RBC skipped the ATM machine and went straight to cutting a big cheque when it came to announcing its $2.25-million gift for The Ottawa Hospital earlier today.
The gift is the bank’s largest ever made to the Ottawa region. It also marks the most generous donation from a financial institution to The Ottawa Hospital.
“This is to support our health care professionals,” RBC regional president Marjolaine Hudon said on stage as she flipped over the presentation cheque to reveal the seven-figure number, joined by RBC president and CEO David McKay, The Ottawa Hospital’s president and CEO, Cameron Love, its foundation president and CEO, Tim Kluke, its fundraising campaign’s volunteer chairman, business leader Roger Greenberg, and Janet McKeage, board chair of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.
The $2.25 million is being directed toward the expansion of the RBC Simulation Training and Resources Supports (STARS) program for young health care professionals. The funds will help to upskill employees and to support their wellness.
The announcement was made in the scenic O’Born Room of the National Arts Centre, where Hudon is a board member of the NAC Foundation. More than 150 people turned out to show their support, including business and community leaders.
Volunteers from the hospital foundation board included Brian Cook (Brookfield Renewable), Kevin Ford (Calian Group), Mark Noonan (Deloitte), Nadir Patel (Norton Rose Fulbright LLP), Emily Segal (Longwood Psychology), as well as former foundation board members Greg Kane and Whitney Fox, the latter of whom is on the fundraising campaign executive with fellow attendee Jeff York, a prominent Ottawa businessman and investor.
Funds raised from the $500-million Campaign to Create Tomorrow, launched in April 2022, are being directed toward the new $2.8-billion campus The Ottawa Hospital is building near Carling Avenue and Preston Street. The world-class facility is expected to be completed for 2028.
“This gift is about investing in people,” said Kluke during his brief remarks to thank RBC.
Kluke spoke of how important the simulation training is, offered through the RBC STARS program, for the hospital’s health care workers that need to hone their skills or learn new skills. He credited a prior RBC gift with helping to ensure hospital staff were prepared for the tragic Westboro bus crash of 2019.
“This gift is part of a critical investment in our community,” said Kluke
To date, the $500-million campaign has raised just over $300 million. “We’re getting there, we’re getting there,” said Kluke.
The Ottawa Hospital employs 17,000 — all of whom buy homes, renew mortgages and support local businesses, he pointed out. At the height of the construction of the new facility, there will be more than 3,000 construction workers on site, building the new campus.
“This is going to be a legacy for all of us in our community,” he added in closing.