A group of leaders made up of prominent Sudbury families, corporations with ties to the North, and philanthropists came together to raise $600,000 for NOSM University students for the 2022 academic year.
“We are extremely grateful to these community-minded leaders who have stepped-up to help NOSM University students—your future doctors and allied health professionals—at a critical time,” said Dr. Sarita Verma, president, vice-chancellor, dean and CEO of NOSM University, in a press release.
Formerly known as the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and operating under Laurentian University and Lakehead University, NOSM University became Canada's first independent medical university in April of this year as part of the fallout of Laurentian's insolvency.
Following the Laurentian University Creditors Vote Sept. 14, NOSM University has been assured that the Plan of Arrangement from the CCAA proceedings accounts for the return of approximately $14.6 million in endowments for future allocation of student bursaries.
“This is good news for NOSM University and for our future students,” said Verma. “NOSM University bursaries have been frozen to students in northeastern Ontario since the proceedings began in 2021.
“Without the quick commitment and support of these compassionate leaders, our students would not have had access to bursaries this year. My sincere thanks to all of them, with the guidance of Dr. Rayudu Koka and Mr. Gerry Lougheed Jr. Our students will benefit from your generosity.”
The group consists of the FDC Foundation, Lougheed Foundation, Métis Nation of Ontario, Gerry Perdue, Power Corporation of Canada and Technica Mining.
NOSM University MD students graduate with nearly double the debt load of other medical school graduates across the country. As part of the university’s social accountability mandate, students are in large part recruited from the North, for the North, and often do not have access to the same financial and social means as students in the south.
Now that NOSM University has the green light from the province to add another 30 medical degrees and 41 residency spots over the next five years, building a robust Student Endowment Fund is all the more urgent, the press release said.
Since 2005, NOSM University has been delivering on its mandate. It has produced 838 MDs, 65 of whom self-identify as Indigenous and 171 of whom self-identify as Francophone. More than half of these health-care practitioners have stayed in Northern Ontario. It is estimated that 340,000 people have received care from a NOSM graduate.
Although there is much to show for its short history, the need for doctors in Northern Ontario is still great with a shortage of more than 350 physicians today, said the press release.
To support NOSM University student financial aid, visit nosm.ca.