Media Releases

OHIC Can Help Improve Health Care in Ontario and Create New Opportunities for Jobs and Growth

TORONTO, November 19, 2013 – The Ontario government today launched the Ontario Health Innovation Council (OHIC). CAHO applauds and welcomes the launch of OHIC and believes that the two goals it is tasked to address – leverage innovation to improve health care in Ontario and create new opportunities for economic growth – are achievable.

Leslee Thompson, CAHO Chair and OHIC member said, “Collaboration will fuel our capacity to drive innovation in health care, and better health care is in everyone’s interests. By bringing together the sectors that need to work together, OHIC is an important first step in realizing the vision of the strongest and most innovative health care system in the world.”

Ontario’s 24 research hospitals invest $1.2 billion in health research and development in Ontario and are home to 15,000 researchers and research staff. Thompson noted, “This bench strength, coupled with our frontline view of the ultimate beneficiaries – patients – will allow us to join forces to ensure Ontario has an end-to-end health innovation strategy that will make us healthier, wealthier and smarter.”

In 2011, Ontario’s research hospitals made 250 intellectual property disclosures and commercialized 70 health research initiatives. Dr. Robert Bell, CEO of the University Health Network, Vice-Chair of CAHO and also a member of the Council said, “We have the opportunity to turn the tremendous amount of quality health research into jobs and growth, and make Ontario a global leader in health industries, entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Dr. Catherine Zahn, CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and an OHIC member said, “We can improve access to health care and raise quality by putting research and innovation into action.  OHIC is an opportunity to ‘think big’ and broadly about health innovation in Ontario and make it real for patients, people and communities.”

Karen Michell, CAHO Executive Director said, “We have all the pieces and people in place to be global leaders in health innovation. What we need is the plan – a strategic, end-to-end plan to move research to innovation to implementation to commercialization, to sustain this integrated capacity over the long term and to measure our success.” Michell added, “CAHO and its 24 members across Ontario support the introduction of OHIC and look forward to working in partnership to make it a success.”

About CAHO

The Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario is the non-profit association of Ontario’s 24 research hospitals and their research institutes. CAHO provides a focal point for strategic initiatives on behalf of our member hospitals.  As research intensive hospitals, CAHO members are fully affiliated with a university medical or health sciences faculty. Our hospitals provide the most complex and urgent care, teach the next generation of health care providers and foster health care innovation derived from discovery research. For more information, visit


For more information contact:

Chris Paterson
Director – Stakeholder Relations
416-402-4461 (mobile)