Every year, over 6,500 staff and physicians at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals make quick, informed decisions to assess and treat 200,000 Vancouver Island residents.

Their expertise and experience are crucial to making these decisions — but that isn’t all they rely on. Whether patient monitors, mini C-Arms, or video systems, advanced equipment provides critically important information to our medical professionals that will direct them toward the right decisions, in the right moment, for the best outcome. After all, no two patients are the same. This innovative equipment alerts our caregivers to any changes or trends in a patient’s symptoms so they may intervene even faster — enabling immediate, informed action.

Today, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation is asking the community to help raise $3.5 million for 100+ pieces of equipment that will benefit all patients, from newborns to seniors, across all 11 areas of care at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals. This advanced equipment, which includes an improved patient monitoring system across both hospitals, provides critical information that directs care, so caregivers can pivot their assessment and treatment with immediate, vital information.

Our care teams are bright, dynamic and collaborative. Technology is essential to ensure they are equipped with most detailed, instant information possible. Much like any technology, hospital equipment changes quickly. These 100+ pieces of leading-edge equipment maximize what caregivers are capable of, so they can better understand the nature of a patient’s symptoms, give answers and provide treatment options. Ensuring our caregivers have tools of the highest quality means our neighbours and loved ones can continue to receive world-class, integrated care in Vancouver Island’s two busiest hospitals.

A gift to this campaign will mean better-informed, second-by-second decisions, and will make a critical difference to care teams and the patients they serve.

You Are Vital: Equipment

These 100+ pieces of leading-edge equipment align the expertise and experience of our care teams with vital information. Advanced patient monitoring technology across both hospitals helps our medical professionals react quickly to crucial information — what is going on this instant inside a patient — and allows them to pivot, if necessary, so they can respond second-by-second with the absolute best diagnosis, treatment and care.

With greater speed, detail, and precision, this technology gathers information the medical professionals at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals need so they can observe, in real-time, what is happening inside a patient’s body.

Our care teams have identified the most essential equipment to enhance their ability to make the right decisions, in the right moment, for the best outcome, across eleven areas of care. Click on each icon to read real patient stories, learn about the equipment and donate.

You Are Vital: Stories

Click below to read how care teams respond to vital information and how it directly impacts the lives of patients. More stories to come between now and March. Check back every week!

A Letter from Robert and Birgit Bateman


Robert and Birgit Bateman, Salt Spring Island — We are both artists, naturalists, and retired high school art teachers as well as longstanding Salt Spring Island residents. When we first came together in 1973, we could never have imagined that Robert’s career as a high school art teacher could change so drastically and take such an upward turn. Today, we are honoured to share Robert’s art with everyone who visits the Bateman Centre in Victoria, BC. Through our charity organization, the Bateman Foundation, we aim to engage people with the beauty and excitement of nature through the lens of art. Research shows that spending time in nature has significant health benefits for the mind and body, and we encourage everyone to spend as much time outside as possible.

One’s own health is the most important thing in a person’s life. As part of our daily routine, we walk two kilometres everyday, rain or shine, taking in the beauty of Salt Spring Island and noticing the wildlife thriving all around us.

As donors, and our experience with Robert as a patient, we have seen the vital impact that up to date equipment has on care in our hospitals. In November of 2016, Robert suffered an aneurism on an artery to his liver and was transported by helicopter from Lady Minto Hospital (on Salt Spring Island) to Victoria General Hospital where he was treated by the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) team. Robert was quickly losing a great deal of blood and time was of the essence. The ICU team used leading-edge equipment to quickly locate the aneurism and guide the surgery performed by vascular surgeon Dr. Shung Lee to put a dam in the artery that had the aneurism. We appreciated the exemplary knowledge and care that Dr. Lee and Emergency & Critical Care Department Head, Dr. Omar Ahmad showed while Robert was in the hospital.

After over a year of good health, in March of 2018 Robert began to cough up blood. Knowing that the situation was serious, Birgit called 911 and an ambulance transported Robert to the hospital. After being stabilized by Dr. David Butcher at Lady Minto Hospital, Robert was taken to Royal Jubilee Hospital for further treatment. Robert appeared to be stable and returned home but was subsequently brought back to Royal Jubilee Hospital after a haemorrhage. Dr. Lee and Dr. Darren Biberdorf performed a 6-hour long operation to sheath the aneurism to the liver and repair the duodenum wall. Robert recovered in the hospital for a month and we were delighted when he was able to return home in late April. We both felt that everyone did their very best for Robert and had complete confidence in the hospital staff.

What Robert had was unusual, but you too may experience something so unusual that you’ll be grateful to be in one of our hospitals where the decisions, attention, and knowledge are superb. Thanks to the excellent care of the Island Health team, Robert is back at the easel panting and we are going for walks again every day.

It is important that everyone plays a helpful role in advancing care as we will all need it sooner or later. If every person donated however much they are able to, it would make a huge difference to the equipment and resources available in our hospitals. We hope you will consider supporting the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s efforts to raise the funds necessary to improve the equipment. You are vital.

With gratitude,

Robert and Birgit Bateman

A Letter from Dr. Omar Ahmad


We don’t treat a disease; we treat a person. Before we can diagnose the cause of one’s symptoms and prescribe treatment for a specific condition, we need to understand how their body, at this moment, is functioning — and that starts with vital signs.

As Department Head of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine with Island Health, I have the good fortune of working in Emergency and Intensive at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals, touching on the broadest range of patients, including the very ill and critically-injured. I chose to pursue medicine because I wanted to provide all of our community members with the best in patient care — no matter who they are and no matter what they face, I want to treat them so they feel not only confident in the care they receive, but also supported through their most vulnerable moments.

Every day, in every case I encounter, I seek out vital signs as the first indicators of a patient’s health — and continue to monitor and analyze these vitals throughout their journey. That is why I am so grateful for the support of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation in their latest campaign, You Are Vital, and help fundraise for upgraded patient monitors that will intelligently monitor and record a patient’s vital signs at all times.

Vital signs have their name for a reason — they are vital! They allow us to get an insight into a patient’s physiology and life-sustaining functions. When a patient enters Emergency, triage nurses take vital signs immediately: they test body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation. These indicators are a huge step in my decision-making process, who I see first and what further tests are needed. They are the numbers I consult before I even meet the patients. They also play a big part in determining where a patient goes after the Emergency Department — someone with abnormal vital signs, for example, may be directed to the Intensive Care Unit where they will receive one-to-one medical attention. When time is of the essence, the better the diagnostic tools, the better the chance of survival. Leading-edge equipment allows us to make quicker and more informed decisions. And when every minute matters, every second, every detail counts. With crucial information, at the right moment, we will sometimes pivot our response to a patient’s immediate condition, with lasting impact on their quality of life.

The new patient monitors funded through the You Are Vital campaign will transform patient care in every area of our hospitals by improving:

·   Decision-making — The new monitors have capabilities that alert our teams of any concerning changes or trends in a patient’s vital signs so that we may intervene more quickly. They can raise concerns of any subtle hints that cannot be detected by a physical exam.

·   Efficiency — They allow for informed decision-making at the point of care, whether it is at a bedside, during the transport of a patient or at a collaboration centre. Easily accessible, up-to-date information allows us to make important diagnostic decisions in a timely manner.

·   Connectivity — They allow the transmission of important, possibly life-saving information from any patient monitor to virtually any point of care in the hospital. This mitigates the need for us to manually input a patient’s vital signs, minimizing human error and maximizing the use of our time on patient care.

·   Intervention — They can deliver a diagnostic electrocardiography (ECG) test to record a patient’s heart activity. Now that these tests can be done with the monitors, it allows for more rapid treatment in potentially life-threatening situations.

Thousands of patients, in fact most who come to Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals, will benefit from these monitors. While no two patients are the same, every patient has a story that can instruct and inspire us, and I am grateful that community leader Robert Bateman has agreed to share his. While in the ICU at Victoria General Hospital, I was part of a collaborative cross-site team that assisted in his care.

Today, thanks to equipment and technology funded in part by our community, we can continue to provide the best in patient care. We like to see people like Robert return home healthy, to their waiting loved ones so that they can continue to do what they love and derive meaning from. Please consider making a donation to the You Are Vital campaign so that we can give our patients the most precious gift of all: good health.

Thank you,

Dr. Omar Ahmad
Department Head - Emergency & Critical Care Medicine