In many ways, the Burnaby Hospital Foundation is a mirror of the facility it helps support: driven by compassion, focused on patient care, and ultimately, changing over time alongside the community itself.
The foundation has been the fundraising organization for Burnaby Hospital since 1982, helping to fund new and upgraded medical equipment and technology at the local facility and in its related programs.
And while it continues to celebrate astounding successes – such as $650,000 in recent upgrades to the Fellburn Care Centre, and funding for new equipment ranging from ventilators to ultrasounds – it is always looking ahead to the future, too.
This last year, the foundation has been focused on efforts that will continue to build connections in the local community. The new Chinese Ambassador Society (CAS), for example, is helping to grow and strengthen relationships between the foundation and the sizeable Chinese communities in Burnaby and East Vancouver.
It has already proven remarkably impactful, recruiting passionate new volunteers who are keen to see the foundation succeed in its ongoing efforts. In fact, CAS has already raised nearly $90,000 in only a handful of months.
“Here in Burnaby we have a very active and generous community that is eager to be more involved with Burnaby Hospital’s great work,” said Chris Dong, the CAS vicechair. “We have already received tremendous support through local organizations and community groups, private donors, and even youth who have volunteered their time at events. It’s been a wonderful experience bringing our
community together, and we look forward to even greater achievements in the future.”
Burnaby City Councillor and founder of CAS, James Wang, notes that the early success of the new initiative can help foster continued growth.
“The members of CAS want to be an inspiration; to show other members of the community how they can play a direct and vital role in the health of people in Burnaby,” said Wang. “It also allows the foundation to learn more about potential donor interests and priorities, as well as identify opportunities for the foundation to support local Chinese events and celebrations.”
It’s a unique time for the foundation as it looks ahead to its 40th anniversary in 2022 and the community continues to change and shift, as health care and technology evolve simultaneously.
One of the many goals for the foundation currently is to fundraise for a variety of high-priority equipment needs; a key item at the moment is a second CT scanner to reduce the waitlist for patients, and meet rising demand. Other areas of focus include funds for a mental health and substance use zone to address the growing mental health crisis, and continued outreach into the community to improve health care at all levels.
Foundation CEO Kristy James notes that the enthusiasm and generosity of their volunteers makes all the difference and the new program is a great example of community leadership.
“Our Chinese Ambassador Society, made up of passionate volunteers, supports Burnaby Hospital Foundation because they understand that health is the most fundamentally important aspect of any prosperous community,” she said. “They want their fellow citizens to understand that while there are many worthy causes, supporting community health care – and particularly Burnaby Hospital – is the best way to make a direct impact for hundreds of thousands of people every year.”
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