Press release

Philanthropic partnership sets sights on sustainable improvements to health care

Vancouver, B.C. – Making health care more sustainable for generations to come is the goal behind a ground-breaking new public-private partnership between Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), Boehringer Ingelheim Canada Ltd. and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.

This unique partnership focuses on funding innovation initiatives in the areas of planetary health, Indigenous health and chronic disease, as these are shared priorities for the organizations.

The Vancouver Coastal Health Boehringer Ingelheim Collaboration (VCH-BI) program provides individuals and teams within VCH an opportunity to apply for grants for new and innovative projects that will drive sustainable improvement within the health-care system.

“The increasing demand for services, along with ongoing climate events, pandemics and human resource challenges, are straining our system. At VCH, we’ve been working hard to find innovative ways to address these challenges while prioritizing our meaningful commitments to support Indigenous health and planetary health,” said Darcia Pope, VCH’s Chief Transformation Officer and Vice President, Innovation and Planetary Health. “That’s why we are so thrilled to partner with Boehringer Ingelheim and the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation. This unique partnership will support our goal to provide innovative, culturally-safe, low-carbon, high-quality care today, and it will leave a legacy for future generations.” 

By collaborating to achieve a common vision, this dynamic partnership will accelerate health-care innovation and sustainability in British Columbia while giving VCH the opportunity to fund unique initiatives that will have a direct impact on the future delivery of care in the region.

“We are proud to partner to improve the health outcomes of people living in British Columbia,” said Andrea Sambati, President and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim Canada. “By working together, we can address health-care challenges and advance innovative solutions to create sustainable and transformative health system change.”

VCH will work directly with Boehringer Ingelheim’s Patient Access and Healthcare Solutions program, which focuses on health system innovation, and bringing health care solutions to patients faster, improving health outcomes, and creating sustainable health system change.

Rather than the traditional research funding model, this partnership will provide flexible seed funding for different types of initiatives that will support validation, and spread and scale of proven sustainable innovations.

Boehringer Ingelheim is contributing both financial resources and in-kind consultative services to the project while the Foundation is providing a $200,000 donation to the collaboration.

“Transforming healthcare through innovation requires partnership to bring resources, capability and vision together. Together, our Foundation, BI Canada and VCH hope to forge such a partnership,” said Angela Chapman, President and CEO of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “We hope our partnership will give rise to innovations in planetary health, Indigenous health and chronic disease that can be scaled up to impact patients and health care across B.C.”

In the coming months, there will be a call for solutions and a review of submissions to allocate funds to projects based on the priorities identified through the partnership. Measures of the impacts of each project will be monitored as they are completed.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is committed to delivering exceptional care to 1.2 million people, including the First Nations, Métis and Inuit in our region, within the traditional territories of the Heiltsuk, Kitasoo-Xai'xais, Lil'wat, Musqueam, N'Quatqua, Nuxalk, Samahquam, shíshálh, Skatin, Squamish, Tla'amin, Tsleil-Waututh, Wuikinuxv, and Xa'xtsa. VCH is British Columbia’s hub of health-care innovation, research and academic excellence, providing specialized care to patients throughout the province.

Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that transform lives, today and for generations to come. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective.

More than 52,000 employees serve over 130 markets in the three business areas, Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec and is now located in Burlington, Ontario. Boehringer Ingelheim employs approximately 500 people across Canada. Learn more at

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is Vancouver Coastal Health’s primary philanthropic partner and the engine for health care innovation and transformation in British Columbia. By recruiting world-class medical professionals and equipping them with the tools and technology to do their best work we are improving the health of our communities and saving lives across the province.

Patients across BC with the most complex health care needs are referred to the Vancouver Coastal Health sites we support: VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Vancouver Community Health Services.