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NOSM University receives $1.3-million gift from Northeastern Ontario Health Education Advancement Foundation

Posted on October 19, 2023

Donation will be matched by FDC Foundation, creating a $2.6-million endowment

An organization with a longstanding commitment to medical education in Northeastern Ontario has made a $1.3-million gift to NOSM University. The Northeastern Ontario Health Education Advancement Foundation’s (NOHEAF) contribution to NOSM University’s student endowment will be matched by the FDC Foundation, creating a total fund of $2.6 million.

The funds will be used to create two awards for first-year medical students in perpetuity: the Northeastern Ontario Health Education Advancement Foundation Bursary, which will award $5,000-$10,000 to students from Northeastern Ontario, and the Dr. William McMullen Award, which will award $1,000 to a student from Killarney or Manitoulin Island.

NOHEAF was formed in May 2003 to advance the education of medical learners by providing residential accommodation to them and their families, as well as by providing scholarships, bursaries, and awards.
“Even before the existence of NOSM University, the visionaries at NOHEAF believed that training learners alongside practicing clinicians in the North would entice them to stay and practise in these communities—and they were right,” says Dr. Sarita Verma, President, Vice-Chancellor, Dean, and CEO of NOSM University. “NOHEAF’s ongoing support will leave a lasting impact on the health-care system in the North.”

“NOHEAF is making this donation to NOSM University to continue the charity’s legacy of helping to recruit and support our young students from northeastern Ontario as they decide to enter medical school and train in our northern communities thereby continuing the proven benefit of their returning to provide medical care in our northern communities,” says Dr. Mulloy President and Chair of NOHEAF.

Since 2005, NOSM University has been delivering on its mandate. It has graduated 902 MDs, 73 of whom are Indigenous, and 179 of whom are Francophone. More than half of NOSM University graduates have stayed in Northern Ontario. NOSM University estimates that about 400,000 people have been helped so far by a graduate.

NOSM University has embarked upon a mission to raise the first $50 million for its Student Endowment Fund. Read more about that effort here.

(Photo: NOHEAF Board members with NOSM University Year 1 and 2 MD students.)

About the Northeastern Ontario Health Education Advancement FoundationNortheastern Ontario Health Education Advancement Foundation (NOHEAF) was formed in support of Northeastern Ontario Medical Education Corporation (NOMEC) in May 2003 to advance the education of medical learners by providing residential northern accommodation to them and their families as well as by providing scholarships, bursaries and awards as needed. 

NOHEAF’s Directors include original founders of the Northeastern Ontario Family Medicine Program (NOFM) and NOMEC – Dr. John Mulloy, Dr. Bill McMullen, Maurice Portelance, Bill Nurmi, Ernie Weaver and Normand Forest (deceased). Administrative support continues by Miriam McDonald (previous CEO NOMEC) and Cathy Bailey (previous CFO NOMEC).

NOMEC was a collective effort of over 35 northeastern Ontario communities and included its Board members, a clinical teacher network of close to 400 preceptors, community advisory groups, and a distributed network of regional, local and area medical education coordinators and rehabilitation training mentors.

NOMEC, in affiliation with the University of Ottawa Medical School and along with its Northwestern Ontario counterpart in Thunder Bay were the foundations upon which NOSM (Northern Ontario School of Medicine) was built in 2006. Throughout the years from 1992 forward, NOMEC supported close to 250 Family Medicine and Specialty Residents in core training and thousands more elective Northeastern Ontario rotations of medical and health sciences learners from across Ontario. Residential accommodations were provided through provincial funds and initiatives organized by NOMEC and supported by NOHEAF. The efforts resulted in a demonstrated retention of over 70% of program participants as practitioners in Northeastern Ontario.

About NOSM University

NOSM University is Canada’s first independent medical university and one of the greatest education and physician workforce strategy success stories of Northern Ontario. More than just a medical university, it was purpose-built to address the health needs of the region. While advocating for equitable access to care, the university contributes to the economic development of Northern Ontario. NOSM University relies on the commitment and expertise of the peoples of Northern Ontario to educate health-care professionals to practise in Indigenous, Francophone, rural, remote, and underserved communities. With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and advocacy, NOSM University is an award-winning, socially accountable organization renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research. 

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