Two multi-million dollar gifts for new Oakville Hospital


Fundraisers know that the generous acts of a few people have a ripple effect itn a community. Giving is contagious and that is exactly what happened a few months ago at the Oakville Hospital Foundation.
Betty Birmingham and her family are long-time supporters of the Oakville Hospital Foundation. Throughout the past 20 years Betty and her late husband Bruce Birmingham have demonstrated that they genuinely care about their community and the people who live there. First, they provided a gift to the surgical department to retrofit three operating theatres with new equipment for gynecology, ENT and general surgery among other specialties.
Then, they funded not one, but two digital mammography machines, orchestrating a transformation in the Women’s Diagnostic Imaging Centre that make advanced early breast cancer detection available. Most recently, the family donated an additional $3.5 million to fund a much broader range of cancer care that will be available upon the opening of the New Oakville Hospital and the Birmingham Cancer and Medical Day Care Clinic. In total, the family has contributed more than $8 million to the Oakville Hospital Foundation.
“Bruce was a huge believer that philanthropists who lived in Oakville, should actively support Oakville; he would even call them personally to encourage them to do so,” said Betty Birmingham. “But he not only encouraged and challenged them, he led by personal example.”
In fact, the couple’s generosity did inspire another major donor to step forward in support of the New Oakville Hospital.
Last fall, the Foundation announced a $10 million donation from Peter Gilgan, founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes. His transformational gift towards the development of a new hospital in Oakville is the lead gift in the Foundation’s $60 million campaign to help build and equip this much-needed health care facility in a growing community. The donation is also the largest gift ever received by the hospital or any other organization in Oakville and has set a new benchmark for philanthropy in the community. In recognition of his extraordinary gift, the hospital’s inpatient tower will be called the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Centre.
“When Peter’s gift was announced to our campaign cabinet, our honourary co-chair Betty Birmingham had just lost her husband Bruce,” said Tina Triano, CEO of the Oakville Hospital Foundation. “Peter thoughtfully acknowledged the Birmingham’s philanthropic spirit as motivating him to contribute to the campaign.”
“I know firsthand the need for a vibrant new health care centre that will grow, live and thrive,” said Peter Gilgan. “This new state-of-the-art facility will ensure that Oakville continues to be one of the most livable communities in the country.”
Situated in one of the fastest growing regions in Ontario, Oakville’s current hospital can no longer keep up with the needs of its growing community. Building a new health-care facility that will not only accommodate growth but has sufficient room to expand to meet future needs, is a major step to ensuring quality healthcare is available in Oakville for many years to come.
The New Oakville Hospital will be one of the first hospitals in Ontario built using the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s new design guidelines for hospital construction. The design of the new hospital will be flexible and allow for adaptations over time as new technology and best practices emerge. Features and enhancements of the new hospital will be state-of-the-art and will improve the experience of patients, staff, family and friends. In addition, 80 per cent of the inpatient rooms will be designed for single patients reducing the risk of infection and enhancing patient privacy and comfort.
With a list of more than 39,000 pieces of equipment, the New Oakville Hospital will have some of the best medical equipment and technology available. The Foundation is embarking on a campaign to fund the equipment needs of the hospital. Although they have an ambitious goal of $60 million, the Gilgan and Birmingham gifts have set the stage for further success. Excitement about the New Oakville Hospital is reverberating in the community and the Oakville Hospital Foundation is confident that many more residents will catch the giving bug.