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York U advances plans to establish a new School of Medicine supported by GTA health and government leaders

York U advances plans to establish a new School of Medicine supported by GTA health and government leaders

TORONTO, May 20, 2021 – Today, York University and GTA health sector and local government leaders are signalling positive momentum and growing support for a new School of Medicine at York that will focus on training family and community doctors in an integrated setting.

Medical and health curriculum and research will support this integrated and preventive model for health care, which aims to promote care beyond the walls of hospital facilities. The model is expected to create greater health equity for diverse communities in the GTA and underserved communities across Canada, including the more than one million Ontarians who do not have access to primary care.

Long known for its interdisciplinary approach to research, teaching, and learning, York possesses significant depth and breadth of academic programming and research, providing a solid foundation for a modern medical school. York’s Faculty of Health includes one of Canada’s largest Nursing and Nurse Practitioner programs, as well as outstanding bachelor and graduate degrees in psychology, kinesiology and health sciences, global health, health studies, health policy and management, health informatics, critical disability studies, and neuroscience.

The University is home to centres of research excellence in antimicrobial resistance, disease modelling, data visualization, advanced robotics, global health, healthy aging, and muscle health, among others. York’s Centre for Vision Research is world-renowned and has an expansive network of global health partners. IP Osgoode provides thought leadership on the ownership, use and governance of data, including personal health data.

York’s many strengths in basic and applied health research are fuelling successful innovation, commercialization, and collaborative community-centred partnerships. York recently launched an innovative health collaboration with Mackenzie Health that aims to enhance health services, research and innovation, and health outcomes for York Region residents through a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). In 2019, the University further strengthened ties with the City of Vaughan to collaborate on its Healthcare Centre Precinct, which allows for a York campus focused on training the future health workforce in York Region.



“As we contemplate the public health demands of today and tomorrow, we know that innovative community collaborations, modern medical education, and integrated health services will be vitally important. New medical schools can help to take the lead in making some of the structural changes that are necessary in the system. York University has long been a leader in health education and research, and we look forward to working with partners across the region to build on this strong foundation as we create a new model for health care that will better serve the current and future public health needs of the GTA and the country. We appreciate the support of esteemed health and local government leaders as we embark on the next phase of our plans to establish a School of Medicine, and remain committed to providing modern medical education that creates healthier and more equitable communities and drives positive change both locally and globally,” Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University.

“The City of Vaughan is pleased to support York University in advancing a new School of Medicine. Through our continued partnerships, we remain focused on enhancing healthcare services, research and innovation to support the healthcare needs of citizens in Vaughan and beyond. As Mayor, I am committed to supporting higher learning and education.  I believe that collectively, we must undertake city-building with a vision that focuses on improving access to healthcare and education for everyone. By working together and implementing shared goals, we will continue to do better. Now more than ever, providing accessible, front-line care is required to ensure our communities’ health, well-being and greater health equity for all.  York University’s strength and breadth of academic programs and research make it well-positioned to establish a School of Medicine. This project is in perfect alignment with our existing collaborative efforts, including the Vaughan Health Centre Precinct, a first-of-its-kind initiative in Canada that will identify transformational opportunities to maximize the best use of lands surrounding the Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital. As we look to the future, I remain strongly committed to working with York University to support our longstanding shared mission and vision” Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor of Vaughan.


“The Regional Municipality of York is home to one of the fastest growing and most diverse communities in Canada. As our communities grow, the needs of residents continue to change. The establishment of a Faculty of Medicine at York University will connect residents to more integrated health services while supporting economic growth and community health and well-being. Through collaborative partnerships and a shared commitment to advancing post-secondary opportunities, York Regional Council remains committed to connecting residents to high-quality education, and supports modern medical education as an investment in our people, the economy and our future,” Wayne Emmerson, Chairman and CEO, The Regional Municipality of York


“Southlake is supportive of York University’s plans for a School of Medicine. Educating the next generation of physicians and physician leaders is critically important. As the province’s healthcare system transforms to focus on integrated care delivered by Ontario Health Teams, York University’s respected approach to interdisciplinary education can help enable the shift in mindset required to support the adoption of a population health management approach in Ontario,” Arden Krystal, President and CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre.


“This unique model aligns well with our hospital’s vision of providing care beyond our walls with a commitment to serve the community beyond the boundaries of our physical facilities. We know that a more integrated and preventive model for healthcare leads to greater health equity for our diverse communities and all of the patients and families we care for,” Jo-anne Marr, President and CEO of Markham Stouffville Hospital.


“North York General Hospital is excited to support York University’s vision for a School of Medicine and to expand our partnership to meet our growing community’s health needs. With its commitment to interdisciplinary practice and focus on the social determinants of health, York University is positioned to play an even greater role in promoting healthy communities across the GTA,” Karyn Popovich, President and CEO, North York General Hospital.


“Mackenzie Health is proud to partner with York University to advance the delivery of health care in York Region by supporting plans for a new School of Medicine in the GTA. A new medical school, coupled with our shared commitment and ongoing collaboration with York University to further health research, programming, education and more, will allow us to build capacity together to improve the health and well-being of our communities for generations to come,” Altaf Stationwala, President and CEO, Mackenzie Health.


"Toronto is known around the world for its strong healthcare and medical sector. To have York University – an institution in our city – be home to our next medical school makes sense and will ensure Toronto continues to expand its healthcare sector and the innovation that comes with it.  By attracting more students, researchers, teachers and leaders in the healthcare industry, we can continue to bring forward new ideas and breakthroughs that can help save lives and provide residents the top-notch care they deserve. I am in full support of bringing a medical school to York University – it is entirely good news for our residents and for our city,” John Tory, Mayor of Toronto.


About York University:

York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future.


Media Contacts:
Barbara Joy, York University, 416-333-3374