Seaspan Victoria Shipyards and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation Initiate Match In Support of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation


Seaspan Victoria Shipyards and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation are matching donations up to $500,000 as part of their $2.65 million transformational commitment to Victoria Hospitals Foundation (VHF), made in November 2020. With this match announcement they hope to inspire community giving and complete the final $1 million of Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s $7 million It’s Critical fundraising campaign. It’s Critical will help equip and build Vancouver Island’s first permanent, purpose-built High Acuity Unit (HAU), and increase critical care capacity at Royal Jubilee Hospital (RJH) by 73%. The Seaspan Victoria Shipyards High Acuity Unit will help critically ill patients from across the Island.

“At Victoria Shipyards we care about our employees, their families and the communities where they live,” notes Joe O’Rourke, Vice President and General Manager of Seaspan Victoria Shipyards. “We are proud to play a role in transforming healthcare here, and we hope the community will join us in our mission to make the first permanent High Acuity Unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital a reality.”

The HAU provides an intermediate level of care between Acute Care units and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and supports patients recovering from surgery, trauma, severe respiratory distress, or those being treated for serious medical conditions like COVID-19. With the support of over 3,450 Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s donors, an interim HAU opened at RJH in October 2020 and has helped over 185 patients. From 2009-2019, the ICU at Royal Jubilee Hospital saw an 83% increase in admissions, and the HAU will help relieve pressure on the ICU and support Vancouver Island’s aging and growing population. To date, 75% of the patients in the temporary HAU are between the ages of 51 to 85 years old. The HAU is also a vital resource to manage hospitalization surges due to influenza, a pandemic response, or mass casualty events.

“The pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of critical care support for our families and loved ones. Improving the quality of life in our communities is something we deeply believe in,” says Mike Halligan, Executive Director, the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. “Along with Seaspan, we look forward to matching the community’s donations to complete the It’s Critical campaign and bring this much-needed care to Vancouver Island.”

“Not only did Seaspan and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation make an incredible multi-million gift to transform care in our local hospitals, they are challenging the community to join them in making a difference for our Island patients and care teams,” says Avery Brohman, Executive Director, Victoria Hospitals Foundation. “We’re exceptionally grateful for Seaspan’s generosity and giving spirit, and we know they will inspire others. Thank you to our giving community for your support of It’s Critical—you’re making a lasting impact in our hospitals when we need it most.”

By inspiring $500,000 of giving from the local community, this match will complete the final $1 million of It’s Critical. Community members are encouraged to donate and double their impact in local hospitals by calling 250-519-1750 or visiting victoriahf.ca/critical.