A quiet community leader has spoken volumes with a $2-million donation to the new patient care tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.
David Kampe, owner of the Peters Bros. Group of Companies, has become the first major individual donor to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s $20-million fundraising campaign to provide new medical equipment for the PRH expansion.
Kampe, who has supported many community projects for years, said his gift aims at ensuring top quality health care for residents throughout the region for decades to come. He also hopes it will help spur others in the community to donate as well.
“This hospital here is every bit as good as any hospital in the province,” Kampe said in a press release. “It’s a remarkable hospital for this region’s level of population.”
Kampe had special praise for the efforts of Dr. Tom Ashton, lawyer Richard Thompson and Penticton MLA Dan Ashton in directing him towards the Medical Foundation as a recipient for the gift which will serve the entire community.
Janice Perrino, the Foundation’s executive director, said the value of Kampe’s donation means much more to the campaign than simple dollars and cents.
“No one understands the importance of a donation more than Mr. David Kampe,” she said in a release. “He came to us even before we got the agreement for the patient care tower by the Province because he knew we had to have the community come on side and he was ready to get the campaign rolling.”
Perrino said it’s hoped Kampe’s incredibly generous gift will give momentum for other individuals, corporations and organizations to financially support the hospital campaign.
“Helping provide the best health care possible, it represents an investment in the future for the residents of the South Okanagan-Similkameen,” she said.
Perrino emphasized this is another example of how Kampe has supported numerous local charities and community events.
“While there aren’t enough words to say thank you, it is important for the public to know what an incredible hero Mr. David Kampe is for our entire region,” she said. “He has quietly supported so many things in our communities and I have never met anyone more determined to make sure every person in our region has the best health care possible, right in Penticton, for decades to come. “
This marks the second time in four years that Kampe has stepped forward with a major donation to the Foundation.
In 2011, he donated a one-hectare parcel of land at Industrial Avenue and Camrose Street, immediately south of the hospital. The land at the time was valued at $1.5 million.
This latest donation follows the Summerland Health Care Auxiliary’s recently-announced pledge to donate $1 million over five years for the Foundation’s campaign.
“This organization has, with this gift, started the process of major gifts coming forward,” Perrino said. “They’re lighting the fire for other organizations. I’m just so impressed and thrilled.”
Perrino is hoping to see other groups, companies and individuals coming forward to offer financial support for the expansion project.
“People have really begun to think about this, so we are thrilled. It is only going to be happening because of people, whether they are with a group, with a company or on their own,” said Perrino.
The province is scheduled to select its private sector P3 partner early in 2016 with construction of the $325-million Patient Care Tower to begin soon afterwards.
The tower will include new surgical rooms, 84 single-patient rooms, ambulatory care clinics and other facilities. A second construction phase will see the hospital’s present front lobby and adjacent offices become part of an enlarged emergency department – almost four times the size of the existing emergency room.
The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District will fund $122 million (40 per cent) of the construction cost, while the provincial government and its P3 partner will pay about $183 million (60 per cent). The foundation will provide the final $20 million of the total project cost for medical equipment