(Saanich Peninsula Hospital/District of Central Saanich)

The Saanich Peninsula Hospital has received a massive donation in honour of a loving mother, wife, and long-time donor according to an announcement made on Monday.

The $500,000 donation will be used to create an endowment fund in memory of Mrs. Florence Yong, a former patient and long-time donor of the hospital. It is intended to benefit a wide range of projects, including an educational scholarship program that will assist people who have shown a passion for supporting the unique needs of rural hospitals.

“The Saanich Peninsula is a small hospital, employing a rural medical model,” said Paul Hames, President of the Board of SPHHF in a release. “Because of its size, staff recruitment and retention can be difficult.”

“We know that programmes like this, which will support important projects and assist staff in pursuit of their professional goals, while supporting the unique needs of a small rural hospital, will keep it modern and vibrant.”

The Florence Yong Endowment and Florence Yong Scholarship will support projects like upgrading imaging, laboratory, respiratory, and orthopedics technologies, upgrading the professional designation of staff, implementing cutting-edge techniques in surgical nursing, and rehabilitation assistance.

The $500,000 donation is the first of at least three, says the hospital.

Mrs. Yong attended the Saanich Peninsula Hospital regularly for day treatments, and after befriending the nurses and staff members there, decided that supporting the hospital and its community was a worthy endeavour.

“Florence was devoted to her family and friends, always giving of herself and it is great to see her legacy honoured with an extraordinary gift for an extraordinary purpose,” a close friend of the family told the hospital.