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SanPen Hospital campaign builds care for the 21st century

Hospital Foundation embarks on two-year campaign to renovate the ACU
Dr. Ambrose Marsh, Fundraising Campaign Chair, for the Saanich Peninsula Hospital & Healthcare Foundation’s $15-million campaign to renovate and update the hospital’s Acute Care Unit.

When Dr. Ambrose Marsh reflects on the Saanich Peninsula Health & Hospital Foundation’s campaign to renovate and update the hospital’s Acute Care Unit, he speaks from the heart. After all, the fundraising campaign chair spent many years navigating its warren of desks, halls and rooms while caring for patients.

Even that phrase – healthcare teams – points to the need for a reimagined space, he notes.

When the ACU opened in 1978, doctors and nurses largely provided care; today, they and a variety of technicians and specialists collaborate on team-based care, to the benefit of patients.

Yet while medicine and technology has come a long way over the decades, the space remains largely unchanged. “It’s a warren of walls and spaces that doesn’t work with the new model of care,” Dr. Marsh explains.

The Foundation’s two-year campaign aims to change that, creating a modern, efficient Acute Care Unit that works for both patients and healthcare teams.

“This feels as important as the work I did as a family practitioner serving this community,” Dr. Marsh says. “It’s about making the care space better for the patients and for the caregivers.”

Improvements for patients and staff

The Acute Care Unit hosts about 90 per cent of the hospital’s admitted patients, including a mix of surgical, palliative and other acute care patients. The long-awaited renovation and upgrade has been identified for some time, however COVID, an across-the-board staffing crisis and other challenges delayed the project – until now, Dr. Marsh notes.

And those delaying factors make the planned renovation even more vital.

“Issues of privacy, new standards in infection control and our ongoing migration to a totally paperless health care system make the renovation of ACU a vital endeavour,” Dr. Marsh says.

In addition to improving the patient experience, the renovation will also help boost employee morale, retention and efforts to attract new healthcare providers to the community hospital.

“There are many reasons why working at SanPen is great; the current ACU space isn’t one of them. However, if you have a place where you like to work, you’re going to work there,” he reflects.

“I and many others believe that this renovation will bring SPH to a physical place that will match its long standing reputation of outstanding caring and compassion and that this will help enormously in our goals of recruitment and retention for all members of our Health Care Team.”

To learn more about the Foundation’s Acute Care campaign, visit You can also donate here at any time in support of community healthcare on the Saanich Peninsula.