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Dr. Gary Redekop in an operating room at Vancouver General Hospital.VGH AND UBC HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

Donors who contribute to the success of the Future of Surgery project will do more than provide state-of-the-art facilities for medical professionals, they will also ensure that Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and UBC Hospital are able to recruit the next generation of leading medical professionals to continue to provide excellent care for the people of British Columbia, says Dr. Gary Redekop, head of the Department of Surgery at VGH and UBC Hospital.

The Future of Surgery project, which includes a commitment to build 16 new operating rooms (ORs) at the Jim Pattison Pavilion at VGH and an upgrade at VGH’s sister site, UBC Hospital, is the focus of a $60-million fundraising campaign by the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation.

It will also include a 40-bed unit for care before and after surgery, new communication systems and upgraded infrastructure. At UBC Hospital, a high-acuity unit and enhanced inpatient units will be added.

“When you have the facilities that you need to provide the best possible care, people want to work there. It makes it easier for us to attract the best people, not just doctors, but nurses, therapists, technicians, specialists of every kind,” says Dr. Redekop.

The hospitals currently have about 20 ORs of varying sizes. “For the cases that require a lot of equipment, they can only be done in three of the ORs. It can be a logistical challenge to get those cases done,” he adds.

VGH and UBC Hospital see 60 per cent of B.C.’s adult trauma cases, and this pressure on the hospitals often requires that some emergency cases and surgeries – like organ transplants – take place at night.

“That’s hard on staff. It’s hard on surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses. It means we’re running several operating rooms through the night,” says Dr. Redekop. “With the addition of ORs, we can have more rooms running during the day to take care of the emergency cases. Instead of running four or five ORs between midnight and 7 a.m., we could just have one room running at that time. It’s better for staff and better for patients. It will also avoid scheduled surgeries being delayed to free up ORs for emergencies.”

Dr. Redekop says provision of the larger – and standardized – ORs will enable surgeons to operate in any of the new ORs. “Because different surgical specialties use specific equipment, we will have rooms that are generally equipped for some of those specialties, but the reality is that on any given day, by moving just a few pieces of equipment, we’ll be able to do any case in any of the ORs,” he says.

“The generosity of the community has been overwhelming,” says Barbara Grantham, president and CEO of the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation. “The Future of Surgery campaign is about strengthening the resources of both VGH and UBC Hospital to support a single, state-of-the-art, efficient, effective surgical program. We are in the final stretch of the campaign, with over $46-million raised.”

Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.