Jim Pattison speaks to gathering at the new Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.

Pattison gives $5 million and his name to new hospital

Billionaire kickstarts 100-day fundraising drive to opening day.

Surrey’s new outpatient hospital will bear the name of B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison after the business magnate pledged $5 million to help outfit the $237-million facility.The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre opens to patients June 1and Pattison said he wants to ensure it’s well-equipped so it can attract top-level doctors to serve the rapidly growing city.”To attract good doctors you have to have good equipment,” Canada’s fourth richest man said at a ceremony Monday to announce the new name. “We’re here to help as part of the community effort.”His contribution will match every incoming donation until the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation reaches its $10-million target for money for equipment at the outpatient hospital in Green Timbers Park at 140 Street and the Fraser Highway.The new campaign lasts 100 days and is dubbed 100 Days to Give.It’s not the first big health donation for Pattison, whose family foundation previously gave $20 million to a wing of Vancouver General Hospital that also bears his name and $5 million to match donations for a new ER at Lions Gate Hospital.”It helps people from all walks of life,” he said of his preference to support such projects.”It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor or female or male. It doesn’t matter what ethnic background you have. Hospitals help everybody.”His daughter works in Surrey and proposed the donation, he said.The 82-year-old entrepreneur remembers how north Surrey was almost all farmland when his parents were helping found a new church in the area decades ago.He marveled at the change since then.”A lot of our friends have moved to Surrey from Vancouver,” the West Vancouver resident added. “It’s a fast-growing area with people coming in. So they need the help.”The Jim Pattison Group is the third-largest privately held company in Canada, with grocery stores and car dealerships in Surrey, and Pattison – Canada’s fourth richest man – also owns a major stake in forest company Canfor.”We are extremely grateful for his support and his vision for this community,” said hospital foundation director Tracy Redies.Jim Pattison is giving $5 million to match donations to equip Surrey's new outpatient hospital, which will bear his name.Redies was also there as CEO of Coast Capital Savings to simultaneously announce a contribution of $500,000 to the campaign.That’s matched by Pattison, leaving the foundation already 60 per cent of the way to its $10-million goal.”I am looking to other Fraser Valley businesses to step up and demonstrate the importance of private sector support for health care.”The outpatient hospital is expected to help decongest Surrey Memorial Hospital by shunting over large numbers of day surgeries and diagnostic procedures, besides increasing local acute care capacity.The trend towards day surgery without the need for overnight hospitalization has been made possible by great advances in less-invasive medical procedures.Consolidating outpatient services together in one building will result in faster diagnosis, reduced wait times and better health outcomes, Fraser Health Authority CEO Nigel Murray said, calling it an innovative example of how the region is re-engineering its services.It includes six operating rooms and 10 procedure rooms and space to provide various specialized health programs.The hospital will include the first comprehensive HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C clinic in the Fraser Valley, a breast health clinic for early detection of cancer, a shockwave therapy program to break up kidney stones without surgery and a clinic for patients at risk of blood clots.The five-level, 188,000-square-foot facility is structurally finished and now being furnished and equipped.Various pieces of equipment, beds and new CT and MRI scanners are already in place.The scanners feature a faux skylight ceiling where patients laying down will see a lit up image of a blue sky fringed by flowering trees to help take their minds off the procedure.The new name was approved by the provincial government at the request of the foundation and health authority.Fraser Health also expects to begin construction this year on a new emergency department and critical care tower at Surrey Memorial Hospital.