VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation today announced the launch of their Urologic Sciences campaign, with the goal of raising $35 million. The funds raised will be used primarily to amplify clinical care, research, and education across urologic sciences, bringing improved care to BC patients in areas including prostate cancer, kidney and bladder cancer, kidney stones, bladder and female pelvic health, kidney transplant, sexual and reproductive health and adolescent transitional urology. With support from over 30 local business leaders and philanthropists, the campaign has already raised over $25 million.

Vancouver Coastal Health’s Vancouver General Hospital is the provincial referral site for complex urologic care and the only research and training centre of its kind in BC. For over 30 years, the Vancouver Prostate Centre at VGH has received national and international recognition for their work in basic and clinical research. The team is now looking to build upon VPC’s global success to broaden their reach and impact across a full range of urological conditions affecting men, women and children. The long-term vision is to create a broad-reaching Institute of Urologic Sciences, comprising of a collection of research centres with different specialties, that will provide patients in BC and beyond access to the very best medical experts, diagnostics, therapies, research trials and state-of-the-art technologies.

“We have a track record of success that has earned us a reputation as a globally respected cancer research and treatment centre,” said Dr. Martin Gleave, Director at Vancouver Prostate Centre and Head, Department of Urologic Sciences at UBC. “Now, with the lift of philanthropy, we can extend our research model and strategies across other urologic conditions, magnify our impact and translate seminal discoveries into lifesaving therapies. The funds raised from this Urologic Sciences campaign will support the recruitment of top talent from around the world. We have a vision to continue to expand urologic care and research capabilities right here in BC. An investment into our clinicians and scientists today is an investment in that future vision.”

“My cancer diagnosis in 2007 was completely unexpected, and a devastating shock to myself and my family,” said Rod Senft, prostate cancer survivor. “I was a healthy 61-year-old man when I found out that I had an aggressive form of prostate cancer, and my prognosis was not good. Fortunately, I had an extremely talented and experienced team of medical experts at VGH working with me to find innovative therapies and treatments. For the past 16 years I have lived a full life and I am extremely grateful for the incredible staff at VGH and Vancouver Prostate Centre. That is why, along with my wife, Jeannie and family, we have pledged $5 million to this campaign.”

Additional leadership donors include Beedie Foundation, Peter & Joanne Brown Foundation; The Canfor Good Things Come From Trees Foundation; Diamond Foundation; The Hill Family; Larry and Carolyn Hursh; Peter and Anne-Marie Kains; Jim Pattison, OC, OBC; The Jack and Darlene Poole Foundation; The Ritchie Family; The David Rowntree Family, Robert and Patricia Saunders; The Arnold and Anita Silber Family Foundation; Rod and Jeannie Senft, Chip and Summer Wilson and an anonymous private foundation.

“We are extremely thankful to our lead donors for kicking off this Urologic Sciences campaign, and now we need the support of British Columbians across the province to get us across the finish line,” said Angela Chapman, President and CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “Thanks to donor support, we will hire, train and inspire the future leaders of urologic sciences, and we will fund cutting-edge technology to develop new urological treatments for British Columbians. We hope our community will be inspired by the early support of this campaign and join this inspiring collective to reach our $35 million goal.”

“Urologic health goes beyond the prostate. Urological disease is a leading cause of death and disability among Canadian men, women and children. We hope this campaign will raise both funds and awareness for all areas of urological health,” said Dr. Larry Goldenberg, Professor of Urologic Sciences and Director, Development and Supportive Care, Vancouver Prostate Centre. “The funds raised will assist in recruiting the world’s best urology experts to a globally recognized institute that will continue to accelerate integration of medical discoveries to improve the health of British Columbians and all Canadians.”

Key Facts

  1. Urological disease is a leading cause of death and disability among Canadians.
  2. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men, with 20,000 diagnoses each year.
  3. The Vancouver Prostate Centre cares for over 2,500 prostate and other urologic cancer patients every year, many of whom travel from out of province or receive virtual care. The Centre’s Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Program has educated, counselled and supported over 4,000 men and their partners since its inception in 2013.
  4. 1 in 5 Canadians over the age of 35 are affected by an overactive bladder, and more than 500,000 Canadian seniors suffer from urinary incontinence.
  5. Up to half of men over 40 experience erectile dysfunction.
  6. Almost 400 kidney transplants are performed each year in Vancouver, amongst the top centres in North America.
  7. About 12% of Canadian men and 6% of women will have a kidney stone in their lifetime.
  8. One in four women have a pelvic floor disorder, such as pelvic organ prolapse, often as a result of childbirth.