Okanagan College will receive a donation from the Leitch family

Helping future dentists

A Kelowna dental family has pledged to donate $65,000 to support Okanagan College's new dental clinic, which will be used to train certified dental assistants.

The Leitch family is a three-generation dental family who are aiming to support the future of dentistry through donating to the new Health Sciences Centre.

Mac Leitch once practiced dentistry in Kelowna between 1955 and 1992, and was then followed by his son Ian who began dentistry in 1983.

Now Ian's son-in-law Scott Martyna is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Kelowna and Ian's wife Theresa and his sister Melanie Grant are also 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,” said 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.”

Both Mac and Ian have hired their best employees coming from the certified dental assistant program at Okanagan College.

“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,” said 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.”

Their donation will go towards a classroom for students.

“The Leitch family has a long history in our local dental community and were proud that they are endorsing our program in this way,” said 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.”

The new $18.9 million Health Sciences Centre will replace the current Health building, which has been used since 1963.

The new facility will have state of the art simulation spaces and labs, providing training to eight professions including CDA, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Health Care Assistant.

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