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NOSM Associate Scientist awarded national Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience

Posted on December 9, 2021

Dr. Brianne Wood, Associate Scientist at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), has been awarded the Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience by the Health Research Foundation of Innovative Medicines Canada. Dr. Wood was selected by the foundation’s committee of leading Canadian life sciences experts to receive $450,000 over three years.

As an Associate Scientist in Social Accountability and Learning Health Systems, Dr. Wood’s research aims to improve health care in Northern Ontario by building a system that reflects the health needs of communities. She will investigate how communities and health systems can better generate knowledge and understanding to help inform policy both in times of emergency and for the future of health system improvement.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity this fellowship provides, and for the trust the foundation places in me to advance my research. My vision is to improve health and health care in Northern, rural, and remote communities. Partnerships, shared strategies and resources between education, research, health services and communities are essential to create meaningful impact. This fellowship will enable me to better prepare underserved health systems to meet the needs of their health workforce and the communities they serve,” says Dr. Wood.

Her research comes at a critical time, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight ongoing health-care inequities in Northern Ontario. Rural and remote communities in the region face health workforce shortages, burnout, fewer resources, and more complex population health issues compared to the rest of Ontario. The Fellowship will examine the resilience of Northern Ontario’s health system—specifically to strengthen the system’s capacity to adapt to crisis, emergencies and change—while maintaining and improving health care service.

“Through initiatives such as the Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience, our industry makes valuable contributions to public policy and helps Canadians prepare and be equipped to face our next public health crisis. I believe that Dr. Wood and her work will help Canada curb the impact of future pandemics and other health threats, especially in vulnerable communities,” says Pamela Fralick, President, Innovative Medicines Canada.

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About the NOSM Centre for Social Accountability
The Centre for Social Accountability (CFSA) is the first of its kind in Canada. It is a model for multidisciplinary, community-led, and community-prioritised health and public health multidisciplinary research. The NOSM CFSA is advancing social accountability research globally and locally by working and collaborating with diverse stakeholders in the broad areas of health professional education, health system transformation, health human resources, social and population health, and social determinants of health. The Centre is home to two research networks, NORTHH and MERLIN, which focus on building capacity and providing tools for change.

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 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.

About the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
TBRHSC is a state-of-the-art, 375 bed, acute care facility serving the health care needs of people living in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. The organization is focused on providing patient and family centred care in an academic learning environment. To fulfill its teaching and research strategic goals, the TBRHSC supported (in 2007-08) the creation of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI) as a not-for-profit and independent research corporation. TBRHRI is the research arm of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, a leader in Patient and Family Centred Care and a research and teaching hospital proudly affiliated with Lakehead University, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Confederation College.

For further information, please contact:

Kim Latimer
Communications and External Relations
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Phone: 807-621-4303
Email: klatimer@nosm.ca

Marcello Bernardo
Communications and Engagement
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Phone: 807-684-6011
Email: bernarma@tbh.net