Langley Memorial Hospital is celebrating 75 years of service in this community. In a series of stories over the coming months, the Langley Advance Times, in conjunction with the hospital foundation, takes a look at the past, present, and future of health care in Langley from a few different perspectives.
By Heather Scott/Special to Langley Advance Times
Some 75 years ago the residents of Langley Township had the grit and the community spirit to construct a 35-bed hospital, “the hospital on the hill,” as it was lovingly named, that would provide a stable health care centre to the region’s 8,000 residents.
The need was great. In 1942, Langley residents spent over 6,000 days in hospital (New Westminster or Abbotsford), yet BC had no plans to build a hospital in Langley. The community took over - and tireless fundraising efforts ensured the community was positioned to thrive. And so it has.
As I’ve pored over Langley Memorial Hospital’s history, the running themes between past and present are striking. The drive that moved a community to build a hospital 75 years ago doesn’t just disappear. It doesn’t fade out over the years.
In fact, it’s only grown in its power and its capacity.
The birth of the Foundation in 1985, inspired by corporate and individual partnerships, sparked more interest in Langley Memorial as a vital centre for diagnosis, treatment and acute and long-term care.
In 2021, the community’s $17 million efforts during the Emergency Response campaign paid off with the opening of the Allan Skidmore Family Emergency Department in the new Martini Family Emergency Centre, and a new imaging hub including a state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine.
The stories you’ll read in this feature remind us that 75 years of improvements were in fact driven by the compassion and collaboration of our donors and community partners who stood up and said, “this community deserves better.”
Today, we recognize the challenges before us. Langley Memorial serves the health and wellness needs of over 170,000 residents, with an expected population of 220,000 by 2030.
Our caregivers need to expand their capacity to provide efficient care in a space that only a new acute care building equipped with advanced technology can provide.
We need expanded long-term care residences to give our more fragile residents a home-like environment in their elder years.
But we know what Langley can do.
As we learn from history, we’re keeping our promise to work together to ensure the health-care facilities in Langley can meet the demands of a population boom and a rapidly aging population.
On behalf of all of us at the foundation, thank you for standing strong with us.
– Heather Scott is the executive director of the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation
Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation fundraises throughout the year to support health-care workers and allow them to keep providing life-saving care. To this end, the foundation is preparing for its annual hospital gala. This year’s event, dubbed Hot Havana Nights, is being held Oct. 21 at the Coast Hotel & Convention Centre. It’s the 32nd year. Money raised will support the urgent need to expand cardiac care at the Langley Hospital. For info: https://lmhfoundation.com/events/gala
• And, for more LMH history check out this special publication.
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