PRH gift honours front-line staff

For the second time in five years, John Pankiw has donated $100,000 to PRH.

For the second time in five years, a long-time Penticton resident has generously donated $100,000 to Penticton Regional Hospital.

For John Pankiw, it’s really a matter of recognizing our healthcare workers at this difficult time for the entire community.

“I think it’s important for all of us to do whatever we can to support each other and especially the caregivers in the medical community,” he said.  “They’re dealing with so many more people stricken with Covid in this second wave, so they’re putting themselves at risk. We’re asking a lot of them.”

Pankiw hopes the community will be able to thank frontline health workers in a more personal way once the pandemic is over.

“These caregivers deserve to be recognized by the community as a whole, but under the current circumstances, that’s pretty hard to do,” he said.

Pankiw’s donation bolsters the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation’s critical care fund to help with the hospital’s future equipment needs.

The gift mirrors Pankiw’s generosity in October 2015 when he donated $100,000 to help launch the Rotary Club of Penticton’s contribution to the SOS Medical Foundation’s $20-million campaign to provide medical equipment for the PRH expansion. In the end, the club itself and individual Rotary members donated well over $300,000.

John Pankiw founded Penticton-based Cantex Engineering in 1971.  Although he retired in 2006, he remains as president of the Cantex Group of Companies.  He has four children, including a daughter who has a key role at Cantex’s operations.

SOS Medical Foundation board chair Peter Steele said Pankiw’s donation comes after an overwhelming response from donors throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen to the Foundation’s annual Tree of Dreams fundraising campaign.

“We can’t thank John enough – and the entire community for that matter – for supporting healthcare in our region,” Steele said. “The response has been so heartwarming.”

The SOS Medical Foundation raises funds for medical equipment and other forms of assistance at Interior Health facilities in the South Okanagan Similkameen.