Joan Donald and husband Jack address a group gathered in the foyer of the Red Deer College Arts Centre after donating $3 million to the college on Wednesday. The money will go towards new Donald Health and Wellness Centre in the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Donald Health & Wellness Centre gets $3 million

Jack and Joan Donald fund wing at Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Health education at Red Deer College received a shot in the arm on Wednesday when philanthropists Jack and Joan Donald donated $3 million to the post-secondary institution.

The money will go towards the construction of the Donald Health & Wellness Centre, a wing in the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Retiree Jack Donald said supporting health and wellness appeals to them.

“In your later years, you need more health care. Health care is becoming more and more complex so people need more training to administer and provide it to look after people as they get older,” said Donald who founded and built Parkland Industries Ltd. with his wife Joan.

“Everyone in the room, if you look around us here, is getting older one year at a time,” he said after the funding announcement was made at the Arts Centre foyer at the college.

He also said it’s nice to be able to help out the community now.

“We’re trying to do things while we’re still here to enjoy seeing it happen and helping it happen, and working towards it so that it does happen,” Donald said.

RDC president Joel Ward said the Donalds are correct when they talk about preparing for an aging population by focusing on technology and health care professionals. The college is positioned to do just that.

He said Donald Health & Wellness Centre will be home to the college’s School of Health Sciences.

“There will be lots of classroom space and lab space to support our programs whether it’s nursing, practical nursing, health care aide, medical lab technician, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and new programs that we have on the books that we’ll be announcing fairly soon as well,” Ward said.

In addition to increasing programming opportunities on campus, the wellness centre will be another major step in RDC’s efforts to attain polytechnic university status, a designation that would allow the college to offer its own degrees.

The $88-million Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, funded by a combination of donations, partnerships and government funding, will welcome students in the fall of 2018 and will host five events during the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

He said RDC has raised more than half of the $30 million it will put towards the Canada Games Centre.

“We’ve got three more major announcements coming in the next 12 months. We’re very optimistic we’re going to reach our target. The facility will be open on time. It will be under budget actually a little bit, and it will be ready for the games in 2019.”

Joan Donald said the Olympic-sized ice surface and other sports amenities being built at the Canada Games Centre are very much needed.

“This is going to bring it all right here. I think it’s the most wonderful thing Red Deer has done in a long time,” she said.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

46 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday in Alberta

Province has completed more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests

Red Deer RCMP downtown detachment to reopen front counter service

Police say new health protection measures will be in place

Two suspects arrested in connection to Parkland Mall shooting

Two suspects connected to the June 30 shooting at Parkland Mall have… Continue reading

High unemployment, $343B deficit projected in Liberals’ fiscal snapshot

Slow economic growth forecast until at least the end of 2021

Focus returns to Red Deer hospital’s expansion

Recommendations for project must be finalized

Charges laid following Lacombe County shooting

A man turned himself in to Rimbey RCMP after an incident on July 5

COVID-19 pandemic cancels longstanding Red Deer pork technology workshop

The Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop typically draws more than 150 pork… Continue reading

Reduced fees for users as city facilities ready to reopen

The City of Red Deer is adjusting admission fees for some recreation… Continue reading

Michael Dawe: The soggy spring of 1915 was followed by an enviable harvest

Central Alberta has just experienced one of the soggier springs in recent… Continue reading

Grand Slam trims six-stop curling circuit to just two events in 2020-21 season

Sportsnet is trimming its six-stop Grand Slam of Curling circuit to just… Continue reading

Charges laid following shooting in Lacombe County

A man turned himself in to Rimbey RCMP after an incident on July 5

At libel trial, Depp blasts Amber Heard’s ‘sick’ abuse claim

LONDON — Johnny Depp said Tuesday that ex-wife Amber Heard had made… Continue reading

Most Read