Original hospital tower named Yurkovich Family Pavilion

Richmond: Long-time Richmond residents, Dr. Tony and Mrs. Nancy Yurkovich today made the single largest gift in the history of Richmond Hospital Foundation in support of a new Acute Care Tower.

“Dr. and Mrs. Yurkovich’s decision to make this transformational donation has enabled our community to speak loudly and assertively about what our priorities are here in Richmond,” said Natalie Meixner, President & CEO, Richmond Hospital Foundation. “They have a great vision for how to bring a community together regardless of where one is from or how long they have lived in Richmond. We believe this will be the catalyst for change in our community.”

While the Yurkovich’s gift ranks among some of the largest donations made to a hospital foundation in British Columbia, the couple remains modest and humble, preferring to inspire others to join and are thrilled that more than 10 families and organizations have made commitments totalling $25 million toward a new Acute Care Tower at Richmond Hospital. Out of respect for their wishes, details of the size of their gift will not be shared.

In recognition of their generosity, the original hospital tower, whose official opening they attended in 1966, will be named the Yurkovich Family Pavilion. In the future, when a new Acute Care Tower is approved by the Provincial Government, the naming will transfer to the new building.

“I love this community. I feel great joy in giving,” says Dr. Yurkovich. “Back then we wanted the very best health care for the people of Richmond,” added Nancy. “We still want the same thing today, and that’s what a new Acute Care Tower will mean for us.”

Dr. Yurkovich is a retired Richmond-based family physician who dedicated his practice to caring for others over four decades. A first generation Canadian whose determined mother spoke only Croatian for much of her life, Tony worked in the shingle mills and canneries to pay for his medical school education at The University of British Columbia. Following graduation, he chose to devote his career to the health of others in Richmond. Nancy, born in Toronto, became a registered nurse and moved to the West Coast, meeting her future husband while working in the same hospital, marrying, settling in Richmond, and raising a family.

“We are truly honoured to have such generous and community minded supporters,” said Mary Ackenhusen, President and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health. “A safe and modern acute care tower is a key part of our vision for health care in Richmond, and we are committed to working with government, the community and our partners at the Richmond Hospital Foundation to move this exciting project forward.”

Richmond Hospital needs a new Acute Care Tower to replace the original tower, which is now more than 50 years old and no longer meets the needs of our growing and rapidly aging population.

Since the Province announced it had approved the first phase of planning in June 2016, the Richmond team completed the initial concept plan ahead of schedule. The Board of Vancouver Coastal Health has approved the plan and forwarded it to the Ministry of Health.  The Provincial Government will make the decision regarding when the project will  move forward to the business case stage of planning.

Over the past 50 years, Richmond’s population has quadrupled from 50,000 in 1966 to more than 218,000 today. By 2030, Richmond’s population is expected to exceed 250,000. Richmond residents also have the longest average lifespan at 85 years of age compared to the national average of 81 years, and Richmond Hospital will face enormous pressure to provide acute care services for patients and families who need it.

Over 30 years, Richmond Hospital Foundation has raised nearly $75 million to help purchase vital medical equipment, improve patient care services and upgrade facilities at Richmond Hospital.