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Canadian University Collaborative is chosen as one of four in world to lead health education reform

Posted on February 16, 2012

Five Canadian universities have been chosen in a prominent international competition to represent North America as one of 4 global innovation collaboratives to work with the prestigious U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) on a project to lead innovation in health education across the globe.

“This is an exciting opportunity for health professions and medical schools across Canada to help lead a global conversation about the ways we can improve health education,” said David Naylor, President, University of Toronto, and member of the Lancet Commission. “This was an exceptionally competitive selection process and the strength of our proposal rested on our ability to bring together a diverse group of Canadian partners with experience serving different regions of Canada, as well as Aboriginal, Francophone and inner-city populations.”

The Canadian partnership – called the Canadian Interprofessional Health Leadership Collaborative (CIHLC) – is being led by the University of Toronto, and consists of the University of British Columbia, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Queen’s University and Université Laval as regional leads, as well as their affiliated networks across multiple sites in Canada, the United States and globally. The CIHLC is a multi-institutional and interprofessional partnership that includes the faculties and schools of medicine, nursing, public health and programs of interprofessional education (IPE), representing numerous health care professions at each of the five universities.

The IOM’s Board on Global Health chose the CIHLC as one of 4 innovation collaboratives following an international competition among academic institutions around the world. The collaboratives are intended to incubate and pilot ideas for reforming health professional education called for in the seminal Lancet Commission report (2010) and will be a key part of IOM’s new Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education, to be launched in March 2012.

“Emerging societal trends, such as health disparities, the complexity of chronic illnesses, and the movement towards community-centred care are challenging health professionals to find new ways of delivering care and providing collaborative leadership,” said Dr. Sarita Verma, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Associate Vice-Provost, Health Professions Education at the University of Toronto. “That’s why it’s critically important for us to focus on the types of collaborative leadership skills and competencies that students and learners require to effectively work in diverse and culturally sensitive environments.”

Each partner within the CIHLC brings unique and specific strengths in their expertise and experience in health education and leadership. They have also worked collaboratively in similar types of initiatives and programs across Canada as well as globally. The focus of the CIHLC project is on the theme of collaborative leadership for health system change, transforming health and teaching across Canada and North America with approaches that can be transferable globally.

The Leads for the CIHLC are Dr. Verma and Ms. Maria Tassone, Director, Centre for Interprofessional Education University of Toronto, and Senior Director, Health Professions and Interprofessional Care & Integration University Health Network, who will be the nominee and alternate to the Global Forum respectively.

Joining Dr. Verma and Ms. Tassone will be the following collaborative leads from each partner institution:

· Dr. Lesley Bainbridge, Director, Interprofessional Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

· Dr. Margo Paterson, Professor, Occupational Therapy Program and Director, Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice Queen’s University

· Ms. Sue Berry, Assistant Dean of Integrated Clinical Learning, and Dr. David Marsh, Associate Dean, Community Engagement, Northern Ontario School of Medicine

· Dr. Serge Dumont, Director, Office of Interprofessional Education, Pavillon Charles De-Koninck, Université Laval


“The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is excited to have a lead role in this global initiative to transform health professional education. The project highlights the importance of the School’s unique model of distributed, community-engaged medical education and integrated interprofessional clinical learning, guided by social accountability,” said Dr. Roger Strasser, Dean, Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

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