Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre Moves Ahead


Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid with local philanthropist and businessman Joseph Segal (left) and VCH President and CEO Dr. David Ostrow (right) announce funding for a new mental health centre at VGH.

NEWS RELEASE – March 15, 2013

VANCOUVER – A new Vancouver mental health treatment facility will be named for Joseph and Rosalie Segal and their family, who donated $12 million to the project in one of the largest-ever personal gifts for mental health in Canada’s history, Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid announced today.

“The new Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre will help mental health professionals provide better care to patients and their families in a modern environment when it opens in 2017,” said MacDiarmid. “Joseph and Rosalie Segal have been generous and tireless champions for this project, as has VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, which continues to raise funds for this important project.”
The majority of mental health programs in Vancouver are delivered from an outdated 70-year-old health centre facility at Vancouver General Hospital. The new building will consolidate these and other specialized mental health services under one roof, and help provide more seamless patient care.

“I would like to thank the provincial government for their commitment in helping to fund the new centre. Having a healing environment for those affected by mental health is important to all of us and we look forward to having a state-of-the-art facility to serve British Columbians,” said Joseph Segal.

Total capital cost is estimated at $82 million, with the provincial government contributing $57 million. The VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation has committed $25 million to the new centre, including $12 million from Joseph and Rosalie Segal.

The foundation will kick off a campaign next week to raise the remaining funds for the Centre. Three-quarters of the funds have been raised so far.

“This new facility is vitally important to mental health patients and their families. We are grateful for the commitment from the provincial government and for the contributions from our donors. As we officially launch our public campaign for the remaining $10 million needed, we hope the public and corporations will join us in reaching our fundraising goal,” said VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation interim president and CEO Barbara Grantham.

Groundwork is expected to start this fall with opening projected for spring 2017. The new centre will be constructed on the current site of Vancouver Coastal Health’s Willow Chest Centre – a facility built in 1948 that houses some mental health services and administration offices.

“The new Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre will replace outdated facilities and provide a safer, healthier environment for our clients and the outstanding team of mental health care professionals who support them. It will not only be the largest facility of its kind in the province for people with mental illness, we believe it will be the best,” said Dr. David Ostrow, president and CEO of Vancouver Coastal Health.

Since 2001, the government of British Columbia has spent $8 billion on health capital projects around the province. Over the next three years, British Columbia’s health-care system will benefit from investments, such as new medical equipment and modernized health facilities, as part of an approximately $2.3-billion health sector capital plan.

Healthy Minds, Healthy People: The Ten Year Plan to Address Mental Health and Substance Use in British Columbia provides a road map to further improving mental health for all British Columbians through prevention, early intervention, treatment, harm reduction and sustainability. The plan includes evidence-based milestones to ensure strategies and actions make a real difference to British Columbians. The second annual progress report outlines the progress made to achieve the targets and milestones set out in the plan.


The new Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre will include the following:

  • Eight floors, 11,100 square metres (approximately 119,500 square feet), excluding parking and mechanical penthouse.
  • 100 private patient rooms, each with its own bathroom.
  • Natural light in most areas and the use of calming colours and textures to create healing environments.
  • Quiet places on each floor for reading and meditating.
  • Access to outdoor gardens and courtyards, as well as exercise facilities, televisions and the Internet.
  • Improved patient and staff safety and security.
  • The Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre will provide short-term, acute care to those suffering from major depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, psychotic and mood disorders and drug and alcohol addiction.

Media Contacts:

Ryan Jabs
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887
Vancouver Coastal Health
604 312-1148
Maureen Broadfoot
Vice President, Marketing &
Community Giving
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
604 875-5350