VANCOUVER – A new, state-of-the-art research centre will be established at Vancouver General Hospital, housing three internationally-recognized research programs and named after Robert H.N. Ho in honour of his $15-million donation, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.
“British Columbia is already an acknowledged international leader in medical research and innovation. The Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre will bolster our ability to recruit and retain scientists and health professionals, and will encourage further discoveries and breakthroughs that save lives,” said Premier Campbell. “I want to thank Mr. Robert Ho for his generous donation, which is helping to make this cutting-edge research facility a reality here at Vancouver General Hospital.”
The seven-storey, 69,350 sq. ft. (6,442 sq.m.) facility will house three of VGH’s key research programs: the Vancouver Prostate Centre at VGH; the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility; and the Ovarian Cancer Research Initiative.
“I have lived my life according to the motto that has guided our family for three generations, ‘Before you receive, you must first give,’” said Mr. Ho. “This gift was inspired by my friendship with VGH’s Dr. Anthony Fung, who convinced me to contribute to these important research projects. I am proud to play a part in helping improve the lives of people from across B.C. and around the world.”
The Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre will house hundreds of scientists and clinicians pioneering new treatments and cures for patients with prostate and ovarian cancers, as well as hip and mobility issues. Mr. Ho’s gift will also fund enhancements in the cardiac investigation and intervention unit, including new equipment and research to improve cardiac care for patients in British Columbia and around the world.
The donation paves the way for access to further funds including the BC Knowledge Development Fund and federal funds including the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The cost to build the new research centre is approximately $41.5 million with a total cost including personnel and equipment of more than $60 million. The total provincial government contribution to the new research centre through BCKDF and the Ministry of Health Services is more than $22 million.
“The future of specialized health care in British Columbia depends on donors like Mr. Robert Ho,” said Ron Dumouchelle, president and CEO of the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation thanks Mr. Ho for his generosity and leadership to help meet the growing need for complex care at our hospitals for people from across our province.”
Mr. Ho is well known for his global philanthropic vision and leadership. He is the chairman of The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation and of Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation, and has made a number of significant gifts to organizations around the world including Colgate University in New York; Hong Kong University; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England; Stanford University; and the University of British Columbia. Mr. Ho has also previously supported cardiology equipment and patient care at VGH.
“Today’s announcement is a powerful example of what can be achieved through partnerships,” said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, president and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. “The Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre will help ensure Canada’s ongoing leadership in research and innovation, and the CFI is extremely proud to be a partner in this exciting project.”
“The researchers at our hospitals are known around the world for medical research that is changing the lives of patients today and offering new hope for the future,” said Dr. Grady Meneilly, head of the Department of Medicine at VGH and UBC. “The new Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre will be a tremendous resource for our province, providing new space for researchers, who in turn will develop new breakthroughs to ensure British Columbia remains at the vanguard of medical discovery and innovation for years to come.”
In honour of Mr. Ho’s generosity, the new building will be officially known as the Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre and will be built across from the Jim Pattison Pavilion at VGH, located at Laurel Street and West 10th Avenue. When building commences this summer, it is expected to create more than 250 new construction jobs.
The VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is a registered charity raising funding for the latest, most sophisticated medical equipment, world-class research and improvements to patient care for VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. For nearly 30 years, the Foundation and its donors have been a bridge between the essential health care that governments provide and the most advanced health care possible.