Posted on December 03, 2012

Philanthropists happy to help Burnaby Hospital where it counts

Keith & Betty Beedie
BY LARISSA CAHUTE, THE PROVINCE

Keith Beedie has always felt a tie to Burnaby Hospital.

"I built my first house here in Burnaby at the same time they were digging the hole for the hospital in 1952," said the owner of Beedie Group, an industrial development company in Metro Vancouver.

He then built his home in the same community in 1968. He and his wife Betty still live there today.

The Beedies have supported and donated to Burnaby Hospital for decades and established the Keith and Betty Beedie Foundation in 1995.

Beedie has lived in Burnaby for 44 years now and makes sure he's always giving back to the community he calls home.

Having watched Burnaby Hospital grow from a hole in the ground to where it stands today - 60 years later - he couldn't have made a more fitting choice for the foundation.

The Beedies' children were born in Burnaby Hospital and Beedie himself has been in and out a few times.

"The doctors and nurses have always been good to me," he said. "It's a good hospital ... I want to make sure they've got all the stuff (they need)."

The Beedies' most recent involvement was the campaign to raise $4.85 million to bring an MRI unit to the hospital.

Fraser Health contributed $2 million to renovate the space needed for the machine and operations, and it was up to Burnaby Hospital to raise the rest.

According to Beedie, if they didn't raise the amount needed by a certain date, the unit would have gone to New Westminster.

"When I heard that, I got my back up and said, 'OK, we'll match every donation that you guys get in and let's get it done by a certain date' — and we did it," he said.

The MRI has been up and running since April 1, 2009 and more than 10,000 MRIs have been done since.

"It was needed here," said Betty Beedie. "To help our neighbours and friends.

"And we're able to do it — it's the old story you give where you live. It's nice to contribute to your own community. We're fortunate to be able to do that - because not everybody can."

And the best part about their donations is they can see the effects.

"The donations are going to a specific item," she said.

The Beedies also helped raise part of the funds for a $135,000 holmium laser in the urology department, which is used to treat urological diseases and suited for endoscopic surgery.

Through the Keith and Betty Beedie Foundation, the Beedies like to encourage the community to give back if they can.

"It gives you a feeling of great satisfaction knowing we're able to help people," said Betty Beedie.

"(And) it just makes one more reason why Burnaby Hospital can look after people," her husband added.

QUICK FACTS

Equipment purchased with the help of donations:

— Portable X-ray Unit, $90,000.
— Arthroscopic Video System, $76,000.
— Adult Ventilator, $65,000.
— Holmium Laser, $135,000.
— MRI unit, $4.85 million.

This year, the hospital must raise $2.6 million for such equipment as surgical cystoscopes, $102,000; neonatal warmers for the maternity department, $100,000; and orthopedic drill sets, $100,000.

lcahute@theprovince.com

Full story here: The Province