Kofoed family celebrates the role of nurses

By Public Affairs | June 10, 2020

Kofoed family
Kofoed family

A $60,000 gift from the Kofoed family will honour a very special nurse in their life, and a generation of new nurses entering the field.

Jack Kofoed, and his children Jacqueline, Leah, Jillian and Jeremy are giving to the Our Students, Your Health campaign to help complete construction on a new Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

Jack’s wife Leona was a nurse. She passed away in 2017, and this gift recognizes her life’s work and the special care she received during her final days, according to her family.

“Mom was one of the most generous people I’ve ever known. She would be so happy with this gift,” says Jacqueline, adding that she and Jeremy attended Okanagan College, which holds a special place in their family’s hearts.

“She loved knowing people are going into health care careers so this gift recognizes her passion.”

“In mom’s last years we had a wonderful home care nurse that came to our home,” adds Leah. “Her name was Cindy, and she was a light in mom’s life.

“We’ve benefited hugely from having someone care for our mother and we’re so thankful for home care nurses.”

The Kofoed family’s generous gift will support a Home Care Lab in the Health Sciences Centre. The Home Care Lab is a new space that wasn’t previously available and will allow students in nursing, Therapist Assistant and Health Care Assistant programs the opportunity to practise supporting clients in a real home environment.

Jack, who is the former owner of Kelowna Toyota, says he’s always felt a responsibility to give back. He donated to the College when the institution was building its new Trades Complex, and felt the same kind of connection for a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Centre.

“Nurses play an integral role in our communities. We want the best support and the best education possible for nurses,” says Jack.

Jillian adds the gift recognizes a growing demand on the health-care system.

“In the Okanagan we have many retired baby boomers so there is a huge need for health care workers,” says Jillian. “We need to educate more caregivers to meet the demand.”

Okanagan College’s $18.9-million Centre will train frontline health care professionals in eight disciplines and provide much-needed modern lab spaces to provide hands-on learning for students.

“We are honoured that the Kofoed family is recognizing Leona in this way,” says Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director.

“The students I speak with all share a passion to help others, especially in this challenging time. This gift will equip our future nurses with the best education to continue a tradition of quality care for our community.”

The Okanagan College Foundation urgently needs the community's support to open the doors to the Health Sciences Centre this fall. The Foundation has raised $2.5 million and is halfway to reaching its $5-million community fundraising goal.

To learn more or donate, click here.

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



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