On a rainy Vancouver afternoon in March, some of Vancouver’s top surgeons and community influencers gathered together a photo shoot at VGH, united in their goal to improve the treatment of surgical care for patients and their families in BC.

The photo shoot captured the significance of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation’s Future of Surgery campaign, with its cabinet members (pictured above) bringing philanthropy to a $145M transformation of the VGH and UBC Hospital facilities.

“Ensuring excellent health care for all British Columbians is a core value for me,” says David Rowntree, who is the Cabinet chair and founder and managing director of Highland West Capital. “I want to make sure that we all have access to the best possible medical care.”

Shot in a transformed meeting room at VGH among various surgical equipment as props, the mood in the room reflected the energy and drive of those tasked to advocate for surgical excellence. In between photo re-takes, cabinet members shared the reasons for being personally involved in the cause.

Tony Geheran, executive vice-president and president of Broadband Networks at TELUS, is a former patient and wants to give back to the system that helped him. “At TELUS, health care is a big part of our strategy, trying to transform the health outcomes of Canadians,” he says. “Personally, I’ve been a patient at VGH and UBC and I’m so happy with the care I received and I’m doing well now because of it.”

Similarly, Peter Chieng, had a double bypass 16 years ago and vowed during his recovery to donate his time back to those who helped him regain his health. “I hope more operating rooms will be built and waiting times will be reduced, leading to patients recovering faster and get them back to work faster and benefit the economy,” he says, “contributing to overall society.”

Dr. Hamed Umedaly, head of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care at VGH, believes this group will make a significant impact in BC.

“I’m very optimistic that incremental improvements in efficiency and quality and human resources will improve patient care in this province,” he reflected. “The future of surgery is bright because of the expertise we have and how we can advocate to get the community to support strong health care.”

Learn more about the Future of Surgery cabinet and campaign