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Camosun College Foundation Celebrates $1M Gift to The Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness

The Camosun College Foundation is thrilled to announce a $1 million gift from the Sisters of St Ann for The Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness.

This latest contribution to the Together for Health campaign tips the fundraising effort to 60% of its $5 million goal for a purpose-built space for Camosun College’s health and human services programs. The gift will go specifically towards the Teaching Clinic, where students will practice their skills in an applied learning environment while serving the public.

“This is a way for us to continue our mission of educating health care providers,” says Sister Marie Zarowny, on behalf of the congregation. “There’s always a need for more health care services, and the Teaching Clinic will provide more access for the community. It will also give Camosun students opportunities for hands-on learning in a clinical environment on campus.”

Camosun and the Sisters of St Ann have a long relationship, and this gift is the most recent development. The Sisters created the foundation of the joint nursing degree program between Camosun and UVic. In their teaching hospital at St Joseph’s, the Sisters founded the first x-ray and bloodwork lab training programs—Camosun continues to educate health professionals in what is now Medical Radiography and Medical Laboratory Assistant programs. The Sisters also give annual bursaries to Camosun nursing students, another way of investing in the future of the profession.

“We’re incredibly grateful for this generous gift from the Sisters of St Ann,” says Sherri Bell, President of Camosun College. “We’re honoured that the Sisters have entrusted Camosun with their legacy."

The Sisters of St Ann arrived on the west coast from Quebec in 1858. While their original mission was to educate, they quickly saw that there was a need to care for the sick and the dying. They set to work providing health care necessities, then training other health providers and building hospitals and schools for the growing settlement. Their contributions have left a lasting impact on the growth of Victoria as a modern centre.

160 years later the congregation is reflecting on its next steps, with many of the remaining Sisters in their 80s and 90s. “We call it ‘coming to completion,’” says Sister Marie. “There can be a tendency for people to think it’s sad, but we don’t see it that way. We’re focused on providing continuity, with our history as well as our present and into the future. For most of the Sisters, it’s a reassurance that what we’ve done has not been lost. It’s continuing, in a different way, and that’s good.”

Original article from Camosun College