Profiles of Excellence: Burnaby Hospital Foundation

The Burnaby Hospital Foundation is all about people.

Though its mission is to provide state-of-the-art medical equipment and new technology into the local hospital facility, the heart of this organization is people: the volunteers and staff who help make it all happen, and the patients who are helped through their efforts.

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The foundation is currently in the midst of a multimillion dollar campaign to bring an urgently needed second CT scanner, along with other vital medical imaging equipment, to Burnaby Hospital. Since CT scanners are the “workhorses” of the emergency department, having a second unit will have an immense impact on patients.

To make it happen requires a lot of caring volunteers and their time, effort and energy. Last year, the foundation formed the Fundraising Cabinet – a team made up of prominent business leaders, doctors, and philanthropists – to help build relationships with prospective donors who have the interest and capacity to support major equipment and program needs at the hospital. The members are people who have lived or worked in Burnaby their whole lives, have helped to build and grow the city, and, in many cases, have seen firsthand the impact the hospital has had on their own lives or the lives of their families and friends.

“We have brought together a very strong and motivated group of community leaders,” said cabinet chair William McCarthy, founder and president of W.P.J. McCarthy and Company. “Every individual serving as a member of this cabinet has a passion for this city and a strong desire to give back.”

For co-chair Pat Delesalle, president of Delesalle Holdings Ltd., the cabinet is supporting a vital need in the city not just today but for the future.

“Everyone deserves effective and efficient health care and I believe that supporting our only community hospital is the best way to ensure high quality care in Burnaby, now and for generations to come.”

The cabinet couldn’t have asked for better leadership: both McCarthy and Delesalle have been past board trustees of Burnaby Hospital Foundation (serving as chair and vice-chair, respectively) and both have been awarded the Foundation’s Keith and Betty Beedie Leadership in Philanthropy Award, as well as being major personal benefactors to the foundation. The pair also led the foundation’s first major capital campaign two decades ago.

The cabinet currently includes Dr. Chris Bozek, Jeff Clark, Christopher Davies, Kristy James, Dr. David Jones, Dr. Nirmal Kang, Dr. Susan Kwan, Dr. David Lough, Roni Martin, John McCarthy, Steve McKoen, Bill Mitchell, Dave Rennie, Eugene Tseng, Chad Turpin, and Sylvia Zylla.

The team is already making plans for ways to help support the upcoming $1.3 billion redevelopment of Burnaby Hospital.

“That’s the announcement we were really waiting for,” said McCarthy. “Now is when the real work begins for us. It’s going to be very exciting.”

They are hopeful the tremendous support from the community that has helped make Burnaby Hospital Foundation so successful in the past, will continue to grow in the coming months and years.

“Supporting community health is the best way to make a direct impact for hundreds of thousands of people every year,” said Delesalle.

“I encourage everyone who can to get involved as we upgrade Burnaby Hospital.” The hospital currently serves around 500,000 people, and has one of the busiest emergency departments in all of B.C.

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