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Alexander College donates $1M more to Burnaby Hospital redevelopment

The Burnaby post-secondary school's latest contribution is earmarked for mental health services, which will open when construction is completed in 2025.
[From left to right] Burnaby Hospital Foundation chair Steven McKoen, Alexander college dean of arts and sciences Dr. Barbara Moon, Alexander College co-owner and vice-president Eric Zhao and Burnaby Hospital Foundation VP of Finance and Administration Claire Wang.

A local private post-secondary institution has now donated more than $2 million for Burnaby Hospital's redevelopment.

Alexander College recently donated $1 million to Phase One of the project, which will enhance the mental health and substance use unit (MHSU), set to be completed in 2025.

The MHSU will be in the new pavilion, housing 30 private patient bedrooms, an outdoor patio and a multi-sensory room that'll offer therapeutic and educational support.

Burnaby Hospital Foundation president and CEO Kirsty James said inpatient visits increased by 30 per cent in 2023, noting access to MHSU services are becoming more important for the community.

"The incredible support shown by Alexander College at all levels, from their leadership, staff and students, has truly been inspiring," James said in a release.

"Our organization believes strongly in giving back, especially in Burnaby, where I have lived for many years and where many our students and staff learn and thrive," added Eric Zhao, co-owner and vice president of Alexander College.

"Healthcare, akin to education, holds a pivotal role in uplifting members of our community. It is important for all of us to support the revitalization of our hospital and especially the enhancement of its Mental Health services, as they are indispensable to the collective health and vitality of Burnaby."

The new MHSU will also include a five-bed crisis stabilization unit set to help with short-stay admissions.

To date, the Burnaby Hospital Foundation has raised more than $45 million for the $1.4-billion Phase One redevelopment.

It's tentative timeline for completion would mark five years after a fire ripped through the facility, which held 30 beds and a clinic for patients being treated for substance use or mental illnesses.

The $1 million donation was formally contributed on Feb. 8 during a reception for the foundation's Bright Future Redevelopment Campaign.

Alexander College will have its name on the MHSU to recognize its contributions, the foundation said.

Phase Two

Meanwhile, the second phase is set to bring expanded medical services, including upgrades to the intensive care (ICU), medical imaging, cardiac telemetry and in-patient oncology units.

Burnaby Hospital's new campus, when finished, will also have 50 per cent more beds, two patient care towres and a cancer treatment centre.

The recently announced second phase brings expanded medical services to the hospital, including upgrades to the Intensive Care Unit and Medical Imaging, as well as new Cardiac Telemetry and In‐patient Oncology Units.

When the entire redevelopment project is complete, the new campus of care will have almost 50 per cent more beds, including two patient care towers and a cancer treatment centre.

You can visit the BHF's website for more information on the hospital's redevelopment.

- with files from Cornelia Naylor, Lauren Vanderdeen and Jess Balzer, Burnaby NOW