The Future of Surgery is here

The $60 milion Future of Surgery campaign launched in 2016 with the goal of reducing wait times for surgical procedures, equipping the hospitals with groundbreaking technology, enhancing surgical spaces, and optimizing recovery for improved patient outcomes.

Thanks to the generosity of thousands of donors, we’re pleased to announce that we reached our initial $60 million goal!

Learn more about how donations have already been put to use — saving the lives of patients every day.

VGH and UBC Hospital are centres of surgical excellence, caring for 60% of all adult trauma cases in BC. With 50% of surgical patients from outside Vancouver, over 30,000 surgeries are completed each year — saving and improving the lives of our loved ones. But operating rooms and other surgical spaces at VGH are in need of upgrades to meet new operating standards and meet the needs of patients across the province.

To ensure our medical teams have the best environments to undertake their life-saving work, a $145 million transformation of the surgical facilities at VGH and UBC Hospital is under way. And while Vancouver Coastal Health and the provincial government are funding the majority of the costs, the Future of Surgery campaign goal was set to raise $60 million to help transform surgical care in BC.

With donor support, we have made incredible progress. But your continued support will be needed to ensure that VGH and UBC Hospital remain the cornerstone of surgical excellence in this province.

Stay updated via email or make a donation today.

The Future of Surgery is...

New State-of-the-art Surgical Facilities

VGH and UBC Hospital are building capacity to better meet patient demand for both emergency and scheduled surgeries.

Two Locations: Reducing Surgical Wait Times

At UBC Hospital investments have increased its capacity for higher acuity patients and more complex procedures.

As part of the OR renewal project, UBC Hospital has opened new and improved in-patient units, designed to support patient-centered care, including a new high acuity unit to support more complex scheduled surgical cases and sicker patients.

These improvements will allow more scheduled surgeries to be moved to UBC Hospital, allowing VGH to focus on emergency and trauma surgeries.

This will result in fewer cancellations and will reduce patient wait times for non-urgent procedures.

New eight-bed High Acuity Unit at UBC Hospital to support more complex surgical cases and sicker patients.

New eight-bed High Acuity Unit at UBC Hospital to support more complex surgical cases and sicker patients.

16 New State-of-the-art Operating Rooms: Groundbreaking Technology

VGH’s current operating rooms were designed in 1979. Health care has evolved since then, and just like you wouldn’t want to use a 40-year-old cordless phone, these ORs simply weren’t designed for today’s technology and standard of care.

16 new optimally sized operating rooms are being built, each containing:

  • State-of-the-art surgical equipment to support minimally invasive technology, wireless technology, electronic health records and digital X-ray equipment.
  • High ceilings to mount lights, monitors and three articulating booms, increasing available floor space to improve flow and reduce clutter.
  • A shared sterile core between procedural zones to maximize efficiencies for cleaning instruments and reducing turnover times.
  • Common features so that each room can host any type of surgery, with extra space to accommodate additional equipment as needed.

In a future phase of development, additional space will be renovated to create a total of 30 operating rooms: a 30% increase.

Operating room prototype at VGH

Operating room prototype at Vancouver General Hospital. Image courtesy of Vancouver Coastal Health.

Better Pre and Post Operative Care

Renovations will include a new 40-bed perioperative care unit. This will combine pre-op and post-op recovery areas for more efficient care and a better patient experience to aid recovery.

Grateful Patient, Andrew Cho in recovery

The Future of Surgery is vital. And so are you.

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VGH is one of only two accredited Level 1 adult trauma centres in BC.

As a leader in the field of anesthesiology, Dr. Hamed Umedaly and his team provide vital surgical support for thousands of patients each year — relieving them from pain before, during and after surgery.

VGH specializes in some of the most complex cancer surgeries

Dr. Dianne Miller and the Ovarian Cancer Research (OVCARE) team have revolutionized care and prevention of ovarian cancer. Our cancer experts like Dr. Miller are improving survival rates for the 2 in 5 British Columbians who will face cancer.

VGH is the only site in BC for lung, liver and pancreas transplants

Dr. John Yee is BC’s leading lung transplant surgeon. He and his team performed 50 double lung transplants in 2018. VGH performed BC’s first organ transplant 50 years ago, and now performs over 50% of all life-saving organ transplants in BC.

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Tour the Hybrid OR

The new hybrid operating room (OR) at VGH combines the most advanced imaging technology with leading edge surgical facilities so that our accomplished medical professionals can do what they do best: save and improve lives.

By bringing advanced imaging technology right into the OR, patients no longer need to be transferred back and forth between radiology and the OR, saving critical time when a life is in the balance.

Click the image below to take a 360 degree tour of the hybrid OR, and make sure to click on key pieces of equipment to learn more about the technology your donations help provide.

The Future of Surgery is...

Preparing for what’s ahead.

Providing patients with the care they need takes planning, expertise and investment. A $145 million transformation of the surgical facilities at VGH and UBC Hospital is under way. And while Vancouver Coastal Health and the provincial government are funding the majority of the costs, our Future of Surgery campaign has raised $60 million.


November 2016: Hybrid OR opens

The new hybrid operating room at VGH brings imagery equipment right into the operating room, allowing surgeons to order additional imagery in the middle of surgery, reducing the need to transport patients in and out of radiology. This optimizes surgical procedure times and patient safety.

Take a 360 degree tour of the Hybrid OR

Image courtesy of Vancouver Coastal Health.


Spring 2017 – Spring 2018: Staff planning sessions for new operating room layouts

VGH OR physicians, nurses, and pre and post op staff worked together through several dollhouse sessions to help design the layout of the new universal operating rooms.

By using scale models of the new rooms and 3D printed equipment, staff collaborated on possible layouts.

Surgical nurses proved especially insightful, as they set up operating rooms, and unlike surgeons, they move throughout the room during surgeries.

Following the dollhouse sessions, life-size mock-up sessions were held where physicians and staff put their recommendations to the test to determine whether they can work safely and efficiently in a wide range of surgical scenarios.

Kelly-Anne Karse, Head Nurse of the VGH OR Control Desk, holds 3D-printed equipment pieces used during an OR dollhouse design session. Image courtesy of Vancouver Coastal Health.

Summer 2017: Spiritual Care Space and Leon Judah Blackmore Centre for Sleep Disorders open at UBC Hospital

The completion of both of these spaces marked phase one of the UBC Hospital redevelopment, creating additional space to be utilized in phase two.

UBC Hospital’s new Sacred Space offers a safe, serene and welcoming place for anyone seeking peace of mind and spiritual healing.

The new space is readily accessible for all within steps of the front entrance. Natural light fills the room through floor-to-ceiling windows with a garden view.

Specially designed for spiritual care, the larger space also features enhanced ventilation to accommodate ceremonies involving incense and smudging.

The Leon Judah Blackmore Centre for Sleep Disorders includes nine patient beds that can be used day or night, allowing for 24-hour use. With dedicated rooms for patients care and research, the work that goes on here will be providing people with a key aspect of a healthy life – a good night’s sleep.

“This expanded facility will allow us to see more patients with complex sleep disorders that require accurate diagnosis and treatment,” says Dr. John Fleetham, Medical Co-director of the UBC Hospital Sleep Disorders Program. “We will be able to improve the lives of British Columbians. Good sleep, in addition to good diet and exercise, are the fundamentals to good health. Poor sleep and sleep disorders lead to an impaired quality of life and reduced life expectancy.”

The Sleep Centre at UBC Hospital

Leon Judah Blackmore Centre for Sleep Disorders at UBC Hospital serves as a clinic by day and sleep lab by night


Fall 2018: Demolition Begins at VGH as Part of the OR Renewal Project

Demolition began in Fall 2018 to prepare for the OR renewal project at VGH. Part of the planning process included ensuring minimal patient disruption during this potentially noisy time.

October 2018: CAMU opens at UBC Hospital

The Complex Activation Medical Unit (CAMU) cares for patients recovering from conditions that require extra support. These patients benefit from an in-patient unit that includes both medical and rehabilitation therapy support to enhance recovery and allow them to safely return home or to community care.

An in-patient room at the Complex Medical Activation Unit at UBC Hospital.


Spring 2019: Construction begins for VGH OR Renewal

Building 16 new ORs, a 40-bed perioperative care unit, and supporting infrastructure is a big job. Construction has been carefully planned to have minimum impact on current surgeries and patient care.

OR construction tour group

Members of the Gaglardi family tour the construction site that will become the Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Surgical Centre with VCH and Foundation staff members.

Summer 2019: UBC Hospital Surgical In-patient Unit opens

This enhanced and expanded in-patient unit is designed to better support patient-centered care. It includes an eight-bed High Acuity Unit that will allow UBC Hospital to support more complex surgical cases and sicker patients.

New eight-bed High Acuity Unit at UBC Hospital to support more complex surgical cases and sicker patients.


January 2020: Prototype OR Completed

In January, VCH surgical staff were able to tour the first completed OR. This fully-equipped prototype provided the opportunity to make further recommendations to ensure an optimized and universal layout for each room. This improved workflow will create faster turn-around times between surgeries and safer spaces for both staff and patients.

OR 25 is the first prototype OR completed at the Phil Jennie Gaglardi Surgical Centre. Image provided by Vancouver Coastal Health.

Reducing our Carbon Footprint

A physician-led environmental initiative will reduce the carbon footprint of surgeries by implementing a system to re-capture anesthetic gas, reducing the surgical programs carbon footprint.

2021 and beyond

Winter 2021: Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Surgical Centre will Open

Years of planning and support from donors like you will come to full fruition when VGH opens all 16 new operating rooms and a 40-bed perioperative care unit, newly named the Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Surgical Centre. This exciting milestone will mark the completing of Phase 1 of the OR Renewal Project.

2021 and Beyond: Future Phase of Development

Renovations of existing ORs will create a total of 30 state-of-the-art ORs: a 30% increase.

The Future of Surgery: Made Possible by You

Thanks to the generosity of thousands of donors, we have reached our $60 million campaign goal for the Future of Surgery.  Although we met our fundraising goal, more support is still needed to ensure excellence in patient care for the future of health care in British Columbia. Thank you for your support.

Learn more about the Future of Surgery: Download The Case for Support