The Hospital for Sick Children’s foundation has announced the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian health care history.
The SickKids VS Limits campaign aims to raise $1.3 billion for three components, with $600 million being put towards building a new patient care centre on University Avenue.
The remaining two elements will put $600 million towards pediatric health research and $100 million towards establishing partnerships for better, coordinated patient care.
SickKids Foundation CEO Ted Garrard acknowledged to AM640 that while it’s an ambitious goal, they had a head start two years ago.
“Already we have had commitments of $570 million, so another $730 million to go, but we’re off to a great start.”
The foundation said there is a need for a new hospital that keeps up with today’s state-of-the-art technology and is designed to enable the latest advances in clinical procedures, optimal patient safety and infection control, and best practices in family-centered care.
“Medical treatments and technology have come a long way since the 1940s or even the 1990s, making it more important than ever before for the hospital to evolve to fully realize the possibilities in children’s health,” stated the press release on Friday.
“In order for SickKids to remain a world leader in pediatric health, the time to realize a fully redeveloped campus is now.”
Toronto’s SickKids hospital was built at 555 University Ave. in 1949 as the largest children’s hospital in the world. An expansion to the building was completed in 1993, nearly 25 years ago, with the opening of the Atrium building at 170 Elizabeth St.
LISTEN: SickKids Foundation CEO Ted Garrard joins AM640’s The John Oakley Show
“In the oldest part of the hospital, we have ceiling heights that don’t accommodate the kind of robotics you use now in surgery. We have floor plates that can’t hold the weight of magnetic-resonance imaging machines,” Garrard told AM640, in a couple of examples the hospital is currently faced with.
A two-minute emotional advertisement for the campaign was released on Friday, showing 200 SickKids patient ambassadors and their siblings gathering materials to help build a new hospital.
“Twenty-first-century medicine shouldn’t be held back by a 1949 building. Our facility is becoming technologically and functionally obsolete,” said Dr. Mike Apkon, president and CEO of The Hospital for Sick Children.
“Our facilities and infrastructure don’t match the level of expertise of our people.”
A campaign cabinet of 68 business and community leaders will serve as volunteers towards achieving the ambitious fundraising goal.
The campaign period is anticipated to run through to March 31, 2022.
WATCH: (Oct. 2016) Toronto’s SickKids hospital unveils new brand platform