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February 2024

Spiritual Health Care at NRGH

By News

Incorporating spiritual care within healthcare, whether by health professionals or community visitors, has long been integral. Professional spiritual health care at NRGH commenced in the mid-1990s, initially with Chaplains coordinating religious visitors and providing spiritual and religious care. The program evolved to include Spiritual Health Practitioners in 2013, aligning with the BC Framework for Spiritual Health.

We spoke with one of the two Spiritual Health Practitioners, Marysia Riverin, to gain insight into this vital role for patients in our region.

Spiritual Health Practitioners support patients and families through emotional, existential, and spiritual distress.

“Our aim is to assist patients and families with spiritual or existential needs and concerns. We facilitate exploration of what imbues their lives with meaning and purpose, drawing from their beliefs, cultural backgrounds, values, traditions, and practices,” Marysia explained.

Addressing spiritual needs can significantly benefit patients and families, leading to:

  • An increased ability to find meaning amid illness, injury, and trauma
  • Enhanced capacity to cope with pain and discomfort
  • Improved overall well-being
  • Reduced feelings of anxiety, loneliness, fear, depression, and anger
  • Greater acceptance of end-of-life and a palliative approach to care, with a clearer understanding of their values

The facilities, largely funded by donor dollars—including the new ICU and the future High Acuity Unit (HAU), as well as NRGH’s ‘Gathering Space’ provided by the hospital Auxiliary—offer the necessary space for the specific emotional and spiritual support each patient and family member requires.

“In sharp contrast to the old ICU, where conversations and consultations had to take place in cramped quarters or in open public spaces, the new ICU significantly improves how health professionals can fulfill their roles and support loved ones in their spiritual, emotional, mental, and relational needs. We are more than just our physical selves, and this project enhances the overall well-being of those we serve. Thank you!” Marysia expressed her gratitude.

To learn more about the role of a Spiritual Health Practitioner during hospital care, simply ask your nurse, doctor, or social worker, or visit the Spiritual Health page at

Thank you, Marysia, for sharing the crucial work your team performs!

Windsor Plywood Foundation Makes Largest Gift in Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation’s History

By News

NANAIMO, BC – February 13, 2024. The Windsor Plywood Foundation has strengthened their commitment to improving healthcare for Central and North Island residents with a record $3 million gift for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s (NRGH) new Critical Care expansion.

In 2020 the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation (NDHF) undertook its largest fundraising campaign to date to replace the eight bed ICU, rated the worst in Canada. The Windsor Plywood Foundation gifted $1 million towards that campaign, leading the way for the community to come together and exceed the $5 million target to fund all the state-of-the-art critical care equipment required for the new ICU.

The new ICU opened in June 2023 and is routinely operating at full capacity.

With the first phase of the $60.1 million capital project completed, the Foundation initiated the second phase of $5 million in fundraising for the equipment required to complete the Critical Care expansion: the High Acuity Unit, which has an anticipated open date of fall 2025.

The Windsor Plywood Foundation announced an addition $2 million transformational gift to Critical Care in this region this winter.

“This donation is particularly meaningful to the Windsor family as it helps honor my father who recently passed away. Throughout his lifetime he made it a priority to give back to the communities where his customers lived and worked.  The people of Nanaimo and its surrounding regions have been a large part of Windsor’s success over the last 50 years, and we are delighted to be able to contribute to this important and much needed Critical Care addition” shared Cathy Brown, Executive Director with Windsor Plywood Foundation.

Windsor Plywood Founders Randle and Frances Jones have a long history of giving back to the communities where they lived and conducted their business. They made their first personal donation to NDHF in 1990, and since 2009 the Windsor Plywood Foundation has donated in support of NRGH every year, supporting areas such as Renal Care, the Emergency Department, Surgical, Medical Imaging, and Cardiac Care.

“The impact and legacy of Randle, Fran, their children and the entire Windsor Plywood Family is precedent setting,” shared Dr. Kenyon, Senior Intensivist at NRGH. “The ICU is the heart of our hospital, enhancing staff morale and clinical skills and helping to drive the evolution and acquisition of essential healthcare services desperately needed to improve standard of care in our region and outcomes of residents living in North and Central Island.”

“Like Randle, we believe this gift will inspire others to give where they live for immeasurable and lasting impact today and for years to follow. Randle led by incredible example and through his generosity has made Vancouver Island a better place to live,” shared Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation Chair Tony Harris.

To support Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and healthcare in the Central and North Island region donations can be made at or by phone at 250-755-7690.

About Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation

The Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation was founded to support Island Health facilities. Today, we are raising millions to support our region’s healthcare facilities by leading major fundraising campaigns for critical medical equipment, construction projects and programs that provide the best and highest level of healthcare to the residents in central and north Vancouver Island.

Learn more:


About Windsor Plywood Foundation

The Windsor Plywood Foundation was created by the founding owners of Windsor Plywood – Fran and Randle Jones. As Windsor Plywood grew over the past 50 years from its humble beginnings, it generously gives to a variety of causes that support the communities in which Windsor Plywood lives and does business in.

Learn more:


Media Contact:
Andrea Bava
778-908-1764 |