Thunder Bay – NEWS – The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) has received $300,000 from the McConnell Foundation for its new Centre for Social Accountability (CFSA). The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian foundation that contributes to diverse and innovative approaches to address community resilience, reconciliation, and climate change. The funds are earmarked for education and research dissemination as well as administrative start-up costs for the Centre.
“We thank the McConnell Foundation for supporting both the vision and the development of NOSM’s Centre for Social Accountability,” says Dr. Sarita Verma, NOSM Dean, President and CEO. “The Centre will lead innovation in education and research on social accountability to improve health care delivery. Increasing our focus on Northern Ontario, we will address the unique social challenges and barriers to equitable health care that communities face.”
“The McConnell Foundation is proud to support the Northern Ontario School of Medicine with the creation of a first-of-its-kind Centre for Social Accountability,” says Lili-Anna Pereša, President and CEO of the McConnell Foundation. “We believe that the NOSM model of reframing health care from biomedical to social-medical with patients as partners is a necessary and welcome social innovation. We look forward to seeing its impact across Northern Ontario and in rural, Francophone and Indigenous communities throughout Canada.”
The Centre for Social Accountability is unique in Canada with the core mandate of improving the health of Northern Ontarians, reaching beyond NOSM’s founding commitment to be socially accountable in education, research programs and in advocacy for health equity. Its inaugural academic Director, Dr. Erin Cameron, says the Centre is well poised with the support of a network of researchers, partners and contributors already in place.
This new interdisciplinary Centre for Social Accountability will be dedicated to leading-edge population health, primary care research to innovate new models of education, incubate research in social accountability and advocate about issues that address inequitable health care in the North such as poverty, water insecurity and climate change. The CFSA was made possible with support of a $1.2 million donation from Dr. Hugh Robertson, which was earmarked to address social accountability, health inequity, advocacy for marginalized populations and access to care in Northern Ontario.