A new U of T facility will train health professionals in Scarborough

A new U of T facility will train health professionals in Scarborough

November 6, 2023

The dynamic new facility will house the Scarborough Vital Academy of Integrated Medicine and Health – and will help meet a critical need for health professionals in the eastern GTA.

The University of Texas breaks ground on a state-of-the-art building for training health professionals in Scarborough

Illustrative photo of the ground floor of Sameh Building. Image courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects and MVRDV.

The University of Toronto has made history, laying the foundation stone for a building that will house a much-needed new medical academy. The Scarborough Academy of Integrated Medicine and Health (SAMIH), the first of its kind in Scarborough, will train the region’s physicians, nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals – to serve the region.

A recent $25 million gift from an Orlando company will support construction of the building. SAMIH itself received funding as part of the Ontario government’s plan to increase the number of doctors in the province.

“We are extremely grateful for Orlando’s gift and the Ford government’s investment, which has brought us to this exciting day,” he said. Merrick Gertler, President of the University of Toronto. “This state-of-the-art building will enable the University of Toronto to cultivate a bold new generation of health leaders who reflect the communities they serve.”

Meeting the needs of underserved communities

“This vibrant new center for health education in Scarborough is critical to increasing access to health care,” he said. Patricia Houston, Interim Dean of Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Interim Vice Dean for Relations with Healthcare Institutions. “It will help provide equitable, integrated and compassionate care in the Greater Eastern region – and ultimately, it will help improve lives throughout the region.”

A bold new vision for health education

To support the vision of this new academy, U of T Temerty Medicine and Lawrence S. Bloomberg School of Nursing will expand their training to U of T Scarborough. Building on the university’s history of educating tens of thousands of health professionals – a legacy spanning more than a century – SAMIH will graduate approximately 40 physicians, approximately 60 physician assistants, 30 nurse practitioners, and 40 physical therapists annually. More than 300 new health sciences students will join the U of T Scarborough campus, strengthening SAMIH as a premier health education center in the eastern GTA. The newly revamped Bachelor of Health Sciences program offers unique employment opportunities and paid co-ops, enabling students to learn in a cohesive university environment.

This new generation of healthcare professionals will help fill a critical gap; The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has identified Scarborough as an area in dire need of doctors. The shortage includes family doctors, as well as other specialists such as child and adult psychiatrists, geriatricians, nurse practitioners, and emergency physicians.

“Our government is proud to support this historic expansion of the College of Medicine,” he said. Prime Minister Doug Ford. “The Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health will build on the investments we are making to help ensure Scarborough and Durham Region have the healthcare workers they need now and in the future.”

Attracting the best and brightest students

The impact on the region will be significant. Expected to open in September 2026, the building will include a clinical psychology clinic; A pharmacy clinic (Discovery Pharmacy) led by faculty and students from the University of Texas Leslie Dunn College of Pharmacy; and clinical settings in which student practitioners, under supervision, can provide direct care to the community. The building will also contain an anatomy laboratory for medical students, two large technology-enhanced active learning (TEAL) classrooms, a 21-bed clinical skills laboratory, and 10 case-based learning laboratories.

Strengthen existing partnerships

The Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health will strengthen connections across multiple hospitals and networks. Its partners will include Scarborough Health Network, Michael Garron Hospital, Lakeridge Health and Ontario Shores Center for Mental Health Sciences. U of T will build on existing relationships with local community partners to develop new research and teaching opportunities.

This dynamic center will bring the University of Toronto’s Nurse Practitioner program to the region. The program is highly sought after for its approach to providing personalized, comprehensive, high-quality healthcare to clients and patients throughout their lives.

“This amazing building will help foster a vital pipeline of nurse practitioners,” he said. Linda JohnstonLawrence S., Dean of the College of Nursing. Bloomberg. “Nurse practitioners play a critical role in the health of communities, and future graduates of the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health have the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of people in Scarborough and the eastern GTA.”

Experiential learning opportunities

The new building is expected to bring tremendous benefits to the region. In addition to enabling the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health to meet the shortage of healthcare professionals by creating a pipeline of talented graduates, the new facility will help drive innovation and economic growth.

“Orlando’s benevolence represents a model of visionary philanthropy,” he said. David Palmer, Vice President of Development at the University of Toronto. “It is a beacon of extraordinary generosity with the potential to inspire other transformative investments in Scarborough and the eastern GTA.”

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