Washington family make leadership gift to Royal Columbian redevelopment

New Westminster, B.C. – {October 30, 2019} – The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is helping transform Royal Columbian Hospital with a major gift made in support of maternal, infant, child, and youth care.

The $2.65 million donation to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation’s redevelopment campaign will assist phase 2 of the hospital’s $1.49 billion redevelopment, which includes new and expanded space for its maternity, neonatal intensive care, and pediatrics units.

The generous contribution is also in honour of employees of the Washington Companies and their families, and in particular Southern Railway of British Columbia, which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of becoming a Washington Company.

“Washington Companies employees live in many of the communities served by Royal Columbian Hospital,” says Washington family representative Kyle Washington. “Our goal with this gift is to support the well-being of these communities and leave a lasting impact for generations.”

Southern Railway of British Columbia, a Washington Company since 1994, has established a unique partnership with Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation for several years already. The New Westminster-based freight transporter donates regularly to the hospital based on the safety record that employees achieve each quarter, thereby promoting a strong safety culture and giving back to the community at the same time.

“Since the program started in 2012, we have proudly contributed close to $400,000 to the hospital,” says Southern Railway of British Columbia President Derek Ollmann. “The credit goes to our employees for maintaining an excellent safety record.”

“Southern Railway of British Columbia and Royal Columbian Hospital both have long, rich histories in New Westminster,” notes New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté. “Both are crucial to the economic prosperity and sustainability of our community, and it’s great to see such a generous donation from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation in support of Royal Columbian and in honour of Southern Railway.”

Royal Columbian Hospital’s new multi-storey Acute Care Tower, due to be completed in 2025, will house a new 48-bed Maternity department, helping to care for 3,000 births each year. Most of the department’s rooms will be single-patient rooms to allow families the opportunity to bond in a private and dignified setting.

The NICU’s 24 beds will also be converted to single-patient rooms, allowing hundreds of parents each year to enjoy valuable bonding time with their newborns in a private setting. These critical changes will allow clinical teams to address the growing needs of families in the Fraser Health region.

In addition to providing support to women with high-risk pregnancies and newborns requiring critical care, Royal Columbian Hospital is a regional pediatric care centre. In the redevelopment, the Pediatric department will grow by four additional beds for a total of 16.

“Care for expectant moms, newborns, and children will benefit immensely from the generosity of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation,” says Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation President and CEO Jeff Norris. “Redevelopment is providing us with an unprecedented opportunity to advance critical care for families from throughout the province.”

Where BC Fights

As BC’s leading critical care hospital, one in three British Columbians rely on Royal Columbian Hospital. This is where BC fights for hope, and for life. We are the only hospital in BC 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.