York University welcomes transformative investment in next phase to create a new School of Medicine

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Toronto, March 26, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — York University has long been a leader in health education and research, and we are excited to welcome the Ontario government’s newest investment in the future of health care in York Region and beyond, announced today as part of the 2024 Budget: Building a Better Ontario. This announcement of $9M in start-up funding will support further development and planning toward a new School of Medicine at York University and helps accelerate the pace and path to new medical doctor programs in the fastest growing region in Ontario.

“This new investment to support increased physician education in Ontario comes at a critical time and marks an important milestone in York’s trajectory as an internationally recognized leader in higher education. I want to thank Premier Ford and his government for being responsive to this pressing need, for their vision and clear commitment to a healthier future for Ontarians,” said Rhonda Lenton, president and vice-chancellor.

York University has continued to advance plans to establish a new School of Medicine, having submitted a formal proposal to the provincial government in 2022. The School is an extension of York’s commitment to respond to student program interests and community needs for high quality health care. York has been a leader in advancing cross-disciplinary health programming and research, including the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health ResearchKrembil Centre for Health Management and Leadership, the Centre for Disease ModellingSustainable Environmental Management, and one of Canada’s largest Nursing and Nurse Practitioner programs.  

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With the goal to create the foremost community-based doctor education in Canada, York’s School of Medicine would prepare the next generation of talented frontline primary care doctors who represent the diversity of the communities in which they live and have the tools to thrive in a new, integrative, team-based health care environment. Plans include developing a unique bridging program to ensure no qualified future doctor goes without access to medical education.

The City of Vaughan has been an early supporter and valued partner throughout the planning and development of this initiative, and has agreed to transfer land to the University to build the School of Medicine within the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct  beside Mackenzie Health’s Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital. 

“My foremost priority in King and Vaughan is delivering better healthcare, closer to home,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan. “That is why I have championed this critically important investment for our community that will train more family doctors to serve our growing needs. Our government is proud to fund York University’s medical school in Vaughan that will help ensure residents have access to a family doctor in the heart of our community.”

“On behalf of the City of Vaughan, I want to thank the Premier and the Government of Ontario for today’s funding announcement for the much-needed York University School of Medicine as part of the Ontario Government’s 2024 Budget. This critical infrastructure will have far-reaching impacts on future students and patients and is foundational to one of our most ambitious projects to date: the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct (VHCP). When built, this new medical school will play a vital role in delivering more family doctors for communities like Vaughan. This is another important step forward on our journey toward becoming a leading destination for healthcare excellence. We will continue to raise the profile of the VHCP and ensure that Vaughan is recognized for health care innovation,” said Mayor Steven Del Duca.

“Mackenzie Health is thrilled to partner with York University for the creation of the York University School of Medicine. The provincial government’s commitment in the 2024 Ontario Budget is a very positive step forward and we’re excited for what lies ahead. We see the need for additional primary care providers in Ontario every day; approximately a quarter of the patients who come to our Emergency Departments do not have a family doctor. Now more than ever, we need to work together to consider new ways to attract and retain primary care providers. The York University School of Medicine — located adjacent to Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital in the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct, and minutes away from Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital — is well-positioned to address this challenge,” Altaf Stationwala, Mackenzie Health President and CEO.

“Early support from York’s strong network of community health providers, hospitals, and municipalities with whom we have been working has been instrumental throughout the School of Medicine planning phase. I am grateful for our many highly skilled and thoughtful partners for their leadership and insights, and we look forward to continuing to grow and expand our work with them,” said Lenton.

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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.

CONTACT: Barbara Joy York University 416-333-3374 [email protected] 

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