Lifetime of Generosity
When William K. (Bill) Robbins came to Edmonton over two decades ago as a businessman expanding his corporate reach, he showed an extraordinary faith in Edmonton, and a commitment to making it a better place to live. “He took us to look beyond the immediate needs to where we could make a much longer-term impact,” states Andrew Otway, former President and CEO of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation.
“Having a vision of what you want to achieve and really pushing through to make it happen – one person make a huge difference.” Bill’s support for the Royal Alexandra Hospital began with its operating suites but extended to every corner of the hospital’s campus, including its centres of excellence — the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, CK Hui Heart Centre, and the Eye Institute of Alberta. He and his wife Mary Jo eventually became Patrons of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and their generous philanthropy over the years resulted in the naming of the Robbins Pavilion, home to the Lois Hole Hospital for Women and CK Hui Heart Centre, as well as the Robbins Learning Centre and Lecture Theatre and the Robbins Chapel, Walkway of Hope, and Belltower.
Among his many impacts — Bill served as Co-Chair of the capital campaign for the CK Hui Heart Centre, which opened in 2011, providing consolidated cardiac resources from the Royal Alexandra Hospital in one location within the Robbins Pavilion.
“Bill was delighted to see all the heart programs consolidated and was also very impressed by the fellowship program at the Royal Alex, where doctors came from all over the world to seek advanced training,” recalls the Honourable Anne McLellan, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, who served as Bill’s Co-chair on the campaign. “Bill thought both the consolidation and the fellowship program were important parts of who we were at the Alex and how we could improve patient care,” she says.
The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation is immensely grateful for Bill’s generosity and leadership. He is missed following his spring 2023 passing, but his legacy lives on across the Royal Alexandra Hospital and through his family — Mary Jo, who remains Patron of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, as well as the next generation of the Robbins family.