Conestoga news

December 9, 2003 11:27 AM

Manulife Financial Donation Supports Health Care Education at Conestoga

Kitchener, ON, December 9 -- Manulife Financial, a leading Canadian-based financial services company that offers a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services, announced today a major community investment to promote and advance quality health-care education.

The company will donate $500,000 over a five-year period to Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. It is the largest single donation ever received by the College in the health care area.

The donation will support two critical initiatives at Conestoga. First is $250,000 towards the maintenance, expansion and re-equipping of the College's health sciences labs at the Doon campus in Kitchener. These labs are essential to the effective, practical education of Conestoga nursing students. This simulated hospital environment, which includes five labs plus an operating room setting, must approximate actual conditions found in health care agencies, including a full array of up-to-date equipment.

The remaining $250,000 will assist Conestoga to develop a forward-looking Health Informatics Management degree program. This baccalaureate program is in the final stages of planning and soon will be submitted for consideration to the province's Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board. The field of health informatics uses the tools, methods and potential of information technology to organize data and processes for more effective patient care and health management.

With regard to this major donation, Bruce Gordon, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of Manulife's Canadian Operations, comments, " The company is pleased to partner with Conestoga College in these health-related programs that strengthen health delivery in our communities. As a community partner, Manulife is committed to supporting organizations like Conestoga College that have an impact on the health of Canadians and that help young people become our future community leaders."

Geoff Crickmay, Manulife Financial Senior Vice-President, Group Business, serves on Conestoga's Board of Governors.

Conestoga President John Tibbits adds, "The growth and advancement of all career fields, including health sciences, demands that providers of education seek new and better means to provide quality service to students, graduates, employers and the community. This generous and welcome donation from Manulife Financial will permit Conestoga to enhance our already outstanding reputation in health sciences education, and make us a major contributor to community well-being, now and in the future."

In recognition of this donation, the section of the Doon campus which houses the labs associated with Conestoga's School of Health Sciences, Community Services and Biotechnology will officially be named The Manulife Financial Health Skills Wing.

CONTACT: Ingrid Town, Conestoga College, 519-748-5220, ext. 3490, ; Tom Nunn, Manulife Financial, 519-747-7000, ext. 48578,