Campus Life  

Jacobs support frontline health care education with a major gift

Erin, Kim and Mike Jacobs

Touring Okanagan College’s new Health Sciences Centre and seeing the modern education spaces that will help attract and retain health care professionals compelled a well-known Kelowna family to give a major gift.

Mike and Kim Jacobs are donating $80,000 to the Our Students, Your Health campaign to support the completion of the $18.9 million Health Sciences Centre. The state-of-the-art Centre will educate eight frontline health care professions.

“It’s incredible to see such a modern facility with all the technology and great detail put into the education spaces. They’ve overlooked nothing,” says Kim. “This is a huge step for our community to have a Centre like this.”

“We were very encouraged by the fact that students would come to study here and stay,” says Mike, who is the chairman of Emil Anderson Construction and founder of Dilworth Quality Homes. “With an aging population, we see the need for more frontline health care workers. The more and better trained they are, the better our society will be.”

The Jacobs’ gift will support a new classroom for nursing students. Okanagan College educates Health Care Assistants, Practical Nurses and the first two years of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

With forecasts predicting that health care and social assistance will have the greatest number of job openings in B.C. in the next 10 years, a new Health Sciences Centre couldn’t come at a better time says Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director.

“We are very appreciative of the Jacobs family for stepping up to help us educate quality health care professionals,” says Jackman. “In doing so, they are another kind of hero for health care.

“We are still in need of more heroes for health care to complete the Health Sciences Centre and ensure care is there when we need it.”

The Jacobs add that they are advocates for education and health care. Their daughter Erin is attending UBC Vancouver to become a doctor. Their son Brandon is an engineer. Many employees at the Jacobs’ businesses are OC grads.

The couple hopes their donation will inspire others to follow their lead to support a Centre that impacts a variety of health care sectors.

“It’s a great project that will benefit everyone in the community at some time in their life,” says Mike.

The Our Students, Your Health Campaign has raised $3 million towards its $5-million fundraising goal. To learn more or to donate, visit www.OurStudentsYourHealth.ca

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