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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2011HLTH0063-001162

Sept. 15, 2011

Ministry of Health

 

 

$60M world-class health-care research centre opens

 

VANCOUVER – A new research facility that will work on medical breakthroughs to save lives and prevent disease officially opened today.

 

The Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) will be home to health professionals studying treatments and possible cures for patients with prostate and ovarian cancers, as well as bone and joint mobility issues. A key aspect of the new centre is its focus on research in early detection and prevention of disease.

 

The facility has three internationally renowned research programs:

 

·         The Centre for Hip Health and Mobility.

·         An expanded Vancouver Prostate Centre.

·         OvCaRe, the ovarian cancer research program, which is located within the prostate centre.

 

Approximately 150 staff, clinicians and scientists will work at the building with 40 new jobs created within the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility.

 

The Vancouver Prostate Centre was previously located within the Jack Bell Research Centre. The new facility provides the expansion that was needed for recent significant growth. A unique aspect of the new building is that it’s joined with the Jack Bell centre, allowing staff to move seamlessly between the two buildings. The ovarian cancer research program had been located at both VGH and BC Cancer Agency. The new space, located within the prostate centre, allows them to unite research activity.

 

The Centre for Hip Health and Mobility had been located within temporary space at VGH. The new location is customized for unique research studies that range from understanding and preventing falls to biomedical engineering labs where surgeons and engineers can better understand how and why joints develop osteoarthritis and develop new surgical techniques and implants to replace joints more effectively.

 

The building is a partnership between the Province, federal government, Vancouver Coastal Health and the University of British Columbia faculty of medicine.

 

The total cost to build, equip and staff the building was $60 million, with a total capital cost of $38.8 million. The total provincial government contribution is $22.5 million. The project was completed on time and on budget.

 

The centre is named for Mr. Robert H.N. Ho, whose $15-million donation was made through the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. The gift includes $8.2 million for the construction of the building – including equipment, personnel and various outfitting. The remaining $6.8 million went toward additional areas of health care.

 

 

Quotes:

 

Health Minister Michael de Jong –

“The opening of the Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre marks a new era in health research and will further build on British Columbia’s strength as a leader in research and innovation. Work will focus on everything from hip fracture prevention to understanding the progression of prostate cancer and the development of new therapies.”

 

“I’d like to thank Mr. Robert H.N. Ho, on behalf of all British Columbians, for his generous donation to help make this centre possible.”

 

Dr. Gilles Patry, president & CEO of Canada Foundation for Innovation –

“Through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Government of Canada is building a reserve of research talent and knowledge, which is urgently needed as Canada creates health-care solutions for an aging population. The Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre will not only deliver jobs to the region, but will also house the most cutting-edge treatments and interventions for prostate cancer and bone and joint pain ever created.”

 

Dr. Heather McKay, director, Centre for Hip Health and Mobility –

“A few years ago, we had a dream that we could unite scientists and clinicians from a wide range of expertise in one space to understand and alleviate the burden of arthritis, osteoporosis and fall-related fractures. The opening of the Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre, custom-designed and equipped for the varied types of research we do, turns that dream to reality.”

 

Dr. Martin Gleave, director, Vancouver Prostate Centre –

“We are deeply grateful for the support of our funders for understanding of the value health research brings to our province. We are making significant gains in understanding and successfully treating prostate cancer, and our new facility will allow us to explore even more frontiers for early detection and personalized treatment. As well, we are able to attract millions of dollars in external research funding, which creates new jobs and powers B.C.’s vibrant biotech sector.”


 

 

Robert H.N. Ho – 

“Much in the world is changing rapidly. I believe that the unknown in many things, including medical science, can best be solved through collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches. I am proud to play a part in helping to improve the lives of people from across B.C. and around the world.”

 

 

Learn More:

 

The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation:  www.rhfamilyfoundation.org

Centre for Hip Health and Mobility:  www.hiphealth.ca 

Vancouver Prostate Centre:  www.prostatecentre.com 

Ovarian Cancer Research Program of BC:  www.ovcare.ca  

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation:  www.worldclasshealthcare.ca

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Centre:  www.vchri.ca

UBC faculty of medicine:  www.med.ubc.ca 

 

 

Media Contacts:

 

Ryan Jabs

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887

 

Lisa Carver

Regional Communications Leader

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute

604 875-4111 ext: 61777

604 319-7533 (cell)

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

 


 

BACKGROUNDER

For Immediate Release
2011HLTH0063-001162

Sept. 15, 2011

Ministry of Health

 

 

 

Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre at Vancouver General Hospital

 

Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre

·         The seven-floor Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre is 6,442 square metres (69,350 square feet) and located adjacent to the Jack Bell Research Centre.

·         The Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VCRA) has chosen the facility as a finalist for one of their VRCA Awards of Excellence. The awards ceremony is Oct. 19, 2011.

 

Prostate cancer

·         It’s estimated that 3,400 British Columbian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Almost 530 of them will die as a result.

·         Approximately 1,500 new prostate cancer patients are referred to the Vancouver Prostate Centre every year. 

·         Prostate cancer is the third-leading cause of male cancer death after lung and colorectal cancer, and is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Canadian men.

·         Early detection is critical for optimal treatment, especially in men 50-70 years of age.

·         British Columbia has the second-lowest mortality rate from prostate cancer in Canada, primarily due to the leading-edge treatment and care currently available.

 

Ovarian cancer

·         Approximately 300 women in B.C. are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and approximately 240 women die from ovarian cancer every year.

·         Ovarian cancer has a five-year survival rate of 40 per cent. If detected early, this can climb as high as 90 per cent.

·         Researchers with the Ovarian Cancer Research Program believe they can reduce the number of deaths from one specific subtype by 50 per cent over the next 20 years.

 

Hip health and mobility

·         Falls are the leading cause of injury for seniors. One in three over the age of 65 will typically experience at least one fall each year.

·         Falls cause more than 95 per cent of all hip fractures in the elderly. Over 20 per cent of seniors who suffer a hip fracture die within a year.

·         In B.C., 14.9 per cent of the population, or 560,000 people over the age of 14, have arthritis.


 

 

Mr. Robert H.N. Ho

·         Born in Hong Kong in 1932, Robert H. N. Ho was educated at Lingnan and Pui Ching Middle Schools in Hong Kong.

·         He obtained his bachelor of arts degree at Colgate University and his master of science degree in journalism at the graduate school of journalism at Columbia University in the United States.

·         Ho has received two honorary doctorate degrees: “doctor of social sciences” from the University of Hong Kong in March 2009 and “doctor of humane letters” from Colgate University in May 2011.

·         Since his retirement, he has focused on philanthropy, through personal gifts as well as through his foundations, the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation and the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation.

·         Some of Mr. Ho’s charitable contributions include:

o   2011:  $10 million to Lions Gate Hospital Foundation to establish the Hope Centre in North Vancouver.

o   2009:  $15 million to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation for the Robert H. N. Ho Research Centre and other areas of care at VGH.

o   2005:  $500,000 to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation for the purchase of Canada’s first dedicated cardiac CT scanner.

 

 

Media Contacts:

 

Ryan Jabs

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887

 

Lisa Carver

Regional Communications Leader

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute

604 875-4111 ext: 61777

604 319-7533 (cell)

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect