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NOSM pushes forward with clear vision to improve access to northern health care ahead of proclamation

Posted on December 3, 2021

Board approves priorities for 2022 as NOSM transitions to a stand-alone University.

Following extensive in-person community consultations across Northern Ontario, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is reaffirming its pledge — and its mandate — to make health care better for the entire region.

At the December 2, 2021 board meeting, Dr. Sarita Verma, NOSM Dean, President and CEO, provided feedback from consultations held with more than 1,000 Northern Ontarians over the past few months. A clear vision for improved access to northern health care was presented and approved by the Board.

“Since September, we’ve had the honour of meeting and hearing from people from Kenora and Sioux Lookout to Hearst and Parry Sound in our travels,” said Dr. Sarita Verma, Dean, President and CEO of NOSM. “What we heard frequently and consistently was that the north needs more health resources in rural and remote areas, and the dedicated health-care workers in those areas, especially in the pandemic era, need urgent relief in order to keep going.”

As NOSM stands at the ready to become Canada’s first stand-alone medical university, its leaders are undertaking a bold strategic plan that not only addresses those issues: it charts a daring, socially-accountable path forward, in concert with Indigenous, Francophone and other partners across all regions in the north. All of NOSM’s education programs are fully accredited and in high standing with the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Medical Council of Canada.

“NOSM University will continue to emphasize its primary mandate to addressing the region’s health-care gaps,” says Dr. Verma. “NOSM prioritizes the need for education in Northern Ontario and leading population and health research to make sure that any health care provided is tailored specifically to the needs of the people in the region. NOSM University will continue to meet the needs of the north and we will recruit from its people – who train here in culturally relevant programs and stay here to practise.”

“We will soon be standalone, but we are not alone,” continued Dr. Verma. “We are so grateful for the continued support of the province and the many enthusiastic donors who share our vision. The future and potential of NOSM University is truly limitless.”

The Dean’s report for 2021 A year in review. Meeting the NOSM Challenge. can be viewed and downloaded at https://report.nosm.ca/.

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Fast facts:

  • NOSM University will become the first stand-alone medical school in Canada.
  • When the legislation is proclaimed in force, NOSM will form a new Board of Governors and new Senate.
  • NOSM will remain in both Thunder Bay and Sudbury, and will build on its collaborative relationships with Laurentian University and Lakehead University.
  • NOSM University will continue to receive 90 per cent of its operating funds directly from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
  • NOSM University will remain deeply committed to its partnerships with Indigenous, Francophone, rural and remote communities that have been critical to NOSM’s mission and success.
  • NOSM’s partnerships and collaborations with over 500 organizations, 90-plus communities, and more than 1,800 clinical, human and medical sciences faculty dispersed across all of Northern Ontario will continue.
  • NOSM will be the first university in Canada with a dedicated Centre for Social Accountability.
About NOSM
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 practise 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.

For further information, please contact:

Joanne Musico
Director, Communications and External Relations
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Phone: 705-919-1370
Email: jmusico@nosm.ca