July 17, 2024

The Health

Your health, your choice

Bringing innovation to the bedside | Waterloo News

Grand River Hospital, St. Mary’s General Hospital and the University of Waterloo are pleased to announce the launch of the Care Next Coalition.

This new partnership will align the efforts of the hospitals and the University to increase the readiness of our local health-care system to support research and innovation. It will bring clinicians, researchers and entrepreneurs together to create educational programming, to test drive technological advances and to create integrated care systems that will reach people where they are. The coalition will harness the strength of the region’s public institutions to improve patient experience, improve health outcomes, and transform the health-care system locally.

“The Care Next Coalition is a new way for us to pool resources and expertise to attract talent to design, develop and deliver innovative health services in our region,” said Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “We need to continue to innovate to meet the diverse and growing needs of the people we serve. I’m excited by the potential of the coalition to engage new ecosystem partners and build a strong pipeline of new ideas that can enter into health-care-focused trials in our own communities.” 

“It’s an exciting time to be in health care in our region,” said Mark Fam, President of St. Mary’s General Hospital. “There are so many opportunities in how we show up to provide hospital health-care services for our communities, and our hospitals, together with the University of Waterloo, are ready to respond. The coalition will equip our region to emerge as a health-innovation centre, ensuring the best-possible experience for the communities we serve and the health-care professionals who choose to work here.”

To deliver on this work, Grand River, St. Mary’s, and the University are recruiting a joint vice-president and chief health innovation officer. This new role, along with the overall mission of the coalition, aligns with the hospitals’ work to build a new innovation health campus in the region. The hospitals’ innovation work is in part made possible through the generosity of a legacy gift from the estate of Ralph and Dorothy Kraft. Community builders, innovators and entrepreneurs, the Krafts’ transformational gift to both Grand River and St. Mary’s is helping drive innovation-focused work.

“Grand River Hospital is working to deliver on our ambitious aim of fostering a world-class health-care system supporting healthier lives for all in our communities,” said Ron Gagnon, President and CEO, Grand River Hospital. “Core pillars of this work are partnerships and innovation, and the Care Next Coalition is evidence of work in these areas. Through this coalition, our goal is to promote innovation education and experimentation and attract health-care entrepreneurs to the region. In rooting this work in a clinical—as opposed to academic—setting, we’re able to streamline processes and enable clinicians and other health-care team members in health innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Details regarding the new joint vice-president and chief health innovation officer can be found at promeus.ca/positions. The Care Next Coalition seeks to leverage innovation to provide more personalized, convenient and accessible patient-centric health-care experiences through cost-effective solutions designed to enhance operational efficiency. Ultimately, the aim of the coalition is a better regional hospital health-care system that improves patient health outcomes.