New Kamloops hospital tower gets huge donation from retired psychiatrist | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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New Kamloops hospital tower gets huge donation from retired psychiatrist

Royal Inland Hospital.

A retired psychiatrist in Kamloops is making a hefty financial contribution to the new Mental Health and Substance Use Department at Royal Inland Hospital.

Dr. Shiraz Mohamed is donating $200,000 to the RIH Foundation to be used in the new Phil and Jennie Gaglardi Tower.

Mental health and substance use is the most common reason for inpatient visits to the hospital and is responsible for the highest number of inpatient days, according to a media release by the RIH Foundation.

The new department offers warm, calming environments conducive for healing and recovery, a vast improvement over the current unit in the Alumnae Tower that was built in 1962.

Mohamed submitted a proposal that would see substantial changes to the mental health program in Kamloops in 1979.

He came with a vision on how to improve access to services. His work in Kamloops was a great passion in his life.

He practiced at the hospital, was involved with projects associated with the university and Canadian Mental Health in Kamloops, helped bring two tertiary mental health centres to the city, said the foundation.

“Giving back is important to me and my family, it takes a community to raise a family and Kamloops gave us that unconditionally, now it is our turn to give back”, said Dr. Shiraz Mohamed in the release. “With these improved services available in Kamloops and the surrounding areas, RIH can offer the support required to achieve the high level of care needed for those challenged with mental health and substance use. We look forward to a future where the new Mental Health and Substance Use Unit will be the center of excellence for our region.”

During his 30 years at RIH, Dr. Mohamed was passionate about the evolution of psychiatric services in Kamloops. He served as the Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Royal Inland Hospital and Regional Clinical Director of Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

“Dr. Mohamed was a leader in the Department of Psychiatry during his 30 years in Kamloops. He was instrumental in developing programs for inpatient psychiatric treatment and played an integral role in bringing Hillside and South Hills Tertiary Care programs to Kamloops. His generous donation emphasizes his enduring commitment to the promotion of mental health treatment," said Dr. R. A. Chale, Psychiatrist and RIH Foundation Board Member in the release.

“The journey through mental health and addiction issues is hard enough without the stigma that it carries," said Heidi Coleman, CEO-RIH Foundation in the release. "There is no health without mental health. We are grateful to Dr. Mohamed for his years of expertise in this field and for this very generous gift to our community. With this gift, his legacy lives on.”

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