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Historic $100M fundraising campaign focuses on RVH expansion projects

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The RVH Foundation is reaching new heights with a $100 million fundraising campaign.

"This is one of the largest and loftiest campaigns we've ever done," says RVH Foundation board chair Paul Larche.

Larche believes this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the future of health care in the region.

"The area is going to be growing so much, and we have to make sure that we're set for the future. So we're calling it Keep Life Wild because we have such a special lifestyle in this area," he adds.

The campaign's first priority is expanding Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH)'s regional clinical programs.

During the pandemic, the hospital's capacity was over 120 per cent, which resulted in hallway health care.

"We'd rather have them in beds, so we're expanding the clinical space with an 11-storey building, mainly in-patient and operating room space, as well as a revamped and extended ICU," says RVH Chief of Oncology Matt Follwell.

The existing site of RVH on Georgian Drive in Barrie will double in size and double its staff to about 6,000.

Another priority is the expansion of the all-new health care facility in Innisfil, which, when completed in 20 years, will equal the size of the Barrie hospital.

"Innisfil is the largest community in the area that doesn't have a hospital of its own. So we really need to meet the needs of that population, and this campaign will help get us to that goal," says RVH President and CEO Gail Hunt.

Once the project is approved, the province will fund a large part but not the entirety.

Hunt says fundraising activities, events and donors will be a significant help.

One anonymous donor has already made a generous commitment.

"Who is from the community of Innisfil, I think four generations of living there, has committed $9 million to match donations for the campaign. It really shows how committed the community of Innisfil is for the build of this facility," she says.

The Keep Life Wild campaign is expected to run for 10 years. However, Hunt says some immediate programs, such as the ICU and maternal and child expansions, will be completed in the next five to six years.

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