It’s official. The new patient care tower at Penticton Regional Hospital is going to be named the David E. Kampe Tower.
The honour comes in recognition of Kampe’s many good works in the community, which includes over $6.5 million donated to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation over the years.
That already considerable amount grew again today with Kampe’s latest donation of $1.4 million, which will be used for the purchase of a SPECT CT unit. It’s described as a key piece of nuclear medicine equipment, used mainly for cancer and heart patients, who previously had to travel to Kelowna for the procedure.
“Cardiac patients wait up to six months for a nuclear medicine scan at KGH,” said Dr. Tracy Chandler, a radiologist at PRH.
Kampe has previously donated for a permanent MRI, along with other donations to the foundation’s campaign to provide medical equipment for the new patient care tower.
The public has been pressuring for the tower to be named for Kampe. Besides his donations to the hospital, his family business, Peters Bros. Construction is a title sponsor of the Peach Festival and also purchases tickets to Vees games so youth can attend for free.
Many of Kampe’s activities are behind the scenes, but there are few people in Penticton or the South Okanagan that haven’t been affected by Kampe’s generosity in some way.
MLA Dan Ashton said he took the request to name the tower for Kampe to the provincial cabinet.
“It went through cabinet so quick, because everyone knows the outstanding donations of Peters Bros. Construction and specifically David Kampe,” said Ashton, describing Kampe as a man of very few words, but whose incredible generosity is felt throughout this entire part of Southern B.C.
“I’ve known for an awfully long time how Mr. Kampe doesn’t like to be front and centre. He’s always there when people are in need, or kids need a hand with sports and there is never any recognition,” said Ashton.
Chris Mazurkewich, chief executive officer for Interior Health, said he had a chance to talk to Kampe about his life. Kampe grew up in poverty in Summerland in the 1940s, but with his successful business ventures over the years, the owner of Peters Bros. has focused on giving back to those in need, families and the community.
“It’s quite an amazing story, but through that, the generosity he has given back to the community and his love for the community comes through. He’s been giving over the years very generously, not just to the hospital and the community at large,” said Mazurkewich.
The new PRH tower will be ready for patients by early 2019, at which time construction will begin on Phase 2 – a major expansion of the hospital’s Emergency Department.