Kamloops philanthropist helps Royal Inland Hospital buy essential lab equipment | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops philanthropist helps Royal Inland Hospital buy essential lab equipment

Ken Lepin, Kamloops businessman and philanthropist.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Royal Inland Hospital Foundation
November 12, 2020 - 6:00 PM

A generous donation made by a Kamloops philanthropist has allowed the Royal Inland hospital to purchase a much needed piece of lab equipment. 

The funds went towards an Isoplater, a sophisticated petri dish streaking instrument used to test patient samples, which cost $90,000. 

“This new machine is a life saver. We had a request for a new machine as we could not get parts or ongoing service for the old machine," Microbiology Operations Supervisor Deb Eckert said in a release. "When it broke down for good several months ago, we were in a bind as we had to resort to doing cultures by hand, which is really time consuming."

Doing these tests by hand not only takes longer, but has a higher potential for inconsistencies and risk of exposure to pathogens. With the new Isoplater, results are faster and more accurate, while lab technicians are more protected. 

The man who made the important purchase possible is long-time Royal Inland Hospital donor Ken Lepin. Over the past 25 years, Lepin has donated over one million dollars to the RIH Foundation. 

His contributions have paid for critical equipment in the hospital lab, including a cancer diagnosis machine, a molecular genetic tester for viruses such as COVID-19, and a high performance liquid chromatography instrument for diabetes care. He also helped to fund the new ICU, Operating Room expansion and the theatre.

When asked why he chose to donate for the new Isoplater, Lepins' motivation was simple.

"I am somewhat competitive, and when another city gets all the new lab equipment and expects our lab work to go there, I say no," he said in a release. "We will do it here and get the results in a matter of hours.” 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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