Three generations give to Health Sciences Centre

By Public Affairs | November 15, 2019
           

Okanagan College Media Release 

A three-generation Kelowna dental family is supporting the future of dentistry by donating to Okanagan College's new Health Sciences Centre.

The Leitch family have pledged $65,000 to support the new dental clinic that will train Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs) at the College's Kelowna campus.

There is a long tradition of dentists in the Leitch family. Mac Leitch practised dentistry in Kelowna from 1955 to 1992 and was followed by his son, Ian, who started in 1983. Ian's son-in-law, Scott Martyna, is now an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Kelowna. Ian's wife Theresa and sister Melanie Grant are both dental hygienists.

“Our family is happy to contribute to the new Okanagan College dental clinic to acknowledge the importance of training and providing CDAs for the Kelowna dental community,” says Ian.

“We would like to honour our father, Mac, for his dental contribution to Kelowna. We are grateful for his love of people and dentistry, which encouraged many of our family to pursue a career in dentistry.”

Mac and Ian share that the CDA program at the College is outstanding, with some of their best employees coming from the program. Both have taken on many practicum students over the years.

“CDAs have always been a vital part of our dental teams. Okanagan College has provided our family with first-class dental assistants for over 60 years,” says Ian.

“We have benefited from the CDA program and we feel an obligation for our family to give back, and to enable the future success of dentists in the Okanagan.”

The Leitch family’s donation will support a classroom for CDA students.

“The Leitch family has a long history in our local dental community and we're proud that they are endorsing our program in this way,” says Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director.

“Thanks to their gift, students will be learning in a leading-edge facility that reflects the rapid advances in dentistry and health care so they're well prepared to enter today’s modern dental clinics.”

Okanagan College's new $18.9-million Health Sciences Centre will replace its current Health building, which dates back to 1963. The new Health Sciences Centre will include state-of-the-art labs and simulation spaces, ensuring students are equipped to meet the needs of our community.

The Centre will train eight in-demand health care professions including CDA, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Health Care Assistant.

The B.C. government is funding $15.4 million of the Centre. The Okanagan College Foundation’s Our Students, Your Health Campaign aims to raise $3.5 million to complete the building and $1.5 million to upgrade technology and equipment, and create new scholarships and bursaries for students entering care professions.

To learn more, visit www.ourstudentsyourhealth.ca.

 




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