The west wing of Richmond Hospital is being renamed the Milan Ilich Pavilion after yet another donation from the Milan & Maureen Ilich Foundation took their giving total to an incredible $10 million.
An artist’s rendering of what the new naming would look like was unveiled at a ceremony Friday attended by the Ilich family, health officials, MLAs, the mayor and city council.
The late Milan Ilich’s son, Rick, said he was as proud of the renaming as his dad would have been as modest and “awkward” about the recognition.
“He never liked attention ... it was mom’s suggestion that this bear dad’s name only,” he told the audience.
And in an appeal to every Richmondite to dig deep, Rick said his dad would have pointed out that you don’t need to be a successful businessman to philanthropic.
“The hospital needs your $50, whatever you can afford, it’s not always about the big cheque. It’s just about giving back,” he explained.
He also asked people to be “inspired,” rather than “intimidated” by his family’s philanthropy.
Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap, who knew Milan Ilich well before his recent death, said the naming of the west wing was a fitting tribute to a “great British Columbian.”
“That $10 million is just part of it, the foundation has given $23 million across the Lower Mainland,” said Yap.
Natalie Meixner, Richmond Hospital Foundation’s president and CEO, told of the “incredible impact,” Milan and Maureen Ilich have had on health care in the community.
“Today, the legacy of Milan, his wife Maureen, and their children Rick and Laurie, will continue well into the future thanks to their Foundation’s latest donation that will see new investments and improvements at Richmond Hospital,” said Meixner.
As a result of the latest legacy donation from the Milan & Maureen Ilich Foundation, three new 100 per cent donor funded initiatives are now underway at Richmond Hospital, including:
* Creating a more patient and family friendly environment by investing in new facility improvements in public areas of the hospital.
* Investing in new technology and research for Richmond Hospital’s Urology Team.
* Upgrading two additional operating rooms for minimally invasive surgery.
“Milan always believed in giving back to the community in which we lived, and the community that had been so good to our family,” said Maureen Ilich.
“We hope the Milan Ilich Pavilion will not only remind people of his legacy, but also inspire others to make a difference in our community themselves.”
The Milan and Maureen Ilich Foundation began giving to Richmond Hospital Foundation more than 25 years ago, starting with a gift to help purchase a leading-edge CT scanner.