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Victoria hospitals fundraising campaign gains momentum with record-setting gala

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A campaign to buy six pieces of medical imaging equipment for Greater Victoria hospitals is gaining momentum after a long-standing gala in support of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation raised a record $2.5 million.

“Our goal was $2 million and our community said we can do better than that,” says VHF’s chief executive officer Avery Brohman. “So now we have been able to refurbish one MRI and then some.”

Visions was a sold-out event Saturday with 600 guests. There were live and silent auctions, corporate sponsorships and a pledge drive.

The VHF says Townline Homes and an anonymous donor each pledged $500,000 and it didn’t stop there.

In the crowd was a team of radiologists who collectively agreed to donate $100,000.

One of the 28 group members, Dr. Stuart Silver, says the idea was discussed at a meeting and became an easy sell to support the upgraded equipment that they believe will improve outcomes for their patients.

“In a perfect world, the government would be able to afford upgrades and improvements across the board in health care but we all know that things are a little bit strapped right now,” said Silver.

The foundation says the first MRI will come in the new year. A decision hasn’t been made on which hospital will get it yet.

“Generally if we can find disease earlier we’re better equipped to treat it successfully,” said Silver. “The improvements in MRI will help us see things smaller. It’ll get rid of some artifacts that can confuse us. It’ll just improve our ability to see inside the body.”

The VHF’s campaign Imaging is Power is now at its halfway mark to raise $11 million for new equipment at Royal Jubilee Hospital and Victoria General Hospital – including a CT scanner, SPECT/CT scanner and C-Arm.

“Every year we see incredible generosity,” says Brohman. “This year in particular we’re feeling a lot of inspiring giving happening and that feels really good.”

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