York University and Oak Valley Health to advance medical education and health research in York and Durham regions

Featured image for Mackenzie Health and York U MOU signing shows a medical worker with a chart

On Friday, Nov. 12, York University and Oak Valley Heath announced a local health partnership aimed at advancing innovative medical education and research collaboration opportunities as well as improving the health and health care of citizens in Markham, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Uxbridge and beyond.

York University President Rhonda Lenton was joined by Jo-anne Marr, president and CEO, Oak Valley Health, and Mayor of Markham Frank Scarpitti, at Friday’s virtual signing event to celebrate this partnership and discuss the shared vision for the future.

“Since establishing its Faculty of Health in 2006, York University has been steadily expanding its leadership in health education and research offered through programs and organized research units that build on our distinct interprofessional and interdisciplinary approach to keeping more people healthier longer in their communities,” said Lenton. “We are pleased to partner with Oak Valley Health to further enhance the future of medical education and the training of the next generation of world-class health professionals as we work together to create healthier and more equitable communities. We also appreciate the ongoing support of Oak Valley Health and local government leaders as we continue to advance our plans for a School of Medicine that will build on our strong foundation and innovative community collaborations to drive positive change both locally and globally.”

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a three-year agreement that sets out strategic areas of engagement and co-operation. These areas include: future medical education partnerships; development of research capacity and opportunities between faculty and health care professionals and other hospital staff; clinical placements and experiential learning opportunities for students; continuing education and development for health care professionals and other hospital staff; health and wellness partnerships including clinics, community health initiatives, public and community education, global health initiatives and special events; information systems integration partnerships including learning management systems and test systems, and other mutually agreed educational or research programs including CIFAL York, to be housed at Markham Campus opening Fall 2023.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with York University and working towards a shared goal – providing meaningful learning opportunities to the future health care professionals and leaders in our region. By working together we will create even more opportunities for clinical placements, continuing education, information systems integration and many more initiatives,” said Marr. “This partnership plays a foundational role in Oak Valley Health’s academic strategy. It is our goal to continue fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment where our people will continue to grow and never stop learning.”

“The City of Markham strived to attract York University’s new Markham Campus to build on our community’s capacity for innovation and research. Now, more than ever, we appreciate the need for collaboration between healthcare providers and relevant partners,” said Scarpitti. “Oak Valley Health has demonstrated its strength in providing on-the-ground healthcare while advancing important clinical trials. Congratulations to both York University and Oak Valley Health on this agreement which further strengthens medical education and research in Ontario.”

Oak Valley Health is one of Ontario’s leading community health systems. Across its two hospitals, Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) and Uxbridge Hospital (UXB), as well as a Reactivation Care Centre (RCC), Oak Valley Health provides high quality, patient-centred care to more than 474,000 patients each year. It offers diagnostic and emergency services and delivers clinical programs in acute care medicine and surgery, addictions and mental health, and childbirth and children’s services. Oak Valley Health is part of the Eastern York Region North Durham Ontario Health Team (EYRND OHT).