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Media Release

NOSM and CRaNHR Release Report Measuring Socio-Economic Impact of NOSM on Northern Ontario

On February 9, 2010, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research (CRaNHR) held an event to officially release the results of a study examining the School’s impact on the region. The findings were included in a report entitled "Exploring the Socio-Economic Impact of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine," conducted by the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research, Lakehead University, and Laurentian University with support from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

The event video-linked distributed sites across Northern Ontario with participants at the West Campus in Thunder Bay and the East Campus in Sudbury, and opened with comments about the significance of the report by NOSM Board Chair and Lakehead University President, Dr. Fred Gilbert, and NOSM Dean, Dr. Roger Strasser. Principal researchers of the study, CRaNHR Directors, Dr. Raymond Pong and Dr. Bruce Minore, and Laurentian University’s Economics Professor, Dr. David Robinson, then presented an overview of the changes in education, health care, and in Northern communities which have occurred as a result of the School.

The impact study highlights several key findings. Among them is the substantial contribution NOSM makes to the economy of Northern Ontario. Total direct spending by the School and its undergraduate medical students is estimated at $37 million annually, and, according to the report, the recirculation of these funds generates between $67 million and $82 million of economic activity. Communities across Northern Ontario which are involved in NOSM programs and activities benefit financially from their participation in the School.

Job creation is also a direct economic benefit. NOSM funds over 230 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, and it is estimated that the School supports a total of 420 - 510 FTE positions in Northern Ontario through various economic effects. NOSM also pays stipendiary fees to more than 670 physician teachers in multiple teaching and research sites in over 70 Northern Ontario communities.

In addition to financial benefits, the School has impacted the North in other valuable ways. Interviewees in the study reported that NOSM has had a positive impact on the host universities and affiliated health-care institutions, as well as community hospitals which have transitioned to teaching hospital status. The establishment of the School is also seen as a major contributor to a growing knowledge-based economy in Northern Ontario.

Individuals interviewed as part of the study also anticipated that NOSM graduates will relieve the chronic shortage of physicians across Northern Ontario, and that Francophone and Aboriginal medical learners will help alleviate the shortage of the physicians serving these two population groups.

NOSM Dean, Dr. Roger Strasser, thanked CRaNHR and the report’s many contributors, and commented on the significance of the study. "This report provides tangible measure of the economic and social impact the Northern Ontario School of Medicine is having on the people and communities of Northern Ontario," he said.

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The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is committed to the education of high quality physicians and health professionals, and to international recognition as a leader in distributed, learning-centered, community-engaged education and research. 

Kimberley Larkin
Communications Officer
Phone: 705-662-7243
Email: klarkin@nosm.ca 


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