Oakville Hospital Foundation

December 16, 2010 10:59 ET

Betty & Bruce Birmingham donate $3.5 mil to New Oakville Hospital

Oakville Hospital Foundation renames the Bank Bed Challenge in honour of Bruce Birmingham

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor OAKVILLE, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2010) - Today, the Oakville Hospital Foundation (OHF) hosted an event to announce the Birmingham's gift of $3.5 million in support of the new Oakville Hospital.

Throughout the past 20 years Betty and her late husband Bruce Birmingham have demonstrated that they are people who genuinely care about their community and the people who live there. Today's gift brings their overall contribution to Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) to more than $8.1 million.

"Bruce was a huge believer that philanthropists who lived in Oakville, should actively support Oakville; he would even call them personally to encourage them to do so," said Betty Birmingham. "But he not only encouraged and challenged them, he led by personal example."

"The Birminghams are truly inspirational. As a former President of Bank of Nova Scotia, Bruce was a visionary and instrumental in fundraising for the hospital, especially in the founding of Oakville's Bank Bed Challenge, which since its inception has raised more than $600,000," said Tina Triano, CEO of the Oakville Hospital Foundation. "I am delighted to announce the naming of our new cancer clinic as the Birmingham Cancer and Medical Day Care Clinic in honour of Betty and Bruce's gift and the renaming of the Bank Bed Challenge as the Birmingham Bank Bed Challenge in honour of the late Bruce Birmingham."

Since Betty's cancer experience, the Birminghams have funded a full spectrum of cancer patient care at OTMH. First, they provided a gift to the surgical department to retrofit three operating theatres with new equipment for gynecology, ENT and general surgery among other specialties. Then, they funded not one, but two digital mammography machines, orchestrating a transformation in the Women's Diagnostic Imaging Centre that make advanced early breast cancer detection available.

Now, with today's gift a much broader range of cancer care will be available within the community upon opening of the new Hospital and the Birmingham Cancer and Medical Day Care Clinic.

"Many of us here today have been profoundly affected by their largess; their leadership has helped many to redefine how we invest our time, our ideas and yes, how we help to make Oakville one of the best communities to live in," said Eve Willis, Co-Chair of the new Oakville Hospital Campaign. "They've made us think differently."

True to the Birmingham's beliefs, a challenge to the community is included in this donation of $3.5 million. Betty has offered to match-up to $500,000 - donations toward equipping the Cancer and Medical Day Care Clinic.

The construction of the new Oakville Hospital is significant, as it will be one of the first new hospitals in Ontario built using the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care's new design guidelines for hospital construction. The hospital will offer new services to our community, including the Birmingham Cancer and Medical Day Care Clinic.

"I am delighted that the new hospital will be opening an oncology clinic," said Betty. "Having had cancer and having to go outside the community for my treatments, I can appreciate the huge benefits of having a cancer clinic close to home."

The oncology component of the Clinic will provide patient assessment, teaching, counselling, information, chemotherapy administration, blood transfusions, procedures and clinical trials for oncology patients. Radiation treatment will continue to be provided at nearby regional cancer centres.

The Medical Day Care services within the Clinic will provide specialized outpatient care for patients requiring minor medical treatments, therapies or procedures that require a stay of 4-6 hours, including blood transfusions, investigative procedures such as needle biopsies and intravenous (IV) injection therapy.

"Betty and Bruce have been supporting the Oakville Hospital for more than 20 years and their continued commitment to our community's healthcare is truly phenomenal," notes John Oliver, President & CEO of Halton Healthcare Services. "This tremendous gift will put new technology directly into the hands of our doctors and healthcare professionals and will provide our patients with access to an enhanced level of healthcare, close to home. This generous donation will touch thousands of lives in our community."

"As Honourary Co-Chairs of the new Oakville Hospital Campaign, and now as lead donors to that campaign, Betty and Bruce have inspired our volunteers, our supporters and the talented team of healthcare professionals at OTMH to play an active role in bringing the new hospital to life," concludes Tina Triano. "And at the end of the day, that's a core motivator for Betty and Bruce's giving-to inspire others to do their part." IN: HEALTH, OTHER

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