“If you can keep it about the work, then you’ll always have a path. There’s always something to be done.” – Former US President Barack Obama
Now that we are three years into our five-year strategic plan, The NOSM University Challenge, it is necessary to again assess where we are on our path. What have we accomplished to this point? Are we still on the right track? It will be a relatively brief update this time, because while it is tempting to look up from our work, it is far more important at this stage to harness our considerable momentum and continue to make it about the work—and about meeting the challenges still before us.
The challenge theme emerged through the community engagement process, and reflects the need to challenge ourselves, our communities, our ideas, and our commitment to social accountability to drive necessary change and improve access to equitable, sustainable, quality health care in Northern Ontario.
Driving that change is still going to take a lot of work. We will continue to embed the principles of health equity and social justice into every NOSM University graduate, one at a time. We will continue to influence and advocate for health policy advances at all levels of government in the service of Northern Ontarians. We will continue to increase research capacity and expertise in population-based health to better patient outcomes; we will adopt and harness advanced technologies into our curriculum and experience of the university; we will be a strong and active partner with communities in need to create a flourishing health workforce to serve the North; and we will continue to listen and learn as we commit every day to diversity, wellness and respect for faculty, staff and learners.
In the face of global uncertainty and rapid change, we have checked off some very big boxes on our “to-do” list, and we have some tremendous accomplishments to report. As you will read, there is much of which to be proud. However, the future of health care in Northern Ontario depends on a stable, appropriately funded NOSM University playing a key role, from health education to research, to advocacy and beyond.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our successes. We have the momentum; we still need your help to continue the work.
Dr. Sarita Verma
President, Vice Chancellor, Dean and CEO