York University and City of Vaughan begin land-use talks for new School of Medicine

QandASchoolofMedicine FEATURED

The University and the City of Vaughan are eager to start discussions about how York can establish a physical presence within the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct, including a possible new School of Medicine.

At its meeting on Feb. 15, Vaughan City Council voted in favour of city administration beginning discussions with York University for the University to acquire and develop land within the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct (VHCP).

The precinct is a collaboration between York University, the City of Vaughan, Mackenzie Health and ventureLAB to transform an 82-acre parcel of land at Jane Street and Major Mackenzie Drive into a unique centre of excellence for health, preventive medicine and community care. The precinct is a first-of-its-kind innovation that unites health care providers, teachers and learners with researchers, innovators and business leaders, together on one site. The precinct has the added advantage of being located next to the new Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital.

York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton
Rhonda L. Lenton

“The Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct is envisioned to become a hub of health care excellence in the region and the province,” says York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton. “We deeply appreciate the support of the City of Vaughan.

“The University has long been a leader in health education, research and innovation, and we are eager to build on our partnerships to enhance the health care system of Ontario including ensuring that we have the health professionals needed for the future in nursing, social work, psychology, kinesiology, rehabilitation sciences, health leadership and management, and other health-related fields, recognizing that a possible new School of Medicine is an integral part of this vision.”

York’s longstanding commitment to develop a School of Medicine has been reflected in successive University Academic Plans and the University’s Strategic Mandate Agreements with the government of Ontario. The vote at Vaughan City Council affirms the City of Vaughan’s support for a School of Medicine within the precinct. Most recently, the University submitted a conceptual proposal for the school to government.

The conceptual proposal was shaped by key internal and external advisors and is now being circulated for broader community input. It reflects the University’s vision of establishing a new kind of School of Medicine that will produce the primary care physicians needed for the future health care needs of Ontario. The curriculum will be informed by a population health perspective and will integrate virtual care and digital solutions with compassionate and holistic in-person care. Graduates will see themselves as part of an integrated and team-based health system providing seamless care between home, community health agencies and hospitals improving health equity in the Greater Toronto Area and underserved communities across the province and Canada.

The conceptual proposal is available on the York University School of Medicine website. Additionally, Lenton will be inviting all University community members to attend a virtual community consultation in March to hear more about the VHCP and to create an opportunity to discuss the conceptual proposal for the School of Medicine. Broad community input is a priority to identify opportunities for collaboration across the University in developing these two important initiatives, and to better understand what the community wants in health care.

“York University is uniquely positioned to help deliver on the health care needs of Ontarians,” adds Lenton. “Aside from the high-quality programs in the Faculty of Health, York is a leader in related fields offered by other faculties including social work, health leadership, health-related technologies, emergency and disaster management, law, the arts, disease modelling, the environment and liberal arts. Engaging the York community as well as the external communities we serve in a discussion about the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct and the new School of Medicine is an exciting opportunity to explore how York can continue to advance our University Academic Plan and drive positive change. I very much hope you can join the conversation in March.”