The Saskatchewan Children’s Hospital has a new name following the announcement of the largest monetary donation in its history.
The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan (CHFS) announced Tuesday a $50-million donation was made by the Jim Pattison Foundation.
“This is an extraordinary and generous gift that will allow for ongoing, sustainable funding for the new provincial children’s hospital,” said Brynn Boback-Lane, CHFS President and CEO.
In honour of the donation, the hospital will be named the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital. The CHFS will also be renamed the Jim Pattison Children’s Foundation.
Boback-Lane said the historic gift opens up new research opportunities.
“There are several endowments for research we will be looking into to ensure we align with absolute needs of the province,” she said.
“We will be speaking to the experts, the pediatric experts, to ensure that what those endowments are going towards are research projects we can do at home and have impact across Saskatchewan.”
Jim Pattison is a Vancouver-based businessman and philanthropist originally from Luseland, Saskatchewan. He is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Jim Pattison Group, the second-largest privately-held company in Canada.
The company has numerous business ventures in diverse industries, including ownership of grocery chain Save-On-Foods.
Pattison told 650 CKOM he wants to give back to his home province.
“My mother’s family were homesteaders, my dad’s family were homesteaders – so we wouldn’t be here without the Saskatchewan people,” Pattison said.
Despite his large donation, Pattison credits volunteers – and those who’ve made the new children’s hospital a reality – as the real givers. He told the crowd he believes donating time is the most valuable gift.
“That’s what builds a community, that’s what builds a country in my opinion,” Pattison said.
Naming a health facility after a generous donor is not new to Saskatchewan: others include the Dr. F.H. Wigmore Hospital in Moose Jaw, the Leslie and Irene Dubé Centre for Mental Health in Saskatoon and the RAWLCO Centre for Mother Baby Care in Regina.
Children’s Hospital progress
With two years left before the hospital opens its doors, the Saskatoon Health Region has already recruited more than 70 per cent of the pediatric specialists it will need to staff the province’s new maternal and children’s hospital.
Active recruitment of pediatric specialists continues and 13 interested candidates have made site visits to Saskatoon since January.
Construction of the new 176 bed, 409,032 square foot hospital reached 55 per cent completion at the end of April.
The Saskatchewan government is contributing $235.5 million toward the total project cost of $285.2 million, and $21.4 million will come from interest in investments by the Saskatoon Health Region.
In addition, the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan is contributing $75 million through their capital campaign.
The project remains on time and on budget, and is scheduled for completion in 2019.