Richmond family donates $5M for local acute care tower

Richmond Hospital’s operating rooms will have a new name to honour a massive donation made by a local family.

Soon to be called the Greczmiel Family Surgical Centre, Richmond Hospital’s operating rooms will be named for the family that recently gave $5 million towards the hospital’s new acute care tower. Once the acute care tower is built, the name will move to the new pavilion’s surgical centre.

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“Our sincere thanks to the Greczmiel Family. Their philanthropic leadership will help enable our vision for a ‘future-ready’ innovative multi-purpose surgical centre that will serve our growing and aging population for decades to come,” said Dr. Dan Kopac, head of surgery for Richmond Hospital.

“Their generous contribution will help us attract and retain future generations of talented surgeons whose expertise will build on the high-calibre, exemplary care we already deliver.”

Gene Greczmiel was born in Richmond in 1929 to parents Eugene and Maria who immigrated to Canada from Europe. Throughout his life, Gene worked as a farmer and in real estate before he passed away in 2018.

Now, Gene’s daughters Michele Cupit and Lisa Greczmiel run the family business and continue to contribute to the local community.

“Our father was a pioneer in the development of Richmond, building homes, neighbourhoods and businesses here. We are proud to be able to give back to help build a new acute care tower for Richmond to improve the future of the hospital care we all rely on throughout our lives,” said Lisa Greczmiel in a press release.

“We invite others in our community, whose families and businesses have prospered like our own, to join us in creating a legacy of local health care for a community we all love and benefit from.”

Last March, Premier John Horgan announced a new acute tower would be built in Richmond.

Opened in 1966, the current tower’s condition has been a widespread concern. According to a 2005 seismic report of the hospital, the tower would likely collapse, or partially collapse with “moderate shaking.” This fact was reiterated to VCH in a 2011 report. In a moderate earthquake of 5.0 to 5.9 on the Richter scale, all eight operating rooms and over half the beds would be at severe risk.

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