A Remarkable Legacy
Experts at BC Children’s Hospital go beyond caring for kids when they’re sick or hurt—they also help prevent them from having to visit a hospital in the first place. One of the reasons why the hospital has become so successful at that is because of the work of Dr. David Scheifele.
A pediatric infectious disease specialist, Dr. Scheifele came to BC Children’s Hospital in 1977. Eleven years later, he co-founded the Vaccine Evaluation Center (VEC)—which was the first of its kind in Canada.
“We recognized the need for an academic vaccine research unit, which was quite a novel undertaking,” Dr. Scheifele said. “There wasn’t anything like it in Canada. So we needed start-up funding to be in a position to hire people. The Foundation helped to secure that.”
Within a year, the VEC secured its first substantial grant—which was followed by many more shortly after. The funding helped advance innovative research that contributed to new vaccines and improved vaccine safety. That included research into a vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae type B—a leading cause of meningitis and sepsis in kids under five years of age. As a result of that work, new vaccine programs were able to reduce the rate of disease to the point where there haven’t been any cases at BC Children’s Hospital in the last decade.
By seeing first-hand the difference that community support makes, Dr. Scheifele was inspired to become a donor of BC Children’s Hospital 30 years ago—and he’s continued to give to this day. “I can attest from personal experience that this is a great institution,” he said. “It was an easy decision for me to put BC Children’s Hospital Foundation at the top of my charity list.”
Now, he will leave an even greater legacy. This year, Dr. Scheifele and his wife Carolyn made the decision to leave a legacy gift in his Will to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. The gift will go to the VEC endowment, which supports initiatives aimed at ensuring the next generation of VEC medical leaders can continue making progress.
Dr. Scheifele says that leaving his legacy was a straightforward process. “It was helpful to discuss my plans with my financial advisor, who was able to show me that I was in a position to leave a legacy. It’s very satisfying to complete the arrangements, and it offers peace of mind. A legacy allows you to give a gift in the future that you might not be able to provide in your lifetime.”
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