Temerty Foundation makes amazing investment in health equity 

The Temerty Foundation, established by James and Louise Temerty, has made a $10 million gift to support NOSM University medical students and to advance and grow social accountability and health equity initiatives. In recognition of this transformational gift, NOSM University’s Centre for Social Accountability will be renamed the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity. 

Established in 2021 as the Centre for Social Accountability, it was born of an immutable conviction: that everyone, regardless of circumstance or geography, deserves the dignity of equal access to health-care practitioners who are culturally competent, understand the realities of living in the rural and remote North, and lead with compassion and integrity. 

Dr. Gilles Arcand was Mrs. Louise Temerty’s brother, a physician who, among other things, practised rural medicine in Northern Quebec. He was dedicated to serving marginalized communities before his death in 1975. 

The newly named Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity is the only one of its kind in Canada. It is a visionary, multidisciplinary venture, dedicated to the improvement of health and wellness in Northern Ontario. Through policy leadership and advocacy, research and innovation, and education that better aligns medical training with community needs, the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity is becoming an international leader. Its impact derives from regional focus yet is unbounded in its scope. The national and international relevance of its work will become recognized as its results are dispersed among practitioners, policy makers, and advocates in similarly challenged regions. 

To date, the Centre has developed partnerships, connected researchers, and answered emerging research questions. In the last year alone, its staff has contributed to 15 peer-reviewed publications and have helped advance key projects in the areas of artificial intelligence, climate change, and health system transformation. The Centre was the recent recipient of two Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grants to further social accountability efforts. 

“The Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity is about accountability to underserved communities— Francophone communities, Indigenous communities, and rural communities. NOSM University is taking up this challenge with key research partners from across Northern Ontario,” says Dr. Verma. “We are incredibly grateful to the Temerty Foundation for their vision, for their generosity and for helping us to do this important work.” 

Dr. Erin Cameron is the Academic Director of the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity. “The Centre leads and supports research, champions health policy, and ignites community conversations around what it means to deliver equitable health care to people who need it most,” she says. “We are so fortunate to have forward-thinking philanthropists like James and Louise Temerty who see the potential impact and societal value this kind of work can have.” 

While $3 million of the $10 million gift will go to support the important work of the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity, $7 million will be used to bolster NOSM University’s burgeoning Student Endowment Fund to help medical students studying at NOSM University in perpetuity. 

“We’re thrilled that the $7 million earmarked for the Student Endowment Fund will be matched one-to-one by the FDC Foundation,” says Dr. Verma. “That $14 million will open many doors to future NOSM University students—and they’re the future of health care in Northern Ontario.” 

NOSM University featured on flagship CBC program, The National 

NOSM University is No Ordinary School of Medicine. We believe in a future with a strong health-care system in Northern Ontario without doctor shortages and where everyone has equitable access to the culturally competent care they deserve, closer to home. Hear how learners at NOSM University are living and training in communities across Northern Ontario in The National’s story.

Preventing burnout

In 2021, 72.9 per cent of physicians surveyed by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) reported burnout, up from 66 per cent in 2020.[1] At NOSM University, building and sustaining our resilience is a crucial part of enabling our success. Making our campuses, working and learning environments safe and investing in our people is at the heart of what we do.

[1] “Ontario’s doctors report increased burnout, propose five solutions.” Ontario Medical Association, https://www.oma.org/newsroom/news/2021/aug/ontarios-doctors-report-increased-burnout-propose-five-solutions/. Accessed August 31, 2023.

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