Okanagan College shows off new Health Science Centre

Investing in future of health

Okanagan College provided media a tour of its new Health Science Centre in Kelowna on Tuesday.

The school is still raising funds to help train future healthcare professionals in the community.

Construction recently finished on the $19.4 million facility. The OC Foundation has set a goal of raising $5 million to invest in the next generation of students pursuing a career in hospitals, long-term care homes and other health-care settings.

Helen Jackman, the executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation, hopes the community can continue to help them meet their goal.

“We’ve has so many incredible donors come forward supporting the centre, whether that's because they received incredible health care and want to invest in the future, or their giving a memory of a loved one who dedicated their life to health care, but we’re really hoping the community will consider stepping up,” said Jackman.

To date, the OC Foundation has raised $4.25 million through the generosity of the community.

Jackman says the new building will help attract the next wave of talent, which will have a lasting impact on our region.

“We really needed this facility to match the quality of the education the college provides for these eight frontline health-care programs. This has been a long time in the making, and it really is a centre for the entire region. We’ll be able to attract amazing new talent to come study here and students will stay and work in this region and serve the community for many generations to come,” said Jackman.

Dean of Health and Social Development, Yvonne Moritz, said the new building allows students to learn with a true hands-on approach, because of its real-life features that replicate health-care settings.

“You’ll see in this room that we have fifteen beds, and it simulates an acute care or hospital setting, and if you look at the headwalls, it really is a simulation of an acute care setting. We’ve tried in our labs to make it a real-life environment for students so they get that comfort level prior to going out into clinical practice,” explained Moritz.

The new Health Science Centre has bright hallways and classrooms courtesy unique window designs, as well as a welcoming feel layout of its floor plan. Emily Bazell is a health care assistant student and described the new facility as “state of the art."

"It's beautiful. There's so much new technology and the equipment is amazing. We get to learn in multiple settings from the home health setting to the acute care setting across the hall, and it's absolutely amazing,” said Bazell.

The school is $750,000 shy of their fundraising goal, so if you’d like to help support future health care workers, or if you’d like to book a tour of the new facility, click here.

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