Okanagan College Foundation

Our Students, Your Health

Invest in the future well-being of our communities

The current health pandemic reminds us how vital frontline health care professionals are for ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. 

We celebrate our graduates working on the frontlines as health care heroes, but want you to know there are other ways you too can be a health care hero.

We urgently need philanthropic support to complete construction of a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Centre and open the doors to start educating students. With support from donors like you, we can prepare for our upcoming health care challenges, whatever they may be, while continuing a tradition of quality care in our hospitals, seniors’ homes and rehab settings.

Health Centre Collage

You can help

Tour the Centre

Visit our new Centre to see first-hand how a collaborative space with modern labs for each program will benefit our students and community's health.

See how people like you are making a difference

John Sokolowski holding a picture of his mother, Janina.
Mother's values recognized with large gift to College
Kelowna man gives to Early Childhood Education

A $50,000 donation to the Our Students, Your Health campaign will recognize a mother who survived and found lessons in the horrors of Germany's concentration camps.

Sokolowski gift
Rotary Club of Kelowna Foundation members outside the Health Sciences Centre.
Rotary Foundation gives to nursing education
$50k will support Our Students, Your Health campaign

A $100,000 gift from the Rotary Club of Kelowna Foundation Reichwald Fund will support the education of Registered Nurses (RNs) at Kelowna’s major post-secondary institutions. 

Rotary Foundation gift
The Leitch family: Melanie Grant, Scott Martyna, Mac Leitch, Theresa and Ian Leitch.
Three generations give to Health Sciences Centre
Leitch family celebrates role of CDAs

A three-generation Kelowna dental family is supporting the future of dentistry by donating $65,000 to support a new dental clinic that will train Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs) at the College's Kelowna campus.

Leitch family gift

Maxine DeHart, Campaign Ambassador

“We do not have anything if we do not have our health. With growing health-care shortages, this Health Sciences Centre will make us one of the most sought-after places for students to learn and eventually work in the region. We should all open our hearts and give what we can.”

An RN students uses her stethoscope on Maxine DeHart

Reasons to Give

Why invest in health-care training?

With your help, the new Health Sciences Centre will train quality health care professionals for the Okanagan for decades to come. Read our Case for Support to learn how you can impact our community’s health and well-being.

Our commitment to green building

The new Health Sciences Centre will build on Okanagan College’s record of developing award-winning facilities that champion sustainability and green building practices.

The Centre will be designed to meet:

ZERO CARBON Building Standard:
Okanagan College will be one of 16 organizations nationwide participating in a pilot program that focuses on design and construction standards meant to reduce a structure’s carbon footprint. 

WELL Building Standard:
The new building will pursue a minimum of WELL Silver certification – a standard that is focused on advancing occupant health and wellbeing in buildings. It is based on 10 concepts that each comes with its own features and measures: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community. 

LEED Rating System: 
Beginning with the Centre for Learning, Okanagan College has built each of its new structures since 2005 with a minimum goal of meeting Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold standard. The rating system focuses on water and energy efficiency as well as indoor air quality.

Investing in aboriginal learners

Supporting Aboriginal student access to and success in post-secondary school is essential to the future prosperity of our region. Okanagan College is committed to enhancing Indigenous education and outcomes for Aboriginal students through a number of projects and initiatives including providing culturally relevant spaces at each of our campuses.

Fast facts

  • Okanagan College has one of the fastest growing rates of Aboriginal student participation of any post-secondary institution in Canada
  • More than 1,700 Aboriginal students currently enrolled
  • Approximately 10 per cent of Okanagan College students have Aboriginal ancestry
  • Over $60,000 available in scholarships and bursaries for Aboriginal students

A holistic Health Sciences Centre

The Health Sciences Centre will strengthen the College’s commitment to providing culturally relevant spaces at each of our campuses.

The design for the new Health Sciences Centre was developed through a holistic and collaborative approach involving representatives from the College’s Indigenization Task Force as well as members of the Westbank First Nation. The concept of weaving is important to the Syilx Okanagan people and was integrated into both exterior and interior elements. Indigenous art and storytelling will be infused into the building connecting it to Syilx Okanagan perspective on health and well-being. 

  • Four Food Chiefs metal sculpture:  The feature wall in the student gathering area will include a three-storey high sculpture. The sculpture will tell the a story of the Four Food Chiefs, and will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about Syilx Okanagan ways of knowing and doing.
  • Story poles: Story poles will be carved with pictographs and painted with ochre by a local Indigenous artist using reclaimed wood from the Health Sciences Centre site. Pictographs have been used by Syilx Okanagan people for thousands of years and are found throughout the entire Syilx Okanagan Nation. The story poles will be situated in the Indigenous garden adjacent the building. The garden will celebrate and recognize the rich history and knowledge of the Indigenous people of the region.
  • Art glass panels: spaces for Indigenous art have been designated inside the building including glazed guardrail panels on all three floors. 

Learn how Indigenous art and storytelling will be infused into the building, connecting it to Syilx Okanagan perspective on health and well-being.

Virtual tour of the Health Sciences Centre

Help transform lives and communities