There is good, and good to do, in health care

Photo: Kenna Yee (VHF), Heather Crow (VHF), Avery Brohman (VHF), Gaelle van Erp (VHF), Colleen Bronson (VHF), Beth Cairns (VHF), Geoff Courtnall

There is good, and good to do, in health care

A commentary by Avery Brohman, CEO of the Victoria Hospitals ­Foundation.

The presence of the Stanley Cup in Victoria last week was more than a symbol of hockey and victory. It was a testament to the spirit of our community — and a tribute to the role philanthropy plays in our local health care sphere.

When the cup made an appearance at Royal Jubilee Hospital, brought in by Geoff and Bruce Courtnall and the Courtnall Society for Mental Health, it cascaded a light in a facility that can, at times, feel dim.

Caregivers on break or off the clock lined up for a chance to see the championship trophy, proudly wearing their favourite team jersey, and some even bringing their children.

I embraced the moment and felt grateful for this gift to them, as they give so much of themselves to us, our community. There were tears, laughter, photos; stories, too.

Many remembered how this wasn’t the first time the Courtnall family has lifted up Royal Jubilee over the years — and morale alongside it. When a team of 20 physicians, nurses, and hospital staff stood in front of the Archie Courtnall Centre, the Stanley Cup in hand, it felt like a full-circle moment.

Twenty years ago, Geoff, Russ, and Bruce announced their first of what would be three star-studded golf tournaments in town. Through the years, the Courtnall Celebrity Classics raised ­millions to open the centre’s doors; what was more, they also opened the doors to ­talking openly about, and advocating for, better mental health care in our community.

Al Ferraby, who hosted a radiothon on CFAX in support years ago, sent me a message after last weekend’s events. He reflected on how the world of the Courtnalls changed at that time; how they changed our world, too.

Today, the philanthropy of the Courtnalls and those they inspired is omnipresent in the Archie Courtnall Centre, and the Young Adult Mental Health Unit at Royal Jubilee.

The Courtnalls are one of thousands of local families who have championed a culture of philanthropy that transforms health and hospital care on the Island. I share this story to recognize those in our community who have a personal desire and ability to make a difference and understand the role giving has in a health care setting.

The Courtnalls were in good company, and one of many families who volunteered their time to offer our community a series of opportunities to enjoy over the weekend.