Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation

December 01, 2006 11:45 ET

Labatt Breweries of Canada Provides Major Gift to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation

$500,000 Donation for Hospital's New State-of-the-Art Intensive Care Unit

NEW WESTMINSTER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 1, 2006) - Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation's "Be a Lifesaver" holiday fundraising campaign received a shot in the arm today thanks to a $500,000 donation from Labatt Breweries of Canada.

Labatt's donation, which is the largest corporate gift received by the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation (RCHF), will help fund a new patient-focused Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH), which is currently under construction. Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation is working to raise $1.6 million this holiday season for the new ICU, which serves 1.5 million people from Burnaby to Boston Bar.

"Labatt's generous gift for Royal Columbian Hospital's new ICU will make a profound difference to countless lives in the Fraser Valley and surrounding communities," said Adrienne Bakker, President and CEO, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. "This donation is a fitting legacy to Labatt's contribution to our community which will benefit many generations to come."

"The Labatt brewery was a member of the New Westminster community for over 50 years and a neighbour to Royal Columbian Hospital over those years," said Neil Sweeney, Vice-President of Corporate Affairs of Labatt Breweries of Canada. "We couldn't think of a better way to say 'thank you' to the people of New Westminster than by providing this donation to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation."

Labatt's donation to RCHF's "Be a Lifesaver" fundraising campaign will be used to expand the capacity of the new ICU and provide vital medical equipment for the new unit. The Foundation is raising funds to provide: 16state-of-the-art ceiling-mounted equipment booms - the first of their kind in North America - which will house all the monitoring, examination and treatment equipment required for ICU patient care; five ventilators to assist critically ill patients who have temporarily lost the ability to breathe on their own; eight infusion pumps to deliver highly accurate doses of vital fluids, medications or nutrients to patients; and additional ICU equipment needed such as ceiling lifts, a reverse osmosis filtration system and a nurse call system. Money raised will also be used to construct four private waiting rooms to give families comfort and privacy when dealing with life-altering situations.

"This new Intensive care Unit will significantly raise the standard of critical care at Royal Columbian Hospital," said Dr. Sean Keenan, Medical Director of RCH's Intensive Care Unit. "The expanded facility and addition of state-of-the-art medical technology will provide an optimal working environment enabling health care practitioners to more readily respond to patients' needs."

RCH's current Intensive Care Unit, which was built in 1978, no longer has sufficient capacity or the necessary equipment to meet the critical care needs of the largest and fastest growing region in the province. Shared patient rooms increase the risk of cross-infection, and vital medical equipment is either lacking or being stored in public areas far from the patient.

When completed in spring 2007, RCH's new ICU will be one of the most sophisticated facilities of its kind in Canada. The new ICU will be close to 10,000 square feet in size, almost three times larger than the current unit. Renovations at the hospital, underway since May, will increase the ICU's capacity from 12 stretcher bays and two private rooms to 16 private rooms including two "negative pressure" rooms (for the highest level of care).

The Province of B.C. through Fraser Health has committed $6 million towards this project. The Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation has committed to raise the remaining $1.6 million for the ICU.

About Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation

Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation is an independent charitable organization which raises millions of dollars every year to fund priority equipment needs and enhancements to patient care at Royal Columbian Hospital. RCH is both a community hospital and the major trauma centre and referral hospital for the region. Approximately 1.5 million people from Burnaby to Boston Bar depend on Royal Columbian to provide highly specialized care for major trauma, cardiac and neurosurgery, renal treatment, high risk maternity and newborn intensive care. More than 1,000 patients suffering from critical illness or injury fight for their life every year in RCH's intensive care unit.

About Labatt Breweries of Canada

Labatt Breweries of Canada is one of the nation's longest-established and most successful brewing companies. A proud brewer of 60 quality beers, including the world's best selling Canadian beer - Labatt Blue - the company employs 3,800 Canadians, operates breweries from coast to coast. Labatt is a proud member of InBev, the world's largest brewer by volume.

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