Giving to the health of the community

By Public Affairs | January 29, 2021

Jim Hodgson and Joy Bianco
Jim Hodgson and Joy Bianco

A retired Kelowna couple are donating $30,000 to Okanagan College’s Health Sciences Centre to support the health of the community.

Jim Hodgson and Joy Bianco are supporting the Our Students and Your Health Campaign with a gift they say recognizes their passion for the Okanagan.

“Kelowna is a beautiful place. We’ve seen so many changes here for the positive, and it’s feels good to support the community,” says Bianco, who was born in Kelowna but spent her formative years in Vancouver.

Bianco adds education has always been central to her family. Her father originally taught at Rutland Senior Secondary (RSS). As a mathematician and a music lover, he formed the first school band at RSS before moving to Vancouver.

Bianco and Hodgson returned to Kelowna five years ago and wanted to give back.

After experiencing several health challenges, Hodgson says he understands first-hand the need for quality health care professionals.

“We liked the College’s hands-on approach to health-care education,” says Hodgson. “The more students have opportunities to practice before entering their careers, they will be more effective and prepared for their professions.

“The more we can set students up for success, the better.”

The new Health Sciences Centre will educate eight health care professions ranging from nurses to Therapist Assistants to Pharmacy Technicians. Each profession will have access to state-of-the-art labs tailored to their profession.

“This generous gift is enabling our students to train in advanced settings that will match the health care settings they will enter when they graduate,” says Helen Jackman.

“We’re thankful to Jim and Joy for supporting students as they pursue meaningful careers caring for others. This gift will have a ripple effect throughout our community.”

Jackman adds the Foundation is now only $1.5 million away from reaching its fundraising goal to provide scholarships, purchase equipment and open the doors to the new Health Sciences Centre. To learn more or to donate, visit

Tags: OC Foundation, Health Sciences Centre, Health and Social Development, Inside OC



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