A new Centre for Health System Learning and Innovation coming to Kelowna has received a $5 million donation to get it started.
The gift is coming from the Jim Pattison Foundation, and the Centre is a partnership between the Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) Foundation and Interior Health (IH).
It is the largest gift in the foundation’s history.
“And it’s the largest investment the foundation has made in the Interior of B.C.,” said Allison Young, CEO of the KGH Foundation, referring to the creation of the Centre.
“While we have seen the shift in urban centres, such as Vancouver and Toronto, we are thrilled to have received such a significant gift specifically aimed at innovation in regional healthcare.”
Interior Health CEO Susan Brown called the donation a monumental milestone.
“This is almost five years worth of work coming to cumulation today and this exceedingly generous gift allows us to take a step forward and make it come to fruition.”
The centre will be the first of its kind with a focus on rural, remote, Indigenous and community healthcare.
It will primarily be a virtual network that connects innovators, clinical teams, researchers, patients and families, students, partners and investors to discover and implement innovative healthcare solutions.
Once established, the work of the centre will aim to address healthcare challenges in the Interior.
“To discover, test and trial innovative healthcare solutions,” added Dr. Devin Harris, executive medical director, quality and patient safety for IH.
“This gift is remarkably visionary as it recognizes the need to address the challenges we face in healthcare differently.”
Jim Pattison Foundation chair Clark Hollands told the large crowd that assembled for the announcement that by supporting healthcare the Foundation supports the broader population.
“Most people at some stage in their lives are going to need healthcare,” he added. “We like to give where we operate.”
In a pre-recorded video message, Jim Pattison said ‘we appreciate the opportunity to support Kelowna and the surrounding areas.”
The donation adds to the KGH Foundation’s recently launched ‘Closer to Home Than You Think’ campaign.
It’s a $40 million fundraising effort to fund changes to local healthcare in eight priority areas: cancer, cardiac, system innovation, women’s health, bone and joint health, mental health, brain health and clinical excellence.
More information on the campaign and fundraising goals can be found on the KGH Foundation website.
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