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Worldclass healthcare

VGH to pioneer robot-assisted surgery in Western Canada -- Donor-funded equipment to bolster world-class surgical techniques,

June 21st, 2007
Vancouver: Vancouver General Hospital ushers in a new era of surgical innovation with the donor-funded purchase of a new, futuristic surgical robot. Made possible through a lead gift of $3 million from Jack Poole and a generous gift of $1.5 million from Jim Pattison, the leading-edge equipment—Western Canada’s first multipurpose robot—will deliver greater benefits for patients and new opportunities to develop even more breakthrough surgical techniques in B.C.

 “This sophisticated robotic technology allows the surgeon to accurately work in unaccommodating, tight parts of the body such as inside the pelvis or the chest” said Dr. Larry Goldenberg, OBC, Professor and Head, Department of Urologic Sciences, VGH and UBC and Director, Clinical Research, Prostate Center at VGH . “The computerized robotic system brings surgery into the modern world of bits and bytes, providing our visionary researchers with an opportunity to take surgery to the ‘next level’ by fusing surgical technology with digital information from other sources such as preoperative CT scans or MRI studies.”

 The da Vinci â robotic surgical system is expected to be up and running at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH)—part of Vancouver Coastal Health—in the fall. During the initial three-year first phase of operation, surgeons at VGH will use the robot to perform specific surgical procedures in urology, cardiac surgery and gynecology.

 Robot-assisted surgery offers patients fewer surgical complications, less post-operative pain, faster recovery times, shorter hospital stays and improved health outcomes. VGH will be the sole hospital in B.C. - and only one of three in Canada - to use the highly sophisticated robotic technology.

 “The new robotic technology not only bolsters the reputation of Vancouver Coastal Health and Vancouver General Hospital as a global leader and pioneer in surgical excellence, but will have a significant impact on patient care” said Ida Goodreau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vancouver Coastal Health. “VCH thanks the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation and its donors for funding this giant leap forward in patient care and innovation.”

The $6.5 million project includes the purchase of the da Vinciâ system, installation, training and the initial three-year operating costs. It will be paid for from private donations through VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.

“Donors help to foster a new era of ‘super-specialists’ at VGH by equipping them with the most sophisticated surgical technology available so they can pioneer new techniques and pursue research,” says Ron Dumouchelle, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “We would like to
thank Jack Poole and Jim Pattison for their vision and generosity to help lead us to the next generation of care for people from right across B.C.”

“As a prostate cancer survivor myself, I’m grateful for the care I received and pleased to be part of this historic milestone to equip the world’s best at VGH so they can provide even better outcomes for their patients here in B.C.,” said Jack Poole.

“Robot-assisted surgery offers enhanced dexterity and precision to perform complex, delicate procedures in a minimally invasive manner. The possibilities for applications here at VGH are exciting and promising for people in B.C.,” said Dr. Guy Fradet, Head, Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, VGH and Medical Director, Cardiac Surgery, VGH and UBC Hospital.

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is a registered charity that raises funding for the latest, most sophisticated medical equipment, world-class research and improvements to patient care for Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. For more than 25 years, the Foundation and its donors have been a bridge between the essential health care governments provide and the most advanced health care possible.



For more information:


Jon Hicke                                      

Director, Marketing & Communications

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation

Tel: 604-875-5196