From left: Dr. Amanda Bell, Regional Assistant Dean, McMaster University Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine - Niagara Regional Campus, Dr. Jennifer Tsang, Niagara Health Intensivist and Physician Research Lead, Dr. Johan Viljoen, Executive Vice-President, Medical and Chief of Staff, Lynn Guerriero, Niagara Health President and Chief Executive Officer, Linda Boich, Executive Vice-President, Patient Experience and Integrated Care, and Andrea Scott, Niagara Health Foundation President and CEO, cut the ribbon on the new Niagara Health Knowledge Institute.
A significant donation from the McCall MacBain Foundation is serving as a catalyst to help Niagara Health launch a new program that will change how research and academic activities are organized and conducted at community hospitals.
Launched in St. Catharines Tuesday, May 2, the Niagara Health Knowledge Institute (NHKI) is on a mission to lead community hospital-based research in Canada and advance healthcare and health service delivery through research, quality improvement and education. The NHKI will transform healthcare in Niagara through knowledge generation and mobilization, and help position Niagara Health as a national leader in research at community hospitals.
“Research and education play such an important role in two key areas for us as a healthcare provider – improving the quality of care for our patients, and helping us recruit and retain talented healthcare professionals,” said Lynn Guerriero, Niagara Health President and CEO. “The NHKI expands our capacity for ground-breaking research and will help us attract physicians and other frontline workers because it signals our commitment to knowledge generation.”
The NHKI has been more than a decade in the making; however, its official launch today was made possible by a $4-million donation from the McCall MacBain Foundation, underscoring the community’s support and belief in the vital research and education being conducted by Niagara Health physicians and staff. The $4 million is part of a larger $5-million gift from the McCall MacBain Foundation announced last month.
“This is an exciting time for the Foundation, Niagara Health and the region. As Niagara Health launches the Niagara Health Knowledge Institute, it is incredible to know that we have the support and commitment from the McCall MacBain Foundation. Their donation and support will leave a lasting impact on healthcare in Niagara,” said Andrea Scott, President and CEO, Niagara Health Foundation.
Dr. Jennifer Tsang, a Niagara Health intensivist and the hospital’s Physician Research Lead, said launching the NHKI is another important step forward for knowledge generation.
“When I moved to the Niagara Region 10 years ago, there wasn’t a lot of research activity happening here at Niagara Health or in other community hospitals in Canada. Recognizing the need for research and how it could benefit the population, I went on a professional journey dedicated to building research capacity at hospitals like ours,” said Dr. Tsang, who co-founded the Canadian Community ICU Research Network in 2019. “The work of the Niagara Health Knowledge Institute will enable Niagara Health to be a leader in community hospital-based research in Canada and advance healthcare and health service delivery through research, quality improvement and education.”
The NHKI will support the priorities in Niagara Health’s Strategic Plan including research, quality improvement and education. Academic activities will further our ongoing focus on care for older persons. The NHKI will also continue leading community hospital-based research by maintaining ongoing efforts to build research capacity in other community hospitals throughout Canada.
The NHKI team will involve patient and Indigenous partners in every step of project development.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of academic activities in shaping the future of our healthcare system in the Niagara region, in improving health service delivery and the health outcomes of our patient population,” said Dr. Johan Viljoen, Executive Vice-President, Medical and Chief of Staff, who oversees research at Niagara Health.
To learn more, please visit the NHKI on the Niagara Health website.