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Niagara Health, Brock University team up to improve health and well-being in Niagara

Posted Mar 7th, 2019

Niagara Health, Brock University team up to improve health and well-being in Niagara

Brock University and Niagara Health launched a new partnership Friday, March 8 that will increase opportunities to improve the overall health and well-being in our region and beyond. It will place a heightened focus on research that will help people stay healthy, improve both patient outcomes and the way health care is delivered, and create training and employment opportunities for Brock students and graduates.

As two of the largest organizations in the region, Brock and Niagara Health have committed to collaborating in new ways to intensify their already-robust efforts in research and applied learning. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed Friday enables the two organizations to bring their respective strengths together and build an even stronger working relationship.

Brock and Niagara Health have a long history of collaboration related to teaching, learning, research and innovation, with an emphasis on improving health and the quality of health care delivery. They also work closely together to provide clinical placements and other experiential learning opportunities for students. Many Brock graduates are among the valued members of the Niagara Health team.

The MOU is a natural next step in the evolution of this relationship. It provides a framework for the two organizations to further impact the health and vitality of our region in a number of important ways – improved population health, enhanced health care delivery, stronger economic health of our communities, increased retention of Brock graduates in Niagara through stimulating employment opportunities, among many other benefits.

Together, Niagara Health and Brock will build on existing research, creating innovative ways to answer important questions that will improve the health of our region. The partnership is slated to grow beyond a specific health focus and include other Brock University academic Faculties. For example, faculty and students in the Goodman School of Business have much to contribute in the area of predictive data analysis.


"Brock University and Niagara Health are significant organizations with important responsibilities to our home region. One of Brock’s four strategic priorities is to support the health and vitality of Niagara communities, and this partnership enables us to make more of a contribution to local communities, having a real and positive impact on the daily lives of people across Niagara."

Gervan Fearon, President, Brock University

"Brock University and Niagara Health have a strong history of partnership and together we can accomplish even more to create a healthier Niagara. Our increasing focus on research and academics is transforming healthcare in Niagara. I look forward to nurturing this new partnership to enhance patient care, inspire innovation and create environments of collaborative learning."

Dr. Suzanne Johnston, President, Niagara Health

"We have for many years enjoyed a mutually beneficial working relationship with Niagara Health, and the spirit of this MOU further opens a door for Brock faculty, researchers and students to play an even bigger role in advancing health care and preventive health, as well as its delivery.  The increased opportunities for experiential student placements represent a win-win for both the students and the institutions."

Peter Tiidus, Dean, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University

"Hospital-based research and collaboration are magnets for recruitment, innovation and quality improvement in healthcare. Creating a research environment elevates the standard of care and leads to better patient outcomes. We look forward to expanding our work with Brock University to improve the health and wellbeing of our region."

Dr. Tom Stewart, CEO of Niagara Health and St. Joseph’s Health System

"Brock’s Board of Trustees fully encourages and supports the University’s initiatives to work with Niagara partners whenever we have an opportunity to help the community. We are proud to be working with Niagara Health in ways that benefit the public while enriching the experiential education of our students."

Gary Comerford, Chair of the Brock University Board of Trustees

"Our Board deeply values the long-standing partnership between Brock University and Niagara Health. This newest collaboration is another terrific example of the many ways the teams at these two great organizations work together to find original solutions to challenges in Niagara. This partnership brings us another step closer to achieving our organizational vision of a Healthier Niagara."

John Bragagnolo, Chair, Niagara Health Board of Directors


Examples of current collaborations involving Brock and NH:

  • Pain, Agitation and Delirium in the Intensive Care Unit: researchers from both organizations working to identify better ways to predict and manage a patient’s care when they experience pain, agitation and/or delirium.
  • I-EQUIP collaboration: 61 health system improvement projects involving 165 participants (students from Brock University are paired with staff from Niagara Health). The projects focus on everything from care transitions and medical imaging management to collecting patient satisfaction data and the use of music therapy to enhance quality of life for long-term care residents with cognitive impairments.
  • Student opportunities: In 2018, there were 646 work-integrated learning placements involving Brock students in nursing, therapeutic recreation and other health disciplines.


CKTB Radio interview with Niagara Health Executive Vice President Linda Boich and Brock University President Gervan Fearon.

St. Catharines Standard story: "Brock, Niagara Health sign research partnership"

Watch the Your TV Niagara report

Niagara Health System