TORONTO – SickKids Foundation has announced the SickKids VS Limits campaign with a fundraising goal of $1.3 billion, the largest in Canadian healthcare history. The aim is to build a new Hospital for Sick Children to replace an aging and outdated facility.
Already, $570 million in donations and pledges have been secured through philanthropy. They include support from corporate partners, community organizations, events, individuals and families, reflecting the full breadth of the donor community.
“Many of the world’s top paediatric health experts work right here at The Hospital for Sick Children, but our facilities and infrastructure don’t match the level of expertise of our people,” said Dr. Mike Apkon (pictured), president and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children.
“Twenty-first century medicine shouldn’t be held back by a 1949 building. Our facility is becoming technologically and functionally obsolete. Our vision for the hospital of the future includes design features for optimal family-centred care, state-of-the-art technology and best-in-class patient safety and infection control.”
The VS Limits fundraising campaign supports three key elements: re-imagining the campus, including building a new patient care centre on University Avenue ($600 million); continuing breakthrough paediatric health research ($600 million); and establishing partnerships for better, coordinated patient care ($100 million).
The campaign period is anticipated to run through to March 31, 2022, just shy of five years from now.
When The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) was built at 555 University Avenue in 1949, it was the largest children’s hospital in the world. Some 87,000 donors contributed to the capital campaign and 85,000 Torontonians lined up for pre-opening tours – that’s more than four times the capacity of the Air Canada Centre.
The hospital expanded in 1993, nearly 25 years ago, with the opening of the Atrium building at 170 Elizabeth Street.
Medical treatments and technology have come a long way since the 1940s or even the 1990s, making it more important than ever before for the hospital to evolve to fully realize the possibilities in children’s health.
The vision for a hospital of the future includes state-of-the-art technology, facilities designed to enable the latest advances in clinical procedures, optimal patient safety and infection control, and best practices in family-centred care. In short, in order for SickKids to remain a world-leader in paediatric health, the time to realize a fully redeveloped campus is now.
A Campaign Cabinet, comprised of 68 individual business and community leaders, will serve in a volunteer capacity to help lead the charge on achieving the ambitious fundraising goal.
The Cabinet is led by three volunteer Co-Chairs – Katie Taylor, current chair of the SickKids Foundation Board of Directors; and John Francis and Patsy Anderson, the Foundation’s two immediate past board chairs.
To date, 110 Catalyst Donors have pledged their commitment of $1 million or more in support of the campaign to help build momentum for the bold undertaking. These include individuals and families, corporations, community organizations and events held on behalf of SickKids, all of whom were celebrated at the campaign launch event held today.