NOSM University was the recipient of a $10 million gift from the Temerty Foundation Centre for Social Accountability.
The Temerty Foundation, established by James and Louise Temerty, said it made the donation to support NOSM University medical students and to advance and grow social accountability and health equity initiatives.
“In recognition of this transformational gift, NOSM University’s Centre for Social Accountability will be renamed the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity,” said a news release from the university.
Dr. Gilles Arcand was Louise Temerty’s brother, a physician who, among other things, practiced rural medicine in Northern Quebec. He was dedicated to serving marginalized communities before his death in 1975.
“The impact NOSM University is making to address the health-care inequities in remote, rural Indigenous and Francophone communities is momentous and much needed,” said Louise Temerty in the release.
“We are pleased to support them in their quest, and I know my brother Gilles would be very proud,” she added.
In thanking the foundation for the donation, Dr. Sarita Verma, NOSM University president, vice-chancellor, dean and CEO, said the funding will help the university in its mandate of improving access to health care for rural and remote communities.
“In addition to supporting our students with scholarships and bursaries, this generous donation will help improve health equity for underserved communities through the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity,” Verma added.
While $3 million of the $10 million gift will go to support the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity, the rest of the funds will be used to bolster NOSM University’s burgeoning Student Endowment Fund to help undergraduate medical students in perpetuity, said the release.
“We are thrilled to announce that the $7 million earmarked for the Student Endowment Fund will be matched one-to-one by the FDC Foundation,” said Verma.
“That $14 million will open many doors to future NOSM University students, and they are the future of health care in Northern Ontario.”
NOSM University is the only post-secondary institution in Canada that was founded with an explicit social accountability mandate. Through policy leadership and advocacy, research and innovation, and education that best-aligns medical training with community need, the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity will remain a leader in the development of strategies that help all people in Northern Ontario live better, healthier lives.