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Monthly and legacy donor profile: Helen Heaney


“I am forever grateful to VGH. It would be good if everyone gave monthly!” Helen Heaney Genetics were against Jim Heaney from the beginning, says his wife, Helen. “Jim had a family history of heart problems – his father died at age 62 and his mother at 39,” she says. “But thanks to the wonderful doctors at VGH, I had Jim longer than I could have hoped. It was a miracle I had him for as long as I did.” The care and treatment Jim received at VGH inspired Helen to become a monthly supporter. She wanted to show her gratitude and help ensure others could receive the same high quality of care. “A friend of mine told me about monthly giving and I am very grateful I can give every month,” says Helen. “If you wait until the end of the year, you don’t seem to have any money to spare.”

Helen has also made arrangements for a gift in her will to ensure that future generations will receive the same specialized care as her family.


If you’re interested in making a gift to our hospitals in your will, please call Charlene Taylor, Associate Director, Planned Giving, at 604.875.4917. If you’re interested in joining our monthly giving program, please call Patricia St. Laurent at 604.875.4676, or use the gift form on Page 3.

Helen also credits VGH for saving her son’s life five years ago when he went into cardiac arrest in VGH’s Emergency Room. “With his family history, David knew he was having a heart attack,” says Helen. Only 40 at the time, he was rushed to VGH. “Dr. Graham Wong saved David’s life and is treating him now.”


Like many of our dedicated monthly supporters, Helen is proud to make an ongoing difference in memory of her husband. “I think of Jimmy every month when I see the donation on my credit card statement. I am forever grateful to VGH. I want to make sure that everyone is aware they can give monthly.”

One step closer...Donors are coming together to make the new Mental Health Pavilion at VGH a reality

–Roger, former patient

 „ 9Yes! I will support B.C.’s hospitals. …

My cheque payable to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is enclosed.

… I have made a gift in my will to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation

Q Please charge my gift to my credit card once only: Q

… Please send me information about making a gift in my will to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. Credit Card #


Q / Exp. Date

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VGH & UBC HOSPITAL FOUNDATION 855 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9 1.877.875.4676 or 604.875.4676 E-mail: Website: Charitable Registration number 13217 3063 RR 0001

Summer 2011

In This Issue: Pg. 2 Thank you from Dr. Vinay Dhingra & Current Needs Pg. 3 How Your Gifts Have Helped Pg. 4 Donor Profile

I was there for four weeks. The staff was outstanding. They tried to make it pleasant – they did the best they could. But the building is worn out and it’s time for a new one.

husband, Jim Helen with her late


Roger remembers the current mental health treatment facility at Vancouver General Hospital all too well. “In August of 1992 I was an inpatient in that old building,” he says. “I was there for four weeks. The staff was outstanding. They tried to make it pleasant – they did the best they could. But the building is worn out and it’s time for a new one.” Local business leader Joe Segal couldn’t agree more. In November 2010 he and his wife Rosalie made a $12-million donation for a new Mental Health

The new building will consolidate care and house 60 inpatient beds, a psychiatric assessment unit, and outpatient clinics. “It will bring all the services together in one building,” says Roger, who is also supporting the new building with a donation. “I read about the Segals’ gift and was so impressed I wanted to get involved right away.”

Rosalie and Joe Segal

Pavilion for VGH. This is the largest personal donation ever made for a mental health project in B.C. The Segals hope their generosity will help erase the stigma associated with mental illness. “Mental health is kind of out of sight, out of mind, and there’s a tendency to sweep it under the carpet,” says Joe. “Mental illness crosses all boundaries. It doesn’t just affect people on the Downtown Eastside. It also affects people like business executives who have nervous breakdowns.”

Lorna Howes, Vancouver Coastal Health’s Director of Mental Health and Addictions, is thrilled that the Segals have taken on a traditionally unfashionable cause. “It’s not in vogue,” she acknowledges. “But [this donation] will help encourage other people to contribute.” If you’re inspired to make a donation in support of the new Mental Health Pavilion at VGH please contact: Patricia St. Laurent, Associate Director, Annual Giving at 604.875.4676.

Architect’s vision of the new Mental Health Pavilion

One in five Canadians will be affected by mental health issues at some point in their life. That’s why our community needs the new Mental Health Pavilion at VGH.

E-mail Tick this box … if your one-time gift is under $25 and you’d like to receive a charitable tax receipt.

Summer 2011 Newsletter 1

Your generosity at work We asked for your help and you came through just like we knew you would!

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is a registered charity that raises funds for medical equipment, world-class research and improvements to patient care for the many specialized areas of care at VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Community Health Services across Vancouver.

In his own words: Dr. Vinay Dhingra shares a memorable story from his career At Vancouver General Hospital we have a whole range of patients, and I deal with the extreme quarter or third. They’re very sick. Essentially 95% of these patients are on life support. Dr. Vinay Dhingra, Medical Manager, ICU

But no matter how many tubes, the equipment is always attached to a person – somebody’s wife, son or mother. What’s always been amazing to me is how the people in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are able to see beyond the technology and go to the heart of the whole thing, the human experience. When I was a young resident, just starting my ICU rotation at VGH, I was assigned to a young patient, named Sara. She is one of the main reasons I chose a career path in critical care. Sara was 31 and the mother of a five-month-old when she was diagnosed with a lethal type of leukemia. Sara had deteriorated to the point where she was bleeding into her lungs and having trouble breathing. We put in a breathing tube and she stabilized. The bleeding stopped temporarily and Sara told me she had one wish. “I want to go outside, and I want to hold my child,” she said. I will never forget the dedication of the ICU staff. The respiratory therapists rigged up a canister of oxygen. The nurses and physiotherapists were there. We all went outside, right on the front steps of the hospital. Sara’s husband put their baby in Sara’s arms. The sun peeked out through the clouds and shone on Sara and their child for the briefest of moments. Sara’s life ended that night but I will never forget her story. There are literally hundreds of stories like Sara’s in the ICU. There are daily miracles and daily heartbreak. And through it all, my colleagues and I are very grateful for your support. Over the years you’ve helped purchase rapid infusers, bedside ultrasound equipment, transfusers and much more. As you can imagine, the ICU is a technology-heavy part of the hospital. The acuity of patients keeps increasing and new and more sophisticated equipment is constantly needed. Thank you so much for ensuring our team has the tools we need to give patients like Sara the best care possible.

Here is a look at just some of the vital equipment on the Wish List right now:

The Kin family of Kin’s Farm Market

t Together, VGH and UBC Hospital provide surgery to more patients than any other hospital in B.C. 34,000 people every year.

Your generosity contributes to the purchase of urgently needed medical equipment and helps fund important research at VGH, UBC and GF Strong Rehab Centre. In fact, last year the combined support of many donors helped VGH purchase an important new tool to diagnose lung cancers, infections and other diseases in the chest.

t A new patient arrives at the VGH Emergency Department every 6 minutes - that’s 75,500 visits per year. The Urgent Care Centre at UBC Hospital sees another 18,650 visits for non-life threatening emergencies annually.

t At VGH, approximately 40% of patients come from outside the region. t GF Strong Rehab Centre is B.C.’s largest freestanding rehabilitation centre, providing specialized services to people from across B.C. and the Yukon. 2010 figures

As you can imagine, it takes an extraordinary amount of sophisticated equipment to deliver the care and rehabilitation that medical experts at VGH, UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehab Centre provide to patients. From the specialized, highly technical equipment used in the Intensive Care Unit, to the systems behind patient monitoring, to tools employed for surgery, treatment and rehabilitation, countless pieces of equipment are put into action in our hospitals every day.

t VGH, UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehab Centre have a province-wide mandate and together serve more than 3 million adults.

t Every year, radiologists and technicians perform nearly 300,000 procedures at VGH and UBC Hospital.

Our equipment Wish List

for our patients,” says thoracic surgeon Dr. Ken Evans. The Kin family of Kin’s Farm Market thought the EBUS System was such an important tool they generously donated $50,000 towards its purchase, matching gifts made by other donors.

The Endobronchial Ultrasound System (EBUS) gives thoracic surgeons at VGH another powerful piece of equipment needed to save lives. “We couldn’t be more excited about what this means

All of us at the hospitals are very grateful to the Kin family and every supporter who answers our call for help. Your generosity makes purchases like this one possible, enables us to fund promising research and helps our hospitals stay on the leading edge of health care. Thank you!

tCritical Care Ventilators: VGH’s ICU treats over 1,200 of the province’s sickest patients each year. Most of these patients can’t breathe on their own and need artificial ventilation. Special acute care ventilators provide newer treatment options such as “HeliOx,” a helium/oxygen mixture that is used to improve ventilation for difficult patients such as those with obstructive lung disease. tArjo Walkers: This walking frame greatly enhances a caregiver’s ability to safely move a mobilitychallenged patient from a sitting to walking position. Every year, your donations help purchase urgently needed hospital equipment. The difference you make with your support is immeasurable and greatly appreciated by staff, volunteers and patients.

„ 9 Yes! I’ll help patients year-round with my monthly gift of: † $10/ mo. „ „

† $15/ mo.

† $20/ mo.

† Other $ __________ / mo.

Please debit my bank account on the 20th of each month. I have signed below and enclosed a cheque marked “Void.” I prefer to make a monthly contribution by: „ „ „on the 20th of each month.

_________________________________________________ Credit Card #

/ __________________ Exp. Date

____________________________________________ Cardholder’s Name

_________________________________________________ SIGNATURE REQUIRED

__________________ Telephone

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This is a „ personal (or) „ organizational pre-authorized debit for charitable donations.

You can change or cancel your monthly gifts to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation at any time by calling 1.877.875.4676, emailing, or sending your request through the mail. For further information about your right to cancel a Pre-Authorized Debit Agreement, as well as recourse rights, visit your financial institution or the web site The VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation does not trade, rent or exchange the names of our valuable supporters. You can change the frequency and number of mailings your receive from the Foundation by emailing or calling 1.877.875.4676.

2 Summer 2011 Newsletter

Partners In Health  

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Newsletter