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2016 / 17 Annual Report

BCCHF Board Chair Don Lindsay and President & CEO Teri Nicholas standing together smiling.

Report from the President & Chair

The next few months will bring a new era in child health. This fall, the grand opening of the Teck Acute Care Centre will bring together clinicians and researchers from a broad spectrum of specializations to create an innovative, holistic approach to treating children in a healing environment that encompasses the body, mind and spirit. The Teck Acute Care Centre will house the most technologically advanced equipment and will boast a reimagined design with substantially more clinical space and operating rooms, private patient rooms, ample natural light and purposeful, curated art.

2016-17 has been nothing short of phenomenal. BC Children’s Hospital Foundation set fundraising records, through the support of people from all across the province. Our three signature galas raised amounts never before achieved. The support of thousands at Miracle Weekend raised the bar once again, bringing in over $20 million.

Our medical staff and researchers are making tremendous strides in their quest to transform pediatric health care. In the last year, they have discovered genes that resulted in new treatments. Their research has garnered international attention. And our kids have been among the first in the world to trial novel therapies that carry the potential to change their lives.

Your support made these successes possible. Thank you for helping our kids shine.

Signature of Teri Nicholas

Teri Nicholas, MSW, RSW
President & CEO

Signature of Lindsay Don

Donald R. Lindsay, O.B.C.
Chair, Board of Directors

The exterior of the new 8-story Teck Acute Care Centre building on a sunny, cloudless day.

New Teck Acute Care Centre

We Are Built to Heal

The Teck Acute Care Centre will be a state-of-the-art facility that matches the exceptional care BC Children’s Hospital is famous for. The new building will be home to the Ledcor Children’s Emergency Department, Hudson Family Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, surgical procedure suites, operating rooms, in-patient rooms and much more.

The entire eight-storey, 640,000 square foot building was designed with the input of clinicians, surgeons, medical staff, patient families and members of the community. Their combined wisdom and insight stimulated the creation of an innovative healing environment with family centred care at its heart.

What does that look like? For one, the look and feel have been entirely reimagined in a way that will transform the hospital experience. The LEED Gold certified building will offer abundant natural light, open spaces and gardens. An incredible display of purpose-built art is fully integrated throughout. Inspiration and positive distraction will all bring tangible health benefits to patients, like reduction in perceived pain, a lowered need for sedation and decreased recovery times.

Added space will also translate to better patient outcomes. With 231 single patient rooms, every family will have their own space to stay with their child overnight, offering more privacy and helping a child’s well-being during difficult times. The new emergency department will be three times larger than the current space. That extra room has allowed the creation of a new model of care where patients and their families can stay in one treatment room during their visit, with clinicians and equipment coming to them.

One of the hardest things about staying in a hospital can be experiencing a loss of control — especially when you’re at an age when independence and choice are important. Soon, kids will be able to use a remote to adjust the intensity of the lighting in their room, or to change the channel on TV. They will also be able to choose the pillow they find most comfortable, personalize their space, and order from a set food menu.

The new Teck Acute Care Centre truly is built to heal.

A smiling mother holds her infant daughter a who has butterfly bandage on her face to keep a tube in place.


Two doctors wearing scrubs and masks perform heart surgery in an operating room at BCCH.

Cardiac Surgery

When most people imagine a typical patient with heart disease, adults usually come to mind. But heart anomalies aren’t as rare as you may think in young patients — one in every hundred kids is born with one, making it the most common birth disorder. Sometimes, these problems are simple and minor; other times, they can be severe, complicated, and turn into a lifelong journey.

A few decades ago, congenital heart disease was often fatal in children. Dramatic advancements in technology and surgical techniques have helped improve how we treat cardiac patients over the years, especially here at BC Children’s Hospital. We’re one of two full service pediatric centres in Western Canada providing a full complement of cardiac care.

“In cardiac surgery, we take care of sicker patients than we used to,” said Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi, Chief of Pediatric Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. “We have a philosophy of trying to fix pretty much everything as a newborn. We do more complex operations earlier in life to get kids back to a normal state of health faster.”

In 2016-17, our cardiac surgery program received funding for new heart-lung machines and ventilators from the Chinese-Canadian community at the For Children We Care gala. The heart-lung machine allows the heart to be still while surgeons perform their life-saving work, and open-heart surgery is simply not possible without it. This new machine uses technology that helps speed up a child’s recovery.

Last year, donor support also allowed us to expand our cardiology outreach program. In total, we visited 11 communities across the province to provide kids the specialized care they need closer to home.

We’ve come a long way over the years. In 2017, our goal isn’t just to get a child with congenital heart disease to survive. It’s to give that child a normal life and help them realize a world of possibilities.

A colourful section of a westcoast aquatics themed mural with star fish and seals created by Vancouver artist Tyler Toews.

The Children’s Healing Experience Project

All throughout our new hospital, there will be artwork, murals, sculptures and exhibits. The pieces aren’t just intended to be attractive backdrops or to help patients and families find their way around — although those are added benefits. They will encourage our patient’s healing journey.

Research continues to demonstrate that enhancements like these, that create a thoughtful healing environment, have a direct impact on health outcomes, such as lowering anxiety, a reduced perception of pain, less medication and faster recovery. With a “canvas” larger than 600,000 square feet within the new Teck Acute Care Centre, we took that to a whole new level.

The Children’s Healing Experience Project was launched with the visionary support of the Crystal Ball and For Children We Care galas over two years ago. A guiding principle of the project was to involve the very people who understand the hospital experience the most: patients, families, volunteers and health care professionals. These “experts” were recruited into our committees to help determine where enhancements were needed and to guide the artistic content. They reviewed more than 1,200 submissions that came in through our nation-wide call for artists, and helped choose the 65 artists we worked with to create unique healing experiences. Ultimately, it was the kids who had the final say on the artwork, weighing in with valuable feedback, like a desire for scenes that reminded them of home.

The outcome is spectacular. The Teck Acute Care Centre will be filled with some 220 murals, 360 ceiling tiles and eight sculptures, which are all reflective of the natural beauty and diversity of BC. It will have exhibits from six iconic community partners — The Vancouver Art Gallery, Royal BC Museum, Vancouver Aquarium, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, UBC Museum of Anthropology and TELUS World of Science — which will educate and engage our kids in ways never before been seen in a hospital. There will also be two themed playrooms created by the Vancouver Canucks and the Vancouver Whitecaps that will offer kids a place to escape and families a setting to connect. In short, it will be an environment that at once comforts and heals.

The Children’s Healing Experience Project will redefine how we care for our kids and their families. This success couldn’t have been possible without the support and dedication of countless people across our province, including the Beedie family, our community partners, Crystal Ball donors and For Children We Care donors.

A young girl in a hospital bed smiles affectionately as she snuggles with a friendly therapy dog.

Dog Visitation Program

Pets have the power to light up any face simply by walking into a room. In addition to bringing smiles and joy, furry friends do a lot more: they can improve health in measurable ways. And that’s not just intuitive thinking.

A growing body of research suggests that dogs can bring significant benefits to a patient while they are in the hospital. They can help maintain a sense of normalcy. They can also lower stress levels and anxiety, reduce the need for sedation, and shorten healing times. That, too, makes it easier for hospital staff to provide better care.

Dogs also provide profound benefits to parents and siblings. As family members anxiously wait for hours in the hospital for updates, they offer a much-needed distraction and a source of calmness.

BC Children’s Hospital has a Dog Visitation Program that does just that. Last year, we were able to enhance it in a number of ways thanks to a generous donation from PetSmart Charities of Canada. Most notably, we doubled the number of therapy dogs to 15 and increased the program to seven days a week instead of four. The program has expanded to more areas, too: while visits used to be limited to in-patient units, our therapy dogs and their handlers now make their rounds to other corners of the hospital, like the Emergency Department and Surgical Day Care.

Pet therapy isn’t, of course, a cure by itself — but when offered in combination with excellent care, services like this can transform hospital visits for thousands of kids and families from across the province. It’s just another way we are built to heal.

A young boy in a wheelchair makes eye contact with the warmly smiling female therapist working with him.

Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children

Sunny Hill Health Centre helps kids and youth with developmental and rehabilitation needs through a wide range of services. As the only children’s facility of its kind in BC, more than 6,600 patients rely on it every year for diagnosing conditions like autism and fetal alcohol disorder, as well as receiving specialized services for conditions such as cerebral palsy and spinal or acquired brain injuries.

Thanks to our donors, Sunny Hill was able to expand its early mobility loan bank in 2016. The Assistive Technology Team acquired new communication devices for kids with difficulty speaking. In addition, the Acute Rehabilitation Program added several pediatric wheelchairs with special cushions, standing frames and strollers to its library. During difficult times, buying equipment can be a tremendous source of stress on a family. The loan bank lets families take equipment home and test it out to ensure it meets their needs before they go to that expense.

The Acute Rehabilitation Team received the prestigious 2016 John F. McCreary Prize for Interprofessional Teamwork at the UBC Health Awards. Often, kids stay for an extended period of time at Sunny Hill. The team produced a unique interdisciplinary report so families can leave on the day of discharge and locate the services they need in their communities without any delay.

In 2016, Sunny Hill oversaw 2,078 Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessments — which is 21% more than anticipated and a 5% increase over the number of assessments completed in 2015. Through this increased capacity, families and kids have been able to be seen sooner.

Sunny Hill also engaged patients and families in redesigning the current waiting space in the Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions clinic area, as well as in planning Sunny Hill’s new dedicated, purpose-built space at BC Children’s Hospital, which is scheduled to open in late 2019.

A BCCH doctor uses his stethoscope to listen to a teenage boy's heartbeat.

Care Team

Dr. Manish Sadarangani, dressed in a business suit and dress shirt without a tie, smiles confidently.

Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Vaccination rates in BC are low. Approximately 30% of children aren’t fully up to date on their immunizations at the age of two — a situation that’s even more alarming in a hospital, where children with complex medical issues are at a higher risk for severe infections and diseases. This is why 2016 was a transformative year at BC Children’s Hospital.

As part of an incredible $15-million donation from Save-On-Foods, we started work on building a storefront family immunization clinic right in the hospital. It’s the first of its kind in Canada, and the second in the world. At its helm will be Dr. Manish Sadarangani, who is also the new Director of the Vaccine Evaluation Center.

Dr. Sadarangani joined BC Children’s from The Children’s Hospital in Oxford, England, where he was a Clinical Lecturer and Consultant in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology. Previously, he trained as a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow at BC Children’s between 2011 and 2013, which he credits as a big reason for taking on the new role.

“I was really excited by what was happening here from the clinical side and also, on the research front,” he said.

There are many benefits to the clinic, not least is that it will provide one easily accessible place for families and patients to receive their vaccinations. It will also be a resource for physicians across the province to access the advice of our experts regarding immunizations for their medically complex patients. As well as serving patients, the clinic will offer publicly funded vaccinations for entire families, which Dr. Sadarangani says is a simple, highly effective way to extend the impact of the clinic and ensure more kids are protected.

After the clinic opens in the fall, we'll begin to expand outreach throughout the province.

“I think it should be the norm for all health care providers to take an interest in immunization in children,” Dr. Sadarangani said. “We want to expand the focus for hospitals — to not just worry about their patient’s acute illness, but also, to really see preventative medicine as part of their role.”
Dr. Edmond Chan, gives a friendly smile while dressed in a business suit and dress shirt without a tie.

Dr. Edmond Chan

Two in every hundred kids in Canada lives with a peanut allergy. It’s a trend that’s become dramatically worse over the years, but one pediatric allergist has made it his mission to reverse it for future generations.

Dr. Edmond Chan, the Director of the Colonel Harland Sanders Allergy Clinic at BC Children’s, made headlines after releasing Canadian guidelines on peanut introduction, which recommend giving peanuts to children earlier and more frequently. As a result of that, in January 2017, he was invited to co-author North American guidelines on preventing peanut allergy with a U.S. National Institutes of Health panel — the only Canadian on a panel made up of renowned and respected names in the allergy world.

Over the last few years, donor funding allowed Dr. Chan to expand his research team. One promising study is a peanut patch that’s put on a child’s back every day designed to tolerate accidental peanut exposures. BC Children’s is one of 30 sites around the world participating in the trial, and the only one in Western Canada — which has given our kids the opportunity to be among the first to try and benefit from this innovative treatment.

Dr. Chan also made big strides in creating a new mobile e-health website that will educate the public about what food allergies are, and what they aren’t. The site is currently in development and once it’s live, the hope is for it to reduce waiting lists by reducing unnecessary referrals.

In addition, he partnered with psychologists at BC Children’s to study the interaction between anxiety and food allergies. Many patients and families who have food allergies experience compromised day-to-day functioning because they have a high degree of anxiety about it. Dr. Chan is working to accurately diagnose this anxiety and provide resources that will help patients cope better.

Dr. Chan credits donors for making all of this work possible. “Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to create the allergy research team we now have that’s benefitting so many kids and families,” he said.
Dr. Mary Connolly, dressed in a royal blue suit jacket, smiles confidently in her office with her computer in the background.

Dr. Mary Connolly

Dr. Mary Connolly has been at the forefront of pediatric epilepsy care and research for many years. After completing her fellowship at Harvard University in the early ’90s, she joined the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at BC Children’s Hospital and was instrumental in developing the Epilepsy Surgery Program. Dr. Connolly and her colleagues have worked tirelessly over the years to develop the Provincial Epilepsy Program, which is the primary resource for children with epilepsy across BC and one of the leading programs in Canada.

Epilepsy is the most common disorder seen by pediatric neurologists. There are a number of ways to treat the disorder — including anti-seizure medications, the ketogenic diet, epilepsy surgery and vagus nerve stimulation. However, 30% of patients don’t respond to traditional treatment options, and this can lead to irreversible effects on learning and behaviour. Kids in BC with treatment resistant epilepsy have access to the most innovative treatments, such as international studies of targeted treatments.

In the past two and a half years, Dr. Connolly and colleagues Dr. Demos and Dr. Farrer have completed a study of Whole Exome Sequencing — a state-of-the-art genomic technology — in 150 children with early onset epilepsy of unknown cause. To date, the cause of epilepsy was identified in 30% of children and had immediate treatment implications in some children. Novel epilepsy genes were also discovered by the team.

Dr. Connolly is enormously grateful for a contribution from a group of donors led by Ali Pejman. She and her team will continue to build on their genomic research in children with unexplained epilepsy.

In addition, donor support has enabled the Epilepsy Program to expand its outreach and telehealth services. Dr. Connolly and her team see 10% of children and youth with epilepsy across the province in outreach clinics or Telehealth.

“We are really trying to integrate telehealth into epilepsy care to make it easier for families and help reduce anxiety, and the considerable expense associated with travelling to BC Children’s Hospital,” Dr. Connolly said.
Dr. Quynh Doan, in a tailored pink dress with a pink stethoscope around her neck, stands confidently with the BCCH Emergency sign behind her.

Dr. Quynh Doan

When Dr. Quynh Doan, an emergency pediatrician at BC Children’s Hospital, noticed that our Emergency Department was struggling with increasing numbers of children and youth presenting with mental health issues, she knew she could make a change.

“Often, our patients with psychosocial concerns undergo a full psychiatric assessment, which takes four or five hours if we rely on the psychiatrist on call,” Dr. Doan said. “When there were a handful of kids with mental health care needs in one evening, the department wasn’t able to operate as efficiently as it could.”

Dr. Doan believes that as more people are aware of mental health issues but still don’t know what to do when it affects them or a loved one, the emergency department remains a common destination. To improve emergency clinicians’ ability to assess and direct management for most patients themselves, she approached Dr. Tyler Black, the Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Emergency Unit at BC Children’s, to help create a tool.

The tool, which is called HEARTSMAP, asks a series of questions to allow clinicians to collect information across ten different areas of mental health. Equipped with a built-in algorithm, it uses those results to provide an indication of the type and acuity of services needed, and then provides recommendations for management. For families and children, this means quicker and more efficient care.

2016 was a successful year for HEARTSMAP. It became the official assessment tool for Emergency Department protocol at BC Children’s Hospital and is currently being implemented in emergency departments in 50 hospitals across the province. Emergency departments across the U.S. are also now interested in our model of care for pediatric mental health emergencies. This means that more kids will have access to the mental health expertise at BC Children’s Hospital, no matter where their home is.

As a next step, Dr. Doan is working to develop a family and youth self-assessment tool to allow anyone to check their mental health status.

“Ideally, we want to help kids — with or without identified mental health issues — to self-assess, benefit from early detection, and know where to get the resources appropriate for their needs,” Dr. Doan said.
A young patient and his mom share a hug and joyful laugh.


Dr. Hilary and Mrs. Patsy Hui, together with their children Denise and Aaron.

Hui Family

Philanthropy has been a core value of the Hui family for decades. For more than 23 years, Dr. Hilary and Mrs. Patsy Hui and their kids, Denise and Aaron, have supported BC Children’s Hospital — a decision influenced by Patsy’s own parents’ strong belief in making a positive impact in the community.

As true visionaries, the Hui family knows that their support has the power to shape our communities. Over the years, they have donated in so many ways to BC Children’s Hospital, demonstrating that their compassion knows no bounds. Their generous gift to our Campaign for BC Children ensured that the new Teck Acute Care Centre was made a reality, transforming the way we deliver care to children here in BC. Their contributions have helped purchase life-saving medical equipment, such as heart-lung machines that are essential for open-heart surgery. The family has also established an endowment fund and confirmed a planned gift for BC Children’s, ensuring the next generation of kids receive the very best treatment we can offer.

In addition to their financial contributions, the family also takes part in countless initiatives at BC Children’s. Patsy has served in multiple roles in a volunteer capacity since 1995, including as the chair of the Chinese-Canadian Miracle Weekend telethon. As a current member of the Miracle Maker Panel, she has also made a tremendous difference in raising the community’s awareness of the hospital.

“I truly do believe in the cause,” Patsy said. “My dream is to help the children of BC receive the greatest care possible and find new ways to treat them.”
Members of the Board of Directors of the Michael Cuccione Foundation, on the grounds of BC Children's Hospital.

Michael Cuccione Foundation

In BC, more than 130 children under 17 years of age are diagnosed with cancer every year. Twenty years ago, half of those kids wouldn’t have survived — but today, the three year survival rates for childhood cancer are more than 80%. That’s in large part because of new advances in research made possible by supporters like the Michael Cuccione Foundation.

In 1994, Michael Cuccione was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of nine. Along with his parents, he created the Michael Cuccione Foundation to raise funds for childhood cancer research.

Michael sadly passed away after his 16th birthday in 2001, but his vision has continued on to this day. Through a range of events — including an annual gala, as well as a soccer and golf tournament — the Michael Cuccione Foundation has raised more than $18 million to date, and directed $13 million of that toward BC Children’s Hospital.

In 2012, the children’s cancer research program at BC Children’s Hospital was renamed the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program. This support has allowed us to push forward new clinical trials and conduct ground-breaking studies on treatments for kids battling cancer.

“Losing a child is one of the most difficult things that anyone would have to endure,” said Gloria Cuccione, Michael's mother and the Foundation’s Executive Director. “I really want to encourage and inspire people to turn tragedy into triumph.”
Two smiling children walk hand-in-hand wearing bright green Save-On-Foods t-shirts.


2016 marked a special anniversary for Save-On-Foods and BC Children’s Hospital: a 30 year partnership. We truly appreciate the incredible generosity and long-term support of Save-On-Foods’ team members, customers and suppliers.

“There is no greater cause than the health of our kids,” said Darrell Jones, President of Save-On-Foods. “Save-On-Foods’ team members, customers and supplier partners across BC are passionate about helping the fantastic folks of BC Children’s Hospital provide life-changing care to kids and families in need. By supporting innovations in child health, we are also supporting the families who work and shop in our stores.”

It was a remarkable year. Save-On-Foods completed a pledge of $20 million for Child Health BC, an initiative that makes health care accessible to kids in their home communities. Months later, they committed to another pledge of $15 million to establish a comprehensive immunization program, including Canada’s first storefront immunization clinic right at BC Children’s. At the same time, they are funding urgently-needed medical equipment.

Dr. Allison Eddy, Chief of Pediatrics at BC Children’s Hospital, says initiatives like these carry the potential to improve the lives of children across the province.

“Words alone don’t adequately capture the impact that Save-On-Foods’ donations have had — not just within the walls of BC Children’s Hospital, but across the province to its outermost reaches. Now recognized as one of Canada’s most innovative children’s hospitals, the rest of Canada is looking westward to learn from us.”
A young girl in pig tails wearing a hospital gown walks down a corridor with a caregiver dressed in blue scrubs.


Young Mikelle O'Yek embraced by her parents Sarah Wang and Jeffrey O'Yek at a park.

Mikelle O'Yek

During a routine 20-week ultrasound, Sarah Wang and Jeffrey O’Yek’s joy gave way to fear when they learned there was a complication with their unborn daughter. Soon after, their family doctor confirmed she had a serious, life-threatening heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. It happens when the left side of the heart is severely undeveloped and unable to effectively pump blood to the body, meaning the heart only has two chambers.

“It was a very difficult time,” Sarah recalled. “It’s a huge stress, as well as emotional trauma, to parents who are expecting their first child.”

Mikelle underwent her first of three open-heart operations at just two days old at BC Children’s Hospital. During the seven hour surgery, she was put on a heart-lung machine to allow her heart to be still. She recovered in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for three days, and Sarah and Jeffrey were able to take her home just days later.

At nine months, Mikelle returned to BC Children’s for her second open-heart surgery. She will also have a third and final surgery in the fall, when she’s four years old, where the doctors will move one of her arteries and connect it directly to the heart so that her two-chamber heart can work as a full heart.

“The team at BC Children’s has been amazing,” Sarah said. “They are there for you medically, and also emotionally. They prepared us not only for the surgeries itself, but also what to expect.”

Today, thanks to the care she received, Mikelle is a happy, energetic girl who loves to run around and explore new things.

Colton Hasebe, dressed in a grey collared shirt, gives a wide, happy smile.

Colton Hasebe

When ten-year-old Colton Hasebe was wheezing and couldn’t get relief from his asthma inhaler, his dad Kevin brought him to emergency at BC Children’s Hospital. As soon as they got to the counter, Colton collapsed.

“A whole bunch of people showed up and started CPR on him right away,” Kevin said.

Colton’s asthma attack caused a heart attack. He stopped breathing and lost his heartbeat for 15 minutes, while doctors and nurses fought to resuscitate him. After several rounds of compressions and medication, his pulse came back. By that time, however, brain damage had already set in.

“The brain is quite dependent on oxygen, sugar and glucose and if it’s deprived of either for more than three to five minutes, you can see effects similar to a stroke,” said Dr. Garth Meckler, Head of Emergency Medicine.

Colton lost his vision, and he was unable to eat or walk. Ten days after his heart attack, the family moved to BC Children’s rehabilitation specialists at Sunny Hill for treatment. His team included occupational therapists and physiotherapists to help him walk again, as well as a speech and language therapist.

“The progress he was having there was amazing,” his mom Rachel said. “He went from not being able to eat or see to, all of a sudden, sitting up in bed and standing.”

After just a month at Sunny Hill, Colton regained his autonomy and was able to return home to his family. He’s now back at school and back to living a full life with his family.

“He was very motivated,” Kevin said. “I’ve never been so impressed by somebody in my entire life.”
Young Reid van Rossum smiles as he sits in a sun-filled, grassy field.

Reid van Rossum

To passengers on the ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver on a sunny June day, a vibrant toddler running circles around the deck was cute, but maybe a little too high-spirited. To his parents, Brad and Andrea van Rossum, the sight was magnificent.

Even before he was born, Reid’s parents knew he had a congenital heart defect called pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum.

“In Reid’s heart, the ventricle that pumps blood to the lungs wasn’t properly developed,” said Dr. Shu Sanatani, Head of Cardiology at BC Children’s Hospital. “It becomes quite critical when you don’t have two pumping chambers, so these babies need emergency medical care.”

In order to survive, Reid would have to endure three major surgeries, the first just weeks after birth and the second, at six months old. After his final surgery last summer, Reid’s parents witnessed his burgeoning sense of independence and vitality.

“Four days post-op, we were in the hospital playroom and he had more energy than we had ever seen before,” Brad said. “Hearing his laughter and seeing him play were pure joy.”

Today, Reid has recovered and is more energetic than ever. He is treated by Dr. Andrew Campbell and his cardiology team — and, with our Child Health BC initiative, the van Rossums are able to go to their follow-up appointments on the Island, where they see Dr. Brian Sinclair.

Taylin McGill, together with her sister, mom and dad, laughing on a grassy hill.

Taylin McGill

Not many children waltz into the hospital for surgery cheerfully singing their favourite song. But to Taylin McGill, facing her sixth brain surgery at age three, it just seemed like a natural thing to do.

Taylin, now fifteen, has applied that same optimism to every challenge she has faced since she was diagnosed with salmonella bacterial meningitis at a week old. The rare brain infection led to a series of life-threatening complications.

“Many operations were needed to try to correct a condition called hydrocephalus — a problem with the way fluid circulates in the brain,” said Dr. Douglas Cochrane, a neurosurgeon at BC Children’s Hospital. The infection also caused severe brain damage, vision problems, hearing loss and seizures that lasted from two to 90 minutes.

One of Taylin’s biggest setbacks happened when she was three years old. An emergency medical situation left her in a coma-like state for several days and unable to speak for weeks. However, Taylin amazed everyone with her grit and determination. She worked hard with specialists to learn how to walk, talk and eat again. She continued to overcome years of obstacles — by the time she was seven, she’d had 14 brain surgeries.

While Taylin’s infection was cured, the effects — including problems with concentration and short-term memory — are life-long. Despite them, Taylin continues her passion for singing in her choir and stays active with softball and swimming. “I’ve been through a lot with BC Children’s Hospital,” Taylin said. “It was scary at first, but it made me a better person because I am strong, healthy and grateful for everything.”

Hundreds of people at BC Children’s Hospital — from pediatric specialists to housekeeping — helped Taylin become the strong teenager she is today.

A female investigator in a white lab coat working in a research lab.

Financial Report

Hitesh Kothary, VP & CFO of BCCHF, and Michael Lam, Chair of the Finance Committee, smiling and dressed in business suits.

Report from the Finance & Investment Committee

Continued strength in both annual and major gift fundraising moved BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s total consolidated revenues to a new high in the 2016-17 fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. Total consolidated revenues, including lotteries and investments, surpassed $100 million for the first time in the Foundation’s history as we achieved a remarkable $101.9 million, up from $97.5 million in the year prior.

The majority of this increase came from fundraising revenues, which grew by $4.5 million year over year. Revenue from our Choices and Dream signature lotteries, which support research programs at BC Children’s Hospital, was also up over the prior year by $2.2 million. Investment income was lower by $2.3 million compared to the prior year, as we redeemed a portion of our investments to fund capital campaign payments of $74.3 million for the new Teck Acute Care Centre that is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.

After the conclusion of the capital campaign, we set in motion initiatives to support both annual and major gift fundraising activities to ensure we maintain the momentum we built in these areas during the campaign.

In June 2016 we announced Miracle Weekend revenue of $20,018,608, marking another record year for Miracle Weekend revenues and the first time we have surpassed the $20 million threshold! The top three Miracle Weekend industry sector supporters were the Retail & Wholesale Division with $7.2 million, the Banks Division with $2.0 million, and Mining for Miracles with $1.7 million.

In the 2016-17 fiscal year, our Annual Programs including the Tribute Program and Direct Response Marketing, and our three signature gala events – Crystal Ball, For Children We Care and A Night of Miracles raised over $14.5 million. In addition, Major Gifts generated more than $18 million.

With the generous support of our donors and partners, we will continue with such initiatives aimed at helping us deliver excellence in child health – over and above the essential health care provided by government – for the children who benefit from services provided by BC Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, Child and Adolescent Mental Health programs and the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Our aggregate contributions to these organizations over the past five years are in excess of $292 million.

If you would like more information about the Foundation’s fiscal activity or to view our audited financial statements, please contact us at 604 875 2444 or visit www.bcchf.ca.

Signature of Teri Nicholas

Hitesh Kothary, CPA, CA
Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer

Signature of David Podmore

Michael Lam, MBA, FCPA, FCA
Chair, Finance Committee

A pie chart showing the breakdown of BCCHF source of funds

Sources of Fundraising Revenue


The annual Miracle Weekend is one of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s most visible community fundraising campaigns. This two-day broadcast is the culmination of a year of fundraising activities by employee groups, service organizations, schools and community groups, and members of the public. Miracle Weekend includes the Chinese-Canadian Miracle Weekend telethon on Fairchild TV and radiothons on CHMB AM1320 and Fairchild Radio, and BC Children’s Hospital Miracle Weekend on Global BC.


Donations from individuals, corporations and community groups comprise a large percentage of funds received by the Foundation. Donors can choose to support a specific area of need at BC Children’s Hospital, its Research Institute or Sunny Hill, or request the Foundation to designate funds where they are needed most.


The Foundation accepts individuals’ gifts in estate plans, Wills and donations of life insurance or from a charitable trust. Tribute gifts are an expression of friendship, love or sympathy and provide a channel for donors to create a lasting remembrance of someone. Donations may be designated to a particular area of interest. Undesignated gifts are used to meet the hospital’s most critical needs.


Every year, generous individuals respond to mailed correspondence, television promotions, telephone requests, and door-to-door solicitation conducted by representatives of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Many of these donors belong to the Sunshine Club — a monthly donation program that provides a stable and cost-efficient source of funding for the foundation.


BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is the beneficiary of proceeds from a number of special events each year, including Crystal Ball, A Night of Miracles, Festival of Trees and golf tournaments, as well as independent community events organized by individuals and groups across BC.


Each year, British Columbians contribute to the United Way and designate BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill as the funding recipients. In addition, granting agencies designate funds to a specific program through the Foundation.

A pie chart showing the breakdown of BCCHF use of funds

Use of Funds


  • Construction of the new Teck Acute Care Centre
  • Child Health BC


  • Genetic research endowments
  • Pediatric oncology endowments
  • Diabetes research at the hospital and research institute
  • A broad range of other areas of donor interest, including cardiac sciences, nephrology, mental health and orthopedics, to name a few


  • Childhood Diseases – including childhood cancer & blood research, diabetes, immunity in health & disease, and rare diseases
  • Healthy Starts
  • Evidence to Innovation
  • Brain, Behaviour & Development
  • The Centre for Molecular Medicine & Therapeutics
  • Research administration and infrastructure
  • Research platforms


  • Quality Resource Centre
  • Centre for International Child Health
  • Clinical fellowships
  • Other special projects


A broad range of child-specific medical equipment was purchased with donor support, including acute ventilators; a spirometer for testing for respiratory disease; and a hockey stick ultrasound probe, nicknamed for its distinct shape, used for examining small internal body parts and blood flow within veins.


  • Equipment and capital needs
  • Compassionate care for children
  • Child Development & Rehabilitation Evidence Centre
  • Fellowships and education
  • Quality improvement projects
  • Clinical technology
A young girl smiles ecstatically as she visits with a clown from BCCH's Child Life program.

Honour Roll

Corporate, Community Groups and Foundations donor Amanda Burgart Hurford, representing Jordan Owen's Memobrial Hockey Tournament.

Corporate, Community Groups & Foundations

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Thank you to the corporations, their employees, foundations and community groups who contributed $10,000 or more during our fiscal year — and for helping to make miracles happen.

“The Jordan Owens Memorial Tournament was established to demonstrate sportsmanship, love of hockey and the true meaning of being a team. We are proud of what we have achieved by working together to support BC Children’s Hospital.”
Stephanie Carlson, representing Royal Circle Donors.

Royal Circle

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The Royal Circle recognizes individuals and privately held corporations whose cumulative contributions have reached or exceeded $1 million since the inception of the Children’s Circle of Care program in 1995.

“Through the philanthropic leadership of the Royal Circle, I see how we are able to make the seemingly impossible, possible — and in doing so, inspire others to help do the same.”
Jenna Reed, representing the Reed family, Children's Circle of Care donors.

Children’s Circle of Care

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Children’s Circle of Care recognizes and honours a community of individuals, privately held corporations and family foundations who made gifts of $10,000 or more from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

When their granddaughter, Jenna, was born with spina bifida, Bernard and Mollie Reed came to appreciate that medical challenges experienced by any family member affected all family members as well. That included Jenna’s sister, Lia, Jenna’s parents and extended family members as well. Bernard’s children agreed that directing a generous gift under Bernard’s Will to the Child Life Program at BC Children’s Hospital would aptly honour their parents’ values and hoped it would help other families when they needed it most.
Sharron Crowley from Aquaventures, a Children's Circle of Courage donor.

Children’s Circle of Courage

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We thank Children’s Circle of Courage donors for their support of $1,000 to $9,999 during our fiscal year April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

“We have always felt a strong connection to the health of BC’s kids through our work teaching swimming and water safety awareness. Our support of BC Children’s Hospital is our way of giving back to the community and the families we work with every day.”
Ken and Marlene Mackenzie, Caring for the Future donors.

Caring for the Future

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Legacy donors are individuals who have planned a future gift to help BC’s kids. Legacy giving may include a bequest in your Will, a direct designation of a financial asset, an insurance policy or other provision.

“After seeing the care that our grandchildren received at BC Children’s Hospital, we felt that we had to give something back in return. They probably would not be with us today if not for that help.”
Casey Harrison, Jeffrey Scheffel and Laurel Moffat dressed for a super hero themed birthday party that raised money for BCCHF.

Tribute Gifts

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A tribute gift is a thoughtful way to honour a person who has touched your life. These special individuals have had gifts totalling $1,000 or more made in their name between April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017.

“Hosting a birthday party in support of BC Children’s Hospital was an easy choice for us. We know that families all over the province are touched by the Hospital in some way and that it’s the best place to be during what can be the worst moments in people’s lives.”
Bernard Reed, who left a generous legacy gift to BCCHF.

Legacy Gifts

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We are honoured to recognize our donors whose ultimate acts of caring in their lifetimes created legacy gifts received between April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017.

Bernard and Mollie Reed’s legacy gift is making an incredible difference in the health needs of BC’s children. A trust created by Bernard’s Will allowed his family to choose the program area that best reflected their story through the generations and give hope and comfort to other families. As Bernard said, “We are family and families stick together.” His children accordingly felt that helping other families in times of challenge would best honour their parents’ wishes.
Dr. Mia Remington, the recipient of the Hudson Scholar Program.


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We gratefully acknowledge the following endowment funds that provide support in perpetuity for vital programs and initiatives throughout BC Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. This list recognizes endowment funds established by March 31st, 2017.

"The Hudson Scholars Awards Program is helping to build a cohort of physicians at BC Children’s Hospital who are passionate about leading meaningful change. As a recipient, I have been inspired to strive to be a better physician, not only by providing high-quality care to my patients, but also by helping to make our health care system better.”
A baby sleeping in a hospital bed is closely watched over by his parents.

About Your Gift

Ways of Giving

There are many ways to plan your gift to benefit BC’s kids. And there are ways your gift can benefit you, too.

Current Gifts


Our pledge program offers you a convenient method of making contributions. The program allows you to spread your contribution over three to five years.

Publicly Traded Securities

Donating securities is an effective way to give. If you own publicly traded securities that have increased in value and you decide to sell them, 50 per cent of the capital gain is taxable. However, if you donate these securities “in kind” directly to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, no tax is payable on the capital gain. The resulting tax credit from the donation of the securities can reduce taxes payable on other income. Making a gift of publicly traded securities is easy to do. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding a transfer form to facilitate the process or visit our website.

Future Planned Gifts

Making your legacy gift is a thoughtful step today that can make a big difference for tomorrow’s kids. Here are some options for you to consider.

Bequest in Your Will

A bequest is a direction in your Will that a portion of your estate, a certain sum of money, or a particular asset is to be given to British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital Foundation (our legal name). *We can provide suggested wording for your lawyer or notary.

RRSP / RRIF / Pension

You can name BC Children’s Hospital Foundation as the direct beneficiary of the proceeds of your RRSP or RRIF, or your pension. By directly designating these tax-smart gifts, they also will not form part of probate assets.

Life Insurance

You can make BC Children’s Hospital Foundation the owner or beneficiary of an existing or new life insurance policy. In due course, the policy proceeds will be paid by the insurance company directly to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Giving life insurance is a way to make a significant gift without depleting your estate available to loved ones.

Your current or future gift, when planned in a thoughtful manner, can provide you with significant tax savings and refunds. Smart planning allows you to receive benefits now in your lifetime as well as for your loved ones in the future. Please consult with your financial planner, accountant and/or lawyer to create a financial plan that supports your philanthropic goals in your lifetime and beyond. We are also here to help you.

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is a registered Canadian charity and issues tax receipts for all donations.

938 West 28th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4


British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital Foundation


11885 2433 RR0001

*We encourage all donors to provide for loved ones in their Will, and let their family know of their intention to make a legacy gift to the Foundation in their Will.

Donor Bill of Rights

The Board of Directors of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is in place to ensure that donors:

  1. are informed of our mission, of the way we intend to use donated resources, and of our capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes;
  2. are informed of the identity of those serving on our governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities;
  3. have access to our most recent financial statements;
  4. are assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they are given;
  5. receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition;
  6. are assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law;
  7. can expect that all relationships with individuals representing our organization will be professional in nature;
  8. are informed whether those seeking donations from our organization are volunteers, employees of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, or hired solicitors;
  9. can expect that BC Children’s Hospital Foundation will not share or sell a mailing list that includes the donor’s name;
  10. feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

Privacy Policy

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is committed to protecting the privacy of its donors, volunteers and other stakeholders, and their personal information. We value the trust of those we deal with, and of the public, and recognize that maintaining this trust requires transparency and accountability in our treatment of the information you choose to share with us. For further information, please refer to our complete privacy policy on our website at www.bcchf.ca.

A contemplative toddler in a pink striped hospital gown with her finger in her mouth.


BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors

(for the fiscal year ending March 31st, 2017)

  • Mr. Donald R. Lindsay, Chair
  • Mr. Robin Dhir
  • Mrs. Lisa Hudson, Vice Chair
  • Mr. Darrell Jones
  • Mrs. Tammi Kerzner
  • Mr. Mike Lam, Secretary-Treasurer
  • Mr. Raymond Li
  • Mr. Bjorn Moller
  • Mr. Geoff Parkin
  • Mr. David Podmore
  • Dr. Erik Skarsgard
  • Ms. Andrea Southcott
  • Ms. Jane Young

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Society Members

  • Mr. Terry Bubb
  • Mrs. Isabelle Diamond
  • Mr. Jeff Dowle
  • Mr. Ming Gin
  • Ms. Pam Mitchell
  • Mr. Maurice Mourton

Sunny Hill Foundation for Children Board of Directors

  • Mr. David Doig, Chair
  • Mr. Kevin Bent
  • Mr. Ron Edwards
  • Mr. Doug Horswill
  • Ms. Pam Mitchell
  • Mr. John Smiley

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Executives

  • Teri Nicholas, MSW, RSW President & CEO
  • Maria Faccio, Vice-President & Chief Philanthropy Officer
  • Lillian Hum, CFRE, Vice-President & Chief Philanthropy Officer
  • Hitesh Kothary, CPA, CA Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer
  • Debora Sweeney, CFRE Vice-President & Chief Strategy Officer