“Pacific Blue Cross just celebrated 80 years of service to the province of British Columbia and, as a health benefits society, its part of our mandate to give back to the communities where we live, work, and play,” says John Crawford, Chief Executive Officer. “Our support of this ambitious and wonderful project, which allows children to get the health care they need closer to home, is one more step towards achieving our mission to improve health and wellbeing for them and their families.”
The Children’s Health Centre at Surrey Memorial Hospital is the regional pediatric centre for Fraser Health, which is home to 43 per cent of the province’s children. Surrey’s population has increased by more than 50 per cent since the Centre opened in 2001. With support from donors, the Centre has undergone an extensive renovation in which new clinics will be added, and other areas, such as Neurology, Cardiology & Nephrology (kidney) will offer expanded services. A new pre and post surgery unit, and a new pediatric oncology unit are now complete. A Microsoft-created augmented reality pet, Chip, is providing a welcoming, calming introduction to the hospital for young patients.
Jim Iker, Chair of the Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation board, which approved the request for funding from the Surrey Hospitals Foundation, expressed the board’s pleasure to be a part of this worthy cause. “This project is hugely important for kids in Surrey and the Fraser Health region,” he says. “Coming to a colourful, child-friendly place for what can be a scary experience will really help ease their anxieties—and help their parents or guardians provide the comfort they need while at the Centre.”
Pacific Blue Cross allocates an annual endowment to their Health Foundation to support programs that are striving to improve health outcomes in the areas of mental health and the prevention and management of chronic disease. Since its inception in 2011, they have provided over $3.68 million to more than 150 organizations across the province.