who have already stepped up to show their support to ensure that its legacy of exceptional care in our province is sustainable for future generations,” Pattison said in a news release.
The three-phase redevelopment carries a price tag of $1.49 billion.
“We want to express our sincere gratitude to Jim Pattison for this historical donation," Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation CEO Jeff Norris added.
"Royal Columbian Hospital serves B.C.’s biggest health region and this gift, the largest in our region’s history, will ensure we can provide exceptional care to the patients who rely on the Columbian. Upon completion, the Acute Care Tower will further elevate the life-saving care Royal Columbian Hospital already delivers to patients across the province."
Phase 1 of the Royal Columbian Hospital redevelopment project included the new 75-bed mental health and substance use wellness centre, which replaced the aging 30-bed Sherbrooke Centre. The wellness centre opened last summer.
Phase 3 of the project will upgrade and expand areas in the existing health-care centre and Columbia tower. That work is projected to start in 2023 and be completed in 2026.
By the time the redevelopment project is finished, the hospital will have added about 50 per cent more beds, an increase from 446 to 675, according to Fraser Health.
"Over the past 160 years, Royal Columbian has always been there to treat patients in their most critical moments,” site medical director Dr. Ken Atkinson explained in Wednesday's announcement.
“The new Acute Care Tower will transform patient care and outcomes in this province, thanks in large part to Jim Pattison and the thousands of other donors who have contributed to help ensure this vision for the future becomes a reality for generations to come."
With files from Theresa McManus, New West Record