Penticton businessman David Kampe has done it again — this time it’s a $3-million donation for a permanent MRI machine at Penticton Regional Hospital (PRH).
Kampe, owner of Peters Bros. Construction and Inland Contracting, is donating the funding to the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation for a fixed MRI to be located in the new tower at PRH.
Patients in the South Okanagan-Similkameen are currently served by a mobile MRI van which is shared with communities in the Kootenays. It is stationed at PRH only two weeks each month. The inclusion of a fixed MRI in Penticton will allow regional patients to have uninterrupted access to the machine.
MRI is the commonly used acronym for “magnetic resonance imaging” of body tissues which don’t show up in X-rays or other scans.
Kampe has quietly supported the community for decades with various sponsorships and donations. He is quick to point out that these donations were only possible through the ongoing success of his companies.
Penticton-based Peters Bros. Construction is among the top paving contractors in British Columbia. Although based in the Okanagan, the company performs work throughout the entire province. Peters Bros. has been previously recognized by the Ministry of Highways with multiple awards for Excellence in Paving throughout B.C.
Inland Contracting and Peters Bros were founded in the late 1970s and often employ over 200 people province-wide, including Penticton.
Kampe’s donation follows a $2-million gift he made last year to the SOS Medical Foundation’s current $20-million campaign to provide medical equipment for the new hospital tower.
“My intention is to have Penticton Regional Hospital become a state of the art facility in the Interior, and I hope that others will join in and help make this wish a reality,” he said.
In 2011, Kampe also 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 and is reserved for future health care use. During construction of the new tower, it will be used for hospital staff parking.
“Mr. Kampe is a long-time and very active supporter of our community and this wonderful additional donation is just another example of his incredible generosity in supporting the health and well-being of local residents,” said Penticton MLA Dan Ashton. “The new MRI will add to the comprehensive services that will be included in the new patient tower and will help ensure patients receive the care they need, closer to home.”
The provincial government has given its approval for the operation of an MRI when the new patient care tower at PRH opens in 2019, and the design of the tower includes space to accommodate a permanent MRI. The $312.5-million patient care tower is funded by the provincial government, the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District, the SOS Medical Foundation, and the Interior Health Authority.
The inclusion of a permanent MRI at PRH was only made possible due to Kampe’s generosity. It was not part of the budget for the hospital expansion and the $3-million donation is not included in the Foundation’s overall $20-million fundraising campaign.
Dr. Stacey Piche, radiologist and medical director of medical imaging at PRH, said the impact of Kampe’s gift cannot be overstated.
“Getting the appropriate imaging examination in a timely fashion can be critical in making the correct diagnosis and initiating lifesaving treatment,” she said.
Dr. Piche added the fixed MRI particularly helps the most vulnerable, including cancer and stroke patients, and children.
“As health care providers and members of this community, we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to put this medical technology to use helping all patients at Penticton Regional Hospital and in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.”
Janice Perrino, the foundation’s executive director, emphasized how important Kampe’s support has been for PRH.
“Mr. Kampe has made this MRI possible,” she said. “Because of him, the community benefits tremendously. There just are not enough words to say Thank You.”