A Message From the Chair

Enhancing our Knowledge-Based Economy

Chair, CAHO, Dr. Catherine Zahn
Chair, CAHO, Dr. Catherine Zahn

The Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) is comprised of 24 research hospitals across the province, each committed to the core mission of improving care for patients today—and tomorrow. We are responsible for driving the future of health care through the research and education pillars of our mission. While our patients are central to our work, our mandate includes patients of the future. The value of research hospitals extends to Ontarians today and those of the future, particularly as we work to make substantive contributions to our knowledge-based economy.

Research hospitals are assets—not liabilities—to Ontario’s economy. We train and attract top clinicians and scientists, we commercialize our discoveries, and we implement evidence-based care for a more efficient system. Kathleen Wynne’s Business Advisor, Ed Clark, pointed out in his November 2015 speech that Ontario’s world-class hospitals lead the way in critical research directions such as regenerative medicine. Since the discovery of stem cells in Ontario more than 50 years ago, we’ve become a destination for regenerative medicine research, attracting and training some of the world’s most highly skilled stem cell scientists.

One of these scientists is Dr. Janet Rossant. She explains how research hospitals stimulate the growth of Ontario’s knowledge-based economy in CAHO’s video, “Building a SMARTER Ontario”.  Dr. Rossant has trained over 90 young investigators —“the next generation of innovative thinkers”—who now work in a variety of professions including medicine, law and education, fueling Ontario’s innovation engine. With almost 65,000 views, this video highlights the enthusiasm of the general population for the contribution of health research to the vibrant and dynamic knowledge-based economy that Ontario is building.

Research hospitals are helping us get there. As the R&D arm of Ontario’s health care system, CAHO hospitals invest $1.4 billion annually in health research for the province, engaging 16,400 researchers and research staff from Canada and around the world. This investment generates $3.4 billion in economic output and supports 41,000 direct and indirect jobs across the province. Even in a challenging fiscal climate, these numbers demonstrate the value of investing in health research.

To prepare for the economy of tomorrow, we have to make future-oriented, strategic investments today. Health research is a driver of Ontario’s knowledge-based economy. CAHO members can contribute to the efforts in a meaningful way, in collaboration with government, industry and other partners.

I hope you enjoy this Winter edition of Catalyst, and that you to continue contributing to the Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter campaign by visiting www.healthierwealthiersmarter.ca, sharing our Policy Platform, and joining the conversation on social media using the hashtag #onHWS.