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The Path to Helping Others

Arran Stephens is the President and Founder of Nature’s Path Organic Foods. His wife, Ratana, is Co-chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer in this family business. Their philosophy, in work and in life, is about advancing the cause of people and planet. In other words – helping others.

After receiving treatment, care and a transplant at VGH for his own liver disease, Arran and his family were so grateful, they made a donation of $1 million to the Hospital’s Gastroenterology Department. One of the Department’s areas of expertise is providing specialized care for people with liver-related diseases. His daughter, Gurdeep, provided the healthy liver tissue required for the transplant process.

A portion of the Stephens’ gift was used to purchase a Fibroscan System – a powerful, non-invasive ultrasound technology. Now, the hospital’s medical experts have a tool that can scan patients and painlessly determine the degree of damage or disease in their livers without the incisions otherwise required for a biopsy. This technology has had great impact since it was purchased in 2010. The information gathered as a result has been invaluable, and in some cases life-saving.

The Stephens’ generosity was also instrumental in bringing an Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) to the Endoscopy Clinic at VGH. The EUS can collect information about parts of the digestive tract, and has become an important tool in investigation of cancers and other abnormalities. It has helped doctors determine whether surgery is possible, required or even necessary for their patients.

The remainder of their donation was invested in patient care, education and research for the B.C. Hepatitis Program. The Program’s goal is to eliminate the need for liver transplantation through early diagnosis, better prevention, and the discovery of improved treatments and therapies.   

As generous hospital supporters, they are well-down the path to helping others. And we are grateful.