CIBC Donates $150k to NOSM for Indigenous Learner Leadership

Testing their steady hands, young people from Limbrick neighbourhood get to test themselves at NOSM at Lakehead University.
Testing their steady hands, young people from Limbrick neighbourhood get to test themselves at NOSM at Lakehead University.

THUNDER BAY – NOSM is the first medical school in Canada established with an explicit social accountability mandate. The School is committed to addressing the health needs of all Northern Ontarians and improving access to quality care through education and research.

To achieve this mandate, The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) has partnered with the CIBC to launch a new initiative that will promote and recognize Indigenous learner leadership and mentorship through an awards program.

These awards will improve learning and networking opportunities for NOSM Indigenous students who have exhibited exceptional leadership within their community.

“CIBC’s generous support of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine’s award program will support the Indigenous academic medical community in the North,” says Dr. Sarita Verma, NOSM Dean, President and CEO. “We have seen incredible leadership from our Indigenous students and this award allows us to recognize them while providing enriched experiences that will help build on their strengths. The support will also help increase access to the best possible, culturally appropriate care. Miigwetch.”

CIBC’s grant, valued at $150,000, will support the School’s social accountability mandate by earmarking award funds specifically for Indigenous learners, faculty and alumni in the North.

Indigenous Learner Leadership and Mentorship Award
This annual award will be given to an Indigenous NOSM learner in their final year of the MD program, who plans to return to a Northern community to practice medicine. The award will also establish a mentorship program, drawing upon past recipients to provide a network for Indigenous physicians in the North.

Leadership Award
These prestigious annual awards (valued at $20,000 each) will be presented to two Indigenous learners, one from Thunder Bay and one from Sudbury, who have demonstrated leadership qualities within the Indigenous community at NOSM throughout their MD program.

Mentorship
Mentorship opportunities (valued at $10,000 annually each) will be available to NOSM learners, past recipients, and practicing Indigenous physicians, to build a network and participate in professional development opportunities as a group. The fund will ensure purposeful face-to-face connections are built through NOSM’s Indigenous Affairs and Continuing Education and Professional Development units.

“The need for strong leaders in the health care sector has never been more critical,” says Chris Giulekas, CIBC Region Head, Northern Canada. “This means ensuring that young health-care professionals have access to high-quality training and resources to serve their communities. CIBC is proud to help enable the ambitions of young Indigenous healthcare workers so that they can deliver support to those who need it most.”

“The School is honoured by CIBC’s commitment to Indigenous health in Northern Ontario with the aim to improve best practice and our emerging leaders,” says Dr. Joseph LeBlanc, NOSM’s Director, Indigenous Affairs. “It’s our belief that supporting a network of Indigenous physician leaders practicing in the North will help to encourage, attract and retain more Indigenous medical school applicants to, and graduates of, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.”