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Retired nurse injects $100K donation into Tofino Hospital Foundation

Locals continue to lobby for new facility
Vera Morrow hands a $100,000 cheque off to Tofino General Hospital Foundation chair Arlene McGinnis alongside delighted board members Phyllis Banks and Judy Michaud. (Andrew Bailey photo)

A retired nurse has injected an infusion of generosity into the Tofino General Hospital Foundation.

Vera Morrow was cheered by foundation board members outside the hospital on March 10 after donating a whopping $100,000 to boost local healthcare capabilities.

“The Tofino General Hospital Foundation is very fortunate to have the financial support of Vera Morrow,” beamed foundation chair Arlene McGinnis, noting that Morrow had also donated $50,000 in 2019 to help purchase a new portable ultrasound for the hospital. “We can not thank Vera enough for her ongoing support and generosity.”

The foundation’s mandate is to help provide the local hospital with the best equipment possible, a pursuit Morrow’s $100,000 donation will strengthen.

Morrow spent 30 years working in the emergency ward at Lion’s Gate Hospital in North Vancouver and purchased a home in Tofino 12 years ago.

“Healthcare is a primary concern to me,” she said. “I think the healthcare facility here is extremely important to any residents of the region and it needs some updates.”

She added the local hospital serves the entire region and the next closest facility is in Port Alberni, which is a long, under-construction highway away.

“This is it, so this needs to be first rate and up to date,” she said. “It’s extremely important. “It’s probably the most important thing we have here. If you have a heart attack tomorrow, you want an up to date hospital to go to.”

She added she is always happy to donate to the hospital foundation and admires the work that they do, particularly their staunch advocacy for a new hospital on the West Coast.

“This wonderful group is volunteering their services and Arlene is a delight to deal with,” she said. “I encourage everybody to support them and I hope the money comes pouring in for the new hospital. This is much needed. Think of your healthcare first. It’s the most important thing you have.”

McGinnis is confident that local dreams of a new hospital being built will become reality.

“We will get one,” she said, adding though that Island Health has not yet produced a timeline for when a new facility could be built. “Any support the general public, local politicians and our MLA can give would be most helpful.”

Anyone interested in supporting the foundation’s efforts is encouraged to contact McGinnis at 250-726-6166.

“Equipment will be needed for the new hospital that we anticipate is coming, hopefully sooner than later,” said foundation member Judy Michaud.

“The hospital is now 68 years old and there has been pressure put on Island Health by local people and the Foundation, advocating for a new hospital, so I think the time has come.”

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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