Philanthropist helps bring $90,000 piece of equipment to Royal Inland Hospital

Ken Lepin has been a high-profile donor to the RIH Foundation for more than 25 years and has given in excess of $1 million.

Philanthropist Ken Lepin has donated money to the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation to help buy a $90,000 isoplater, used in the hospital laboratory.

“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,” Lepin said. “We will do it here and get the results in a matter of hours.”

article continues below

An isoplater is a sophisticated petri dish streaking instrument that is designed to provide safe and highly reproducible streaking of patient sample on culture media. Previously, this was done by hand, which was very laborious with potential inconsistencies and higher risk of exposure to pathogens. With the new machine, lab technicians are more protected and the procedure itself is much faster with a higher degree of accuracy.

Deb Eckert, operations supervisor of microbiology at Royal Inland Hospital, said the machine is a life-saver.

Microbiology lab assistant Jackie Touring uses the new isoplater. - RIH Foundation

“We had a request for a new machine as we could not get parts or ongoing service for the old machine,” she said. “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. Now with the new isoplater, the microbiology lab assistants can focus on other tasks.”

The new machine, which is used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is an essential piece of equipment in the lab.

“Due to the fact that the lab at the hospital works in the background, it is often overlooked, but actually, it is the one area that deals with almost every patient in the hospital,” RIH Foundation CEO Heidi Coleman said. “The work that it does is essential and time is of the essence, so being able to purchase equipment such as the Isoplater, which increases the speed and efficiency of the tasks, is incredibly important. Thanks to donations such as this one from Ken Lepin, we are able to continually strive for quality improvement.”

Lepin has been a high-profile donor to the RIH Foundation for more than 25 years and has given in excess of $1 million, with money going to various areas of the hospital, including the new intensive-care unit, the operating room expansion and adding equipment to the RIH lab, such as a tissue immunohistochemistry stainer that is used in cancer diagnosis, a molecular genetic tester for viruses (including COVID-19 coronavirus) and Clostridium difficile, a high-performance liquid chromatography instrument for diabetes care.

Lepin e also funded the theatre, which bears his name, in the Clinical Services Building at RIH.

© Kamloops This Week



Question of the Week POLL

The NHL season begins on Jan. 13, with teams in an all-Canadian division playng each other. Which team will finish first?

or  view results

Popular Kamloops This Week

Events Calendar

Help Us Help Kamloops. Support Local Media.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Kamloops This Week is now soliciting donations from readers. This program is designed to support our local journalism in a time where our advertisers are unable to due to their own economic constraints. Kamloops This Week has always been a free product and will continue to be free. This is a means for those who can afford to support local media to help ensure those who can’t afford to can get access to trusted local information. You can make a one-time or a monthly donation of any amount and cancel at any time .

NEW: For every donation of $25 or greater, we will offer a digital advertising package to the local non-profit group of your choice.

Click on for more information or to make your donation.

Thank you in advance for your support.