As one of the last babies born at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital, before maternity care transferred to Vic General, and as a parent who’s brought his own kids for care more than once, Chris Straub has a special affinity for his community hospital.
It’s just one reason why last month’s sensational Spirit Gala was so special for the new chair of the Saanich Peninsula Hospital & Healthcare Foundation. “For me, it’s a chance to give back to this remarkable community,” he says.
Rolling out the red carpet – literally – for guests and donors, the gala raised an amazing $619,000 for health care right here on the Saanich Peninsula. Under twinkling lights befitting the event’s celestial theme, the Mary Winspear Centre hosted a delicious meal, silent auction and an entertaining live auction – courtesy of a talented cattle auctioneer who kept the bids coming in.
“It was our biggest gala ever,” says Straub, who’s served on the Foundation board for six years. “We’re very fortunate – we have an excellent fundraising team and an enormously supportive community.”
Funds will support the Foundation’s two-year campaign to transform SanPen’s Acute Care Unit – unchanged since the hospital opened in 1978, Straub notes – into a modern, efficient space designed for the way today’s medical teams work.
That means accommodating the latest technology and sterilization requirements, for example, as well as a collaborative, multi-faceted care team that includes technicians and specialists, in addition to doctors and nurses.
“It’s the biggest campaign we’ve ever done, rolled out over two years. We’ll be renovating room by room to minimize any disruption to patient care,” Straub says.
Accommodating about 90 per cent of the hospital’s admitted patients, the Acute Care Unit includes surgical, palliative and other acute care patients, and for them, the planned updates will also improve privacy and the care experience. Staff will also benefit from a space designed with their needs in mind, as well as patients.
The Foundation board and its various working groups collaborate with the hospital staff, Island Health and the Foundation team to identify needs within the hospital and how best to support its teams, Straub notes.
“Our priority as a board is to support the wonderful care provided by hospital staff and volunteers. We are focussed on deploying donations in the most impactful way possible, and the ACU project is a great example of this – a much-needed upgrade to a heavily used unit. We are very excited to have this campaign underway.”