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Greczmiel family donates $5 million to Richmond Hospital

By Don Fennell

Published 2:37 PDT, Thu May 23, 2019

Giving back is nothing new for the Greczmiel family.

With deep Richmond roots spanning generations, the family has always had an affinity with their community and has once again stepped up to support by making a transformational donation of $5 million to the Richmond Hospital Foundation. The funds will go towards the new acute care tower.

In honour of the gift, Richmond Hospital’s operating rooms will be named the Greczmiel Family Surgical Centre. When the new acute care tower is built, the naming will moving to the surgical centre in the new pavilion.

Dr. Dan Kopac, head of surgery at Richmond Hospital, says the family’s philanthropic leadership will help enable the hospital’s vision for a “future-ready” innovative multi-purpose surgical centre to serve the city’s growing and aging population for decades to come.

“There generous contribution will help us attract and retain future generations of talented surgeons whose expertise will build on the high-calibre, exemplary care we already deliver.”

Vancouver Coastal Health board chair Dr. Penny Ballem says the new acute care tower is a top priority for Vancouver Coastal Health.

“We are committed to working with the Province, community and our partners at Richmond Hospital Foundation to advance this exciting project,” she said. “We are truly fortunate to have such generous leaders in Richmond as the Greczmiel family, whose donations are helping to transform health care in this vibrant, growing and diverse community.”

Gene Greczmiel was born in Richmond in 1929 and raised by his parents, Eugene and Maria Greczmiel, who had immigrated to Canada from Europe. After a career as a farmer, Gene moved into real estate development, establishing a reputation for building high-quality residential neighbourhoods in Richmond, and later managing commercial real estate with Conway Richmond. After a long adventurous life, Gene passed away in August, 2018. Today, Gene’s daughters, Michele Cupit and Lisa Greczmiel, continue the family business, and are highly philanthropic leaders contributing to a strong and dynamic community in Richmond.

“Our father was a pioneer in the development of Richmond, building homes, neighbourhoods and businesses here. We are proud to be able to give back to help build a new acute care tower for Richmond to improve the future of the hospital care we all rely on throughout our lives,” said Lisa Greczmiel. “We invite others in our community, whose families and businesses have prospered like our own, to join us in creating a legacy of local health care for a community we all love and benefit from.”

Lisa said her mother has always been a great volunteer in the community, and particularly supportive of the hospital.

“I think the hospital is central for everybody, something that touches most people’s lives,” Lisa explained.

Natalie Meixner, president and chief executive officer of the Richmond Hospital Foundation, said “We are truly grateful to the Greczmiel family, who truly give with joy to help this rapidly growing community receive the type of care we all want for ourselves and our loved ones. Their generosity is exemplary and provides a meaningful path to follow for others who also care deeply about ensuring the very best care here.”

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