Case for Support – Health Sciences Centre

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Our students, your health Invest in the future well-being of our communities


Help us continue to train excellent caregivers for the Okanagan Okanagan College graduates are at the heart of our health care system, providing vital support across our community. However, the world of health care is rapidly changing. We urgently need to invest in a new Health Sciences Centre to ensure students are equipped to meet the needs of our community. We often don’t realize how important health and social care professionals are to our daily lives. From going to physiotherapy or picking up a prescription to going to the dentist or dropping your child off at daycare, our lives are touched by a wide range of caring professionals in our daily routines and our most vulnerable moments. Okanagan College has been training health and social care professionals for more than 55 years. More than 11,000 students have walked through our doors and out into communities to fill vital roles in hospitals, community care, rehab clinics, care facilities, dental clinics, mental health services and child and youth support.

Our students directly affect the quality of your health and the health of our communities. Now, we need your help to make changes to the way we educate and prepare our students to ensure the quality of health care in the Okanagan does not fall behind.

Campaign goals

$1.5 M $3.5 M

Equipment, scholarships and bursaries Remaining building costs

$15.4 M Provincial government

contribution to the building

Your investment will make the difference. It will enable us to complete construction of a state-of-theart regional training hub, purchase equipment and provide scholarships and bursaries to students entering high demand health care careers. Join us in our campaign to raise $5 million to help build our Health Sciences Centre and support students on the Kelowna campus. Thank you for your consideration.

Jim Hamilton President, Okanagan College

Helen Jackman Executive Director, Okanagan College Foundation

Gladys Fraser Chair, Okanagan College Foundation


In 1963 when our current Health building opened it was state of the art. . . Retired nurse credits College for progressive nursing education “I remember how excited my fellow classmates and I were to be in the first Registered Nursing program at Okanagan College, which started in 1976. We didn’t know it at the time, but the classes and education we received prepared us to be innovative nurses, long before it became standard practice. Our education taught us how to ask the right questions and commit to lifelong learning. I loved every minute of my time at Okanagan College and credit much of my further growth as a nurse to the strong foundation I received there.” ~Sharon McKenna, RN graduate, Okanagan College, 1978

Current Health building, Kelowna campus.

Student study and gathering spaces Home care simulation lab

Pharmacy Technician lab

We stand by the quality of our education, but we need to invest in a new facility that reflects advances in health care and learning spaces. 4

Well Silver (a new building certification for occupant health and well-being)

A modern Health Sciences Centre built for the future Beginning in September 2020, students will learn in a facility and with equipment that matches the exceptional quality of their education. The leading-edge, three-storey Health Sciences Centre will feature new, innovative spaces such as hands-on labs, modern clinics and technically-advanced simulation rooms. The Centre will also be adaptable to accommodate future training needs.

Early Childhood Education lab

Four-bed patient simulation room

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Dental clinic (LEED) Gold certification

Nursing lab Indigenous garden


Why give to health care training? Health care staffing shortages are critical and expected to grow in the coming years. Forecasts predict that health care and social assistance will have the greatest number of new openings in the province with 148,000 job openings in the next 10 years. In the Thompson-Okanagan, hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities will expand with 4,870 new job openings in addition to filling the need of 6,230 existing positions due to retirement or vacancies by 2028. By 2035, one in four people in the Central Okanagan will be over the age of 65. With an aging demographic and a growing population, we need to attract more people to health care careers and convince them to stay in the region. Okanagan College graduates 450 health sciences and social care professionals a year. The new Health Sciences Centre will help us attract new students and ensure they train using the latest health care technology and settings in a multidisciplinary facility. A new Centre will also give us capacity to educate more students in high-demand areas.

Programs Taught in New Centre

Needs in our Community

• • • • • • • •


Bachelor of Science in Nursing Certified Dental Assistant Early Childhood Education Health Care Assistant Human Service Work Pharmacy Technician Practical Nursing Therapist Assistant

Continuing Studies programs offered • Aboriginal Community Support Worker Certificate • Dental Office Administrative Assistant Certificate • Gastroenterology Nursing Certificate • Medical Device Reprocessing Technician Certificate


• Medical Office Assistant Certificate • Nursing Unit Certificate • Perianesthesia Nursing Certificate

Chances are, you’ve met our grads Imagine your typical family of four living in Kelowna, and see how our students impact a family’s dayto-day health:

Moved his mother into long-term care.

Dental visits Certified Dental Assistant

Dental visits Certified Dental Assistant

Diabetic Nursing (RNs, LPNs) Pharmacy Technician

Nursing (RNs, LPNs)

Father broke his hip

Health Care Assistant

Health Care Assistant

Goes to physiotherapy for a knee injury.

Nursing (RNs, LPNs) Pharmacy Technician

Therapist Assistant

Therapist Assistant

Attends afterschool care

Delivered at hospital two months ago

Early Childhood Education

Nursing (RNs, LPNs)

Dental visits Certified Dental Assistant

Will be attending daycare when he turns one

Cousin struggles with mental health

Early Childhood Education

Human Service Work

Where would our health be without quality, trained professionals?

Caring starts here. 7

– Krystal Rose with her daughters Macie and Jenica.


This is what your support looks like As a single mother of two young children, Krystal Rose is proud to have graduated as a Practical Nurse from Okanagan College in December 2018. “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. Rose is no stranger to challenges. While going to school full-time, she struggled with finding suitable childcare in a new city where she didn’t have family support. Her education demanded much of her time, meaning working while going to school and raising her children was impossible. At one point, Rose was unsure if she could continue her education as she could no longer afford the costs. An award from a donor-funded bursary, along with several awards from Okanagan College, enabled Rose to focus on her most important priorities: her children and her studies. It paid off. Rose graduated and is now working as a Licensed Practical Nurse at Kelowna General Hospital.

“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 received!” ~Krystal Rose

Your investment has a ripple effect What starts at the College can have a major impact on our health care system. On a typical day, a nurse interacts with approximately eight clients. Imagine what a difference your gift would make to the health of your loved ones and our community over a nurse’s entire career.

One nurse cares for 55,000+ people over a 30-year nursing career. 9

All education isn’t the same — the importance of hands-on training The new Health Sciences Centre will not be just about the books. Each of our eight programs will have a modern lab for students to hone their skills. Currently, several of our programs do not have dedicated lab space meaning students do not have an opportunity to practice in a typical health care setting during their studies. Dedicated labs and simulation spaces provide a safe and effective environment for learning and testing students in different scenarios. Students can practise their skills before entering the workforce, strengthening their skills in a safe environment that does not put patients at risk.

Nursing lab and classroom.

Will a new Centre attract top talent? Students have many options when it comes to their choice of education. While the Okanagan lifestyle and the College’s reputation are significant draws, students also want to train in a modern facility with new technology, creating a sense of pride in their education and chosen occupation. Students who do their practicums locally are more likely to stay and work in the region after they graduate.

Student technology and collaboration space.


The new Centre will not only offer world-class training, but is designed with student health and wellness in mind. Following the Well building certification system, the Centre prioritizes student health by focusing on optimal airflow, natural light, comfort and physical fitness. These elements will benefit student mental and physical health.

Why our community cares

Attracting talent

“The new Health Sciences Centre will benefit the Interior region because students are not only drawn to exceptional programs, they also want the opportunity to take their training in a state-of-the-art facility that has the latest in technology and equipment, and in an environment that models a modern health care workplace.” ~Mal Griffin, Interior Health VP of Human Resources

Decreasing hospital visits

“Physiotherapy and rehabilitation services have played a huge role in my success over my 10-year career as a professional skier. Access to health care practitioners who can help us return to being active takes a toll off the rest of the health care system. I’m excited about Okanagan College’s new Health Sciences Centre because it’s going to enhance this community for everybody.” Kelsey Serwa, Olympic Gold and Silver medalist

Meeting community needs

“We’re going to be facing a skills shortage in health care in the next 10 years and the College’s new Health Sciences Centre is going to play an important role in providing workers to fill those jobs within the region. My family has been a recipient of those health care services and if it wasn’t for those trained professionals, I wouldn’t have my father here today.” Chris Derickson, Okanagan College Board of Governors Chair

Keeping the Okanagan vibrant

I’m proud to be supporting the College’s campaign for a new Health Sciences Centre. What makes Kelowna and the Okanagan a beautiful place to live is our quality of life. Our quality of life is directly impacted by the quality of our health. We cannot take our health for granted.”

Maxine Dehart, Kelowna City Councillor, Health Sciences Centre Campaign Ambassador


Your gift will transform lives — help open the doors by September 2020 Your gift will make it possible to change the way we educate and prepare our students, ensuring the quality of health care in the Okanagan doesn’t fall behind. When you give, it is like you’re right beside our graduates caring for people. Your gift will touch many lives as each one of our students will work with countless clients throughout their career, amplifying your impact.

Contact Us: Helen Jackman Executive Director Okanagan College Foundation Phone: 250-762-5445, ext. 4775 Email:

Holly Routley Development Officer Okanagan College Foundation Phone: 250-762-5445, ext. 4440 Email:

Anne Kirkpatrick Development Officer, Planned Giving Okanagan College Foundation Phone: 250-762-5445, ext. 3254 Email: