Philanthropist Robert Hung Ngai Ho

Philanthropist Robert Hung Ngai Ho C.M., O.B.C., pictured here in front of the Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre at Vancouver General Hospital.

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is honoured to announce a $1.4-million gift from long-time philanthropic leader Robert Hung Ngai Ho C.M., O.B.C. The funds will enhance stroke care in B.C. through the establishment of the Robert H.N. Ho Stroke Leadership Fund.

Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) is home to a world-class Stroke Program. This fund will support further investment in stroke leadership and VGH participation in promising clinical trials, building capacity for the future and attracting additional funding through competitive grants. Ultimately, the goal of the Robert H.N. Ho Stroke Leadership Fund is to create a virtuous cycle of quality improvement and innovation that will save the lives of stroke patients from across the province.

In cases of stroke, every second counts. A stroke can strip people of their ability to speak, see, walk, read and write, all in a matter of minutes. Robert Ho knows this firsthand, and understands how vital expert health care is in such moments.

“In 2016, I suffered a stroke. Thanks to the quick action of my wife Greta and B.C.’s stroke intervention protocol, the VGH stroke team were ready to go to work when I reached VGH,” says Robert. “Needless to say, the VGH stroke team and Dr. Yip saved my life, and supported me through my long journey to recovery.”

Robert is supporting Dr. Yip and his team so they can build an even better program across the province, attracting and retaining researchers, nurses and fellows, and enhancing the world-leading expertise available here in Vancouver.

“I hope that by investing in the team’s leadership and people, VGH will further build its program, attract clinical research, and be at the forefront of innovation and clinical care,” says Robert.

Robert is a long-time and prolific philanthropic partner of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation and Vancouver Coastal Health. His generosity has accelerated medical research and innovation at the Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre at VGH and the Greta & Robert H.N. Ho Psychiatry & Education (HOpe) Centre at Lions Gate Hospital. He has also made creative investments in people, including the creation of the Robert H.N. Ho Enhancing Patient Care Fund and the innovative Integrating a Palliative Approach to Care by Having Conversations Early (iPACE) program.

“We have a duty to give back to society, to make our world a better place and care for our community,” says Robert. “I have always applied the teaching of my grandfather and lived by his words; Before you receive, you must learn how to give.”

Barbara Grantham, president and CEO of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, couldn’t agree more.

“Robert is a beacon of philanthropy,” says Barbara. “Because of him, our understanding of challenging diseases has grown, our expertise, knowledge and health care leadership have expanded, and the care we offer to patients near the end of life has been greatly enhanced.”

For his transformational philanthropic work — particularly in support of Canadian health care and universities — Robert was made a Member of the Order of Canada in December 2018. This was preceded by his appointment to the Order of British Columbia in 2013.

“I was surprised, stunned and very honoured when I was told that I was awarded the prestigious Order of Canada,” says Robert. “I am humbled by and grateful for the award, and to represent Chinese traditions here in Canada.”

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is forever grateful to Robert Ho and for his enduring belief in our mission to inspire donors, transform health care and save lives.