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After spending more than 40 years working as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Jean Redmond knows first-hand it is a rewarding career.
Now, she and her husband Bill are choosing to inspire the next generation of CDAs by pledging $40,000 toward the construction of a new Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.
The new Centre will feature a modern dental clinic to train CDAs, which are in-demand locally and across the province. The clinic will mirror a modern dental office, with a reception room, state-of-the-art operatories, a dental manufacturing lab and sterilization room.
“I am thrilled that students will have a new and modern training facility,” says Jean.
“A modern clinic will inspire students during their education and give them a sense of pride in their chosen career. We’re happy to support people who are going into this training.”
Jean started as a certified dental assistant in 1961 and retired in 2005, working for more than 30 years at dentist offices in the Okanagan. She and her husband Bill have been long-time supporters of the College, donating most recently to the Kelowna Trades campaign.
“Okanagan College fills a gap in our education system that is really important by providing skills training, whether for trades or health care,” says Bill, who is co-owner of Dockside Marine Centre and Tow and Stow Dry Marina. “We're proud to be able to support the College.”
In recognition of their gift, the dental clinic reception will be named after the Redmonds.
“This gift will give our students the ability to learn in a dental clinic that will match their employers in terms of advanced digital technology,” says Helen Jackman, Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation.
“Students will graduate ready for work, but they will also give back to our community. Our dental clinic is open to the public for three weeks every May offering low cost cleanings and other services to families.”
The free clinic serves approximately 200 people per year and has resulted in thousands of saved dollars for individuals, students and families seeking low-cost to free care.
Okanagan College has been training CDAs for more than 40 years, and the College’s current Health building dates back to 1963. Health care and learning settings have changed dramatically since the 1960s and the current building no longer supports the quality of education the College is renowned for.
The B.C. government has contributed $15.4 million toward the new $18.9-million Health Sciences Centre, which will accommodate students who are training to step into eight high-demand health care careers and meet our community’s escalating health care needs.
The Okanagan College Foundation has set a fundraising goal of $5 million to complete the building, purchase technology and equipment and provide scholarships for health care students.
To learn more or donate to the Our Students, Your Health campaign, click here.