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$300k financial contribution from McConnell Foundation supports NOSM’s Center for Social Accountability

Posted on August 3, 2021

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) has received $300k from the McConnell Foundation for its new Center 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 Center.

“We thank the McConnell Foundation for supporting both the vision and the development of NOSM’s Center for Social Accountability,” says Dr. Sarita Verma, NOSM Dean, President and CEO. “The Center 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 Center 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 Center 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 Center is well poised with the support of a network of researchers, partners and contributors already in place.

This new interdisciplinary Center 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.

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About the Northern Ontario School of Medicine
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine(NOSM) is an award-winning socially accountable medical school renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research. With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and advocacy for health equity, NOSM relies on the commitment and expertise of the peoples and communities of Northern Ontario to educate health-care professionals to practice in Indigenous, Francophone, rural, remote and underserved communities. NOSM’s graduates, faculty, learners and staff are changemakers who lead health-system transformation in Northern Ontario. The School is a recipient of the Charles Boelen International Social Accountability Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and the prestigious ASPIRE award, which recognize international excellence in social accountability and medical education.

About the McConnell Foundation
The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian foundation that contributes to diverse and innovative approaches to address community resilience, reconciliation, and climate change. We envision a future in which our economy and social systems promote the thriving of all people, and in which the natural environment is stewarded for generations to come. We see all sectors working together to address climate change, to help foster reconciliation, and unleash individual creativity and organizational resources to solve social challenges and strengthen communities. We strive for a resilient, inclusive and sustainable society that can successfully address its complex challenges.

For further information, please contact:

Kim Latimer
Communications and External Relations
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Phone: 807-621-4303

Chad Lubelsky
Program Director
McConnell Foundation