New hospice residence for Peace Arch Hospital breaks ground with a new name and $1 million gift from George & Sylvia Melville

Thursday, August 10, 2017

WHITE ROCK, B.C. – A new 200-bed residential care facility which includes a 15-bed hospice residence broke ground today in a vacant parking lot across from Peace Arch Hospital at 17 Avenue and 156 Street in Surrey.

Local philanthropists George and Sylvia Melville made a $1 million donation to the hospice residence and in recognition on their incredible generosity, the new hospice will be called The George & Sylvia Melville Hospice Home, or the Melville Hospice Home for short.

“George and I have called White Rock home for 20 years,” said Sylvia Melville. “We are thrilled to support such a critically-needed and important care facility for our community.”

The new hospice and residential care centre is part of Peace Arch Hospital’s current $110 million renovation and expansion plan that includes a new emergency department and five new operating suites.

“This new residential care facility with hospice residence is just the latest project in our ongoing fundraising efforts for the redevelopment of Peace Arch Hospital,” said Stephanie Beck, Executive Director at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation. “Our community is in desperate need of more beds for our elderly and most fragile patients and we are so thankful for the Melville’s wonderful generosity in supporting the hospice residence in such an impactful way.”

The new building is being constructed on land owned by Peace Arch Hospital Foundation. Fraser Health will lease the facility from the Foundation and operate the residential care and hospice medical services.

“I think it’s so important to have the best end-of-life care possible for our community,” said George Melville. “Sylvia and I are passionate about supporting health care and Peace Arch holds a special place in our hearts.”

The new hospice residence will feature 15 private rooms with space for family members and a private bathroom. Each room will look out to secured gardens where patients can sit in the sunshine, go for a walk, or have their bed rolled into the open air. Shower and laundry facilities, a large shared lounge and dining area with kitchen and a play area for children will also be included.

The 185 beds earmarked for complex care will house patients in need of a structured environment and 24-hour medical support. The 112-bed residence is designed to provide an easy transition from home to residential care with large single rooms with private bathrooms and space for personal furnishings, décor and belongings. There is a secure wing of 73 beds for patients with geriatric mental health conditions who are experiencing behavioural issues and beds and equipment specifically designed to care for obese patients.

The new residential care facility and George & Sylvia Melville Hospice Home are slated to open in late 2019.