Niagara Health, Brock University team up to improve health and wellbeing in Niagara

Brock University President Gervan Fearon and Brock Board Chair Gary Comerford look on as Niagara Health Board Chair John Bragagnolo and Niagara Health Executive Vice-President Angela Zangari sign an agreement that will see the two organizations strengthen their partnership to work toward improved health and well-being in the region. Niagara Health photo

Niagara Health press release –  Brock University and Niagara Health launched a new partnership Friday, March 8/2019, that will increase opportunities to improve the overall health and well-being in our region and beyond.

It will place a heightened focus on research that will help people stay healthy, improve both patient outcomes and the way health care is delivered, and create training and employment opportunities for Brock students and graduates.

“Brock University and Niagara Health are significant organizations with important responsibilities to our home region,” said Gervan Fearon, President, Brock University. “One of Brock’s four strategic priorities is to support the health and vitality of Niagara communities, and this partnership enables us to make more of a contribution to local communities, having a real and positive impact on the daily lives of people across Niagara.”

As two of the largest organizations in the region, Brock and Niagara Health have committed to collaborating in new ways to intensify their already-robust efforts in research and applied learning. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed Friday enables the two organizations to bring their respective strengths together and build an even stronger working relationship.

Brock and Niagara Health have a long history of collaboration related to teaching, learning, research and innovation, with an emphasis on improving health and the quality of health care delivery. They also work closely together to provide clinical placements and other experiential learning opportunities for students. Many Brock graduates are among the valued members of the Niagara Health team.

“Brock University and Niagara Health have a strong history of partnership and together we can accomplish even more to create a healthier Niagara, said Dr. Suzanne Johnston, President, Niagara Health. “Our increasing focus on research and academics is transforming healthcare in Niagara. I look forward to nurturing this new partnership to enhance patient care, inspire innovation and create environments of collaborative learning.”

The MOU is a natural next step in the evolution of this relationship. It provides a framework for the two organizations to further impact the health and vitality of our region in a number of important ways – improved population health, enhanced health care delivery, stronger economic health of our communities, increased retention of Brock graduates in Niagara through stimulating employment opportunities, among many other benefits.

Together, Niagara Health and Brock will build on existing research, creating innovative ways to answer important questions that will improve the health of our region. The partnership is slated to grow beyond a specific health focus and include other Brock University academic Faculties. For example, faculty and students in the Goodman School of Business have much to contribute in the area of predictive data analysis.

Examples of current collaborations involving Brock and NH:

  • Pain, Agitation and Delirium in the Intensive Care Unit: researchers from both organizations working to identify better ways to predict and manage a patient’s care when they experience pain, agitation and/or delirium.
  • I-EQUIP collaboration: 61 health system improvement projects involving 165 participants (students from Brock and McMaster’s School of Medicine – Niagara Campus, are paired with staff from Niagara Health). The projects focus on everything from care transitions and medical imaging management to collecting patient satisfaction data and the use of music therapy to enhance quality of life for long-term care residents with cognitive impairments.
  • Student opportunities: In 2018, there were 646 work-integrated learning placements involving Brock students in nursing, therapeutic recreation and other health disciplines.