York U, partners receive $15 million in federal funding to build new patient-centred health-tech


TORONTO, July 21, 2016 − York University and Southlake Regional Health Centre, together with the University Health Network (UHN), will work to develop new technologies to improve the health of Canadians using a $15 million investment from the Government of Canada.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced the funding  at Southlake Regional Health Centre. FedDev Ontario’s investment will be matched by $19.5 million from 32 partners that are developing three dozen new health-care technologies, resulting in a total budget of $34.5 million for the project.

Our Government is committed to positioning Canada as a global centre for innovation – one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. Today’s announcement is a prime example of that policy in action. The most innovative solutions often happen when people from different fields collaborate, said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario. "That’s why it’s important for universities, health-care providers, the business community and government to work together. That’s how we will come up with health-care solutions that improve the quality of life for all Canadians.”

The project, The Health Ecosphere: An Innovation Pipeline for Commercial Health Solutions brings researchers and scientists together with business to develop technologies to coordinate healthcare across systems that previously operated in silos.

“This important investment by the Government of Canada recognizes the critical role of innovation and knowledge mobilization in both health promotion and health care. It will enable York to build on the success of our Connected Health and Wellness Project (CHWP), which demonstrated the power of providing individuals with the technology and tools they need to manage their health,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “York has collaborated with Southlake for many years, and we anticipate an even closer working relationship as we look forward to our new campus opening in Markham Centre.”

York University’s Faculty of Health is the lead academic partner and administrative centre for the Health Ecosphere project. Southlake Regional Health Centre, the largest health-care facility in York Region, will be the lead clinical partner, and UHN will play a major role as a key academic partner. Each institution is leading a suite of technologies to be developed and commercialized. Working together, they will create a health technology cluster in York Region.

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Through cross-discipline programming, innovative course design, diverse experiential learning and a supportive community environment, our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni.


Media Contact:
Barbara Joy, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 ext. 55593/ barbjoy@yorku.ca


York University collaborated with 18 partners on the Connected Health and Wellness Project, which also benefitted from significant federal government investment, and through that program developed a Certificate in Health Coaching program.

With the new funding announced today, York’s Faculty of Health will expand its Health Coach Institute by producing specialized continuing education and training modules for students enrolled in the certificate program. It will expand its training currently offered to health professionals who want to add health coaching to their practice – such as nurses, occupation and physical therapists, chiropractors, pharmacists, social workers, emergency services workers, clergy and law enforcement. The new training modules will focus on emerging practice areas for the Health Coach – Aboriginal health, youth mental health, aging, obesity, and diabetes.

In another York-led initiative within the project, Professor Paul Ritvo will team up with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and NexJ Health, Inc., a Toronto-based provider of health management software for patients, to test the effectiveness of internet-based, online interventions for aboriginal and non-aboriginal youth with diagnosed depressive and anxiety disorders. Ritvo has been researching youth-focused online interventions for five years and will be conducting two clinical trials.