Ground broken on miracle garden

By: Kerri Irvin-Ross, MLA for Fort Richmond

As published in The Sou’wester

June 26, 2013

Fort Richmond MLA Kerri Irvin-Ross (second from right) joins Andy Dutfield, chair of the Miracle Garden Planning Committee, Leslie King, chair of the Victoria General Hospital Foundation board of directors, Francis LaBossière, chief operating officer of VGH, Monica Giesbrecht of Hilderman Thomas Frank Cram Landscape Architecture, and Charlene Rocke, Executive Director at the groundbreaking ceremony for VGH’s new Miracle Garden.

As MLA for Fort Richmond, I am pleased to highlight an institution in our community.

Victoria General Hospital opened its doors at its original River Avenue location on March 13, 1911. "The Vic," as the hospital has come to be known, moved to Pembina Highway in 1971 and has continued to grow ever since.

The Vic consistently demonstrates its ability to adapt to an evolving health-care system, advancing technology and the needs of the community.

The Victoria General Hospital Foundation was formed in 1971. Its mission is to enhance patient care at the hospital by fundraising for research, capital projects, education and innovative medical equipment. For more than 40 years, generations of donors have enabled the foundation to have a direct and lasting impact on the health- care system.

On Tuesday, June 4, I was honoured to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Miracle Garden at the Vic. This 13,000-square foot healing garden has been designed for all-season use and will provide areas for relaxation and play.

This garden supports the efforts of the Vic to care for the body, mind and spirit, nurturing both physical as well as emotional health. The Miracle Garden will provide patients, their families, staff and the community with the opportunity to experience the healing power of nature.

The Victoria Lifeline is a not-for-profit community program of the Victoria General Hospital Foundation, which connects individuals to emergency services at the touch of a button.

This helps people continue to live independently and safely in their own homes. The Victoria Lifeline recently celebrated 25 years of providing security and reassurance to individuals, their families and caregivers.

For those looking to support the foundation, the annual Medicine and Miracles Gala: For Her Heart’s Sake will be held on Sept. 28, 2013, with proceeds going to support cardiac-related programming at the Mature Women’s Centre.

The Vic’s operations would not, of course, be possible without its volunteers. The Victoria General Hospital Volunteer Guild is made up of adults and youth who work throughout the hospital and organize fundraising events.

The monies raised by the Guild are used to enhance patient care and services. The Guild’s largest project is the hospital’s gift shop, run solely by volunteers.

The health-care system has seen many changes and challenges over the years. Through the hard work of present and past boards of directors, committed professionals and dedicated volunteers the Victoria General Hospital has continued to provide a high level of quality health-care service to our community.

The Vic is, indeed, the "small hospital with a BIG heart and a clear vision."