BMO takes lead on mental health at Royal Columbian with $1M gift

Donation will support new 75-bed Mental Health and Substance Use facility  

NEW WESTMINSTER, BC, April 6, 2017 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group is making a major contribution to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation's redevelopment fundraising efforts.

The financial services provider has pledged $1 million towards the new Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre, which is now under construction at Royal Columbian Hospital. The Foundation is working with donors to raise $9.1 million for the new facility.

"The kind of leadership provided by BMO is critical to the success of our fundraising efforts," says Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation President and CEO Jeff Norris. "This gift will inspire others to join the campaign and support the mental health needs of our region."

Opening by 2020, the new Mental Health and Substance Use Centre will offer more inpatient beds, outpatient clinics, and space for training and education. The facility will replace the aging 30-bed Sherbrooke Centre as part of the first phase of redevelopment at Royal Columbian Hospital.

"We recognize this important new centre will provide mental health services to thousands of patients each year," says Michael Bonner, Senior Vice-President and Regional Head, B.C. & Yukon Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "At BMO we believe in giving back to the communities where our customers and employees live. The resources provided by this donation will help improve the quality of life for individuals and families in many of those communities."

The Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre is part of a multi-phase $1.3 billion redevelopment at Royal Columbian Hospital. Phase one of redevelopment also includes a new multi-level underground parkade, associated tunnel and bridge connections to the existing hospital, energy centre to provide the power and utilities infrastructure required to support the current campus and future work, IT network perimeter pathway and IT communications hub. In addition, the hospital's helipad is being relocated.  Phase one is budgeted at $258.9 million.

Subsequent phases of redevelopment will see the construction of an acute care tower that includes a new emergency department, more operating rooms and interventional suites, more inpatient beds and an underground parkade. Existing buildings will also be upgraded.

Your care is critical

At Royal Columbian, the most seriously ill and injured get their greatest chance at life. We are the only hospital in British Columbia with trauma, cardiac, neurosciences, high-risk maternity and neonatal intensive care on one site. We look after some of the most seriously ill and injured patients, and we do it with the support of donors like you.

Since 1978, donors to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation have helped fund priority equipment needs, facility enhancements, research, education and innovation at Royal Columbian Hospital. Visit www.rchfoundation.com for more information.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, and currently marking its 200th year of operations, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $692 billion as of January 31, 2017, and more than 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

SOURCE Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation

For further information: Jason Howe, Public Affairs Director, o: (604) 520-4809, c: (604) 613-8567, Jason.Howe@fraserhealth.ca

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Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation

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