Stober family donates $500,000 to Okanagan College’s new Health Sciences Centre

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Local family donates $500,000 to Okanagan College
Local family donates $500,000 to Okanagan College – May 5, 2020

The Okanagan College Foundation says it has received its biggest donation so far to its Our Students, Your Health campaign.

The Stober Foundation has committed $500,000 over the next five years to support the development of the new state-of-the-art Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus.

“Now more than ever, we recognize the critical role of front-line health care professionals,” said Keith Brewster, Stober Foundation’s executive director.

“This is a strategic investment in our community’s health and well-being. COVID-19 continues to highlight the dedication and commitment of all those on the frontlines in our community, specifically health care professionals. We are incredibly honoured and proud to be able to support the education of those who will care for our community, when we need it most.”

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The college says the donation will specifically support the completion of the centre’s Health Lab, where nurses and health-care assistants will be trained.

It will also establish scholarships and bursaries, enabling students to complete their studies at a time when many are facing even greater financial uncertainty.

“This gift is a testament to the leadership and vision of the Stober family and will help us complete a world-class facility which our students and community deserve, as we continue to deliver the vital training needed to shore up our health care sector,” Jim Hamilton, Okanagan College’s president, said in a release.

The college said it will be establishing a $250,000 award fund in honour of the Stober family.

The fund will be used to provide financial support for 100 students in the health-care program at the college.

The new Health Sciences Centre will serve as a leading-edge training hub for students across eight critical health and social care professions, according to the college.

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The centre will train 450 students per year for the next 40 years.

Graduates will go on to provide care in the region’s hospitals, long-term care facilities, pharmacies, rehabilitation settings, dental clinics and mental health services, according to the college.

The B.C. government has contributed $15.4 million toward the $18.9-million centre, which the college says will be equipped with leading-edge technology to replicate a modern health-care workplace.

“Thanks to the Stober Foundation, we’ve now raised $2.5 million, and are halfway towards our $5-million campaign goal,” said Maxine DeHart, Our Students, Your Health’s campaign ambassador.

“This kind of leadership at a time of economic fragility is exceptional. These are extremely challenging times both in terms of our health and the economy, but I hope those who can will consider supporting the campaign. We need this new centre more than ever and we can’t complete it without community support.”

The centre replaces health labs and classrooms that were built in the 1960s.

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