OC Foundation launches Our Students, Your Health campaign

By Public Affairs | October 30, 2019
           

Fundraising campaign kicks off for College’s State-of-the-Art new Health Sciences Centre

The Okanagan College Foundation has launched its largest fundraising effort in Kelowna in more than five years, with a new campaign aimed at benefitting students and transforming the health of our communities for decades to come.

Our Students, Your Health is a $5-million campaign to support the completion of the new $18.9-million Health Sciences Centre under construction at the Kelowna campus.

College students, staff and community members gathered on Wednesday evening to announce the goal and tour the construction site for the new Centre.

“We’ve graduated more than 11,000 health care professionals since our current health building opened in 1963,” notes Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “When you consider the sheer number of people those graduates have cared for, across so many settings, it paints a picture of just how vital skilled health care workers are to the wellbeing of our communities and employers across the province and the country.”

“Our current building has served our students well, but it’s time for a new facility that will provide our students with a state-of-the-art learning environment to match the quality of instruction they are receiving at the College,” says Hamilton.

Beyond building sparkling new classrooms and modern labs, the campaign also seeks to raise critical support for the other factors that drive student success.

$1.5 million of the $5-million goal will allow the College to upgrade technology and equipment, and create new scholarships and bursaries for students entering in-demand health care professions.

“I think this campaign is particularly meaningful in that it resonates very personally with so many people. It hits home,” says Helen Jackman, Executive Director of the OC Foundation. “We can all think of a moment in our lives when each of us, or a close friend or family member, has needed care. These are the students who are going to provide that care to all of us, now and for years to come.

“What could be more important than supporting them in realizing their goals, finishing their studies and stepping out into such important – and needed – careers?”

Members of the community have already stepped forward with support and are joining the College and the Foundation in championing the cause.

“We’ve set a lofty goal,” says Maxine DeHart, Campaign Ambassador. “But there is no more lofty goal than changing someone’s life, than empowering students to care for others, to ease pain, nurture our children, provide a helping hand to our elderly and our vulnerable. I’ve witnessed truly remarkable generosity in this region over the years, and I’m confident that generosity will bubble up once again and the good people of the Okanagan will help us reach our goal.”

The B.C. government is funding $15.4 million of the $18.9-million total project cost for the new Centre. 

“This new facility is going to help us continue to address the very real skills shortages across the health care industry in the valley and across the province,” adds Hamilton.

The 2,800 square-metre (30,000 square-foot) facility is replacement space for current labs and classrooms in which practical nurses, dental assistants, health-care assistants and other health and social development students train.

As recent OC graduate Krystal Rose can attest, that kind of support can be life-changing for students.

A single mother of two young children, Rose credits a donor-funded bursary for allowing her to keep her focus on her most important priorities: her studies and her family. After graduating in 2018, she is now a Practical Nurse working with Interior Health.

“I wanted to show my kids that even as a single parent you can still go after your dreams no matter what obstacles are in your way,” says Rose.

“The financial aspect of going back to school was the biggest barrier I had to face as I had to pay for child care on top of my school supplies, tuition and living expenses. I am so grateful for the financial support I have received. I hope Okanagan College donors and future donors comprehend the truly life-changing impact they have through this campaign.”

Rose and her peers are stepping into the industry at a critical time.

Call for health care professionals is only expected to grow over the next decade. Recent labour market data predicts there could be need for as many as 25,000 nurses required to staff B.C.’s health care system over the next 10 years.

The new Health Sciences Centre is expected to be completed in Spring 2020, with student occupancy in Fall 2020.

Information about the new facility and how to donate is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/healthcentre.



Tags: OC Foundation

TOP STORIES

RELATED STORIES

Sign up for weekly stories




Trending

Sean McFetridge
Meet Sean McFetridge, OC alumnus

November 1, 2021

After an intense wildfire season, heatwaves and droughts, the need for Canadians to conserve water is more crucial than ever. That’s where OC alumnus Sean McFetridge comes in. He and his wife, Alisha McFetridge, co-founded RainStick Shower, a WiFi-enabled smart shower system that aims to solve water and energy waste by up to 80%. We caught up with Sean to hear more about what he’s been up to since graduating from OC in 2011. Where is your hometown and where are you located now?Kelo...

Read more...
Kelly Terbasket
kinSHIFT: a powerful—and local—way to learn about Truth and Reconciliation

September 27, 2021

Kelly Terbasket of IndigenEYEZ has created a new sister organization for allies—kinSHIFT. Launched this spring, kinSHIFT is a tailored set of workshops for non-Indigenous allies who want to take the next step. Designed in response to increasing requests from people who want to be genuine allies, kinSHIFT is a safer space to do the work.                                                                          ------------ As a person of mixed heritage, I've always felt the divide between cultures and wanted to be part of bridging awareness a...

Read more...
English Professor Hannah Calder reads while sitting in her home office by a window
Why We Write: Poets of Vernon

September 10, 2021

The writing community of Vernon is taking centre stage in a new film produced by OC English Professor and self-proclaimed budding filmmaker Hannah Calder. For the last four years, Calder has been collaborating with Curtis and Silmara Emde on Why We Write: Poets of Vernon, a film project originally sparked in 2017. Curtis, an OUC alumnus, has stayed in touch with his first-year English professor, Tom Wayman, since completing his studies. When Wayman released his collection of music-...

Read more...
Ty Sideroff story
Ty Sideroff

September 3, 2021

“I have always been interested in our anatomy and exercising so I enrolled in OC’s Kinesiology Diploma program. My first year was going really well, then COVID-19 hit. I was able to finish the first year in an online format. However, starting school in September completely online, I was struggling to stay engaged with my studies. Before COVID, many of our classes would be active and in the gym. I found it hard to stay present with everything online and not having the same convers...

Read more...