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CIBC donates $150,000 to NOSM to promote Indigenous learner leadership and mentorship

Posted on May 28, 2020

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) has received a donation from 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.”

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.

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 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 the 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.”