The Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity

Formerly the Centre for Social Accountability

December 5, 2023

Expanding the team at the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity


About the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity

The Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity — previously known as the Centre for Social Accountability — is a multidisciplinary centre of NOSM University dedicated to the improvement of health and wellness in Northern Ontario. Through policy leadership and advocacy, research and innovation, and education that better aligns medical training with community needs, the Centre is becoming a frontrunner in the improvement of sustainable equity, access, and population health outcomes. The national and international relevance of the Centre’s work will become recognized as its results are dispersed among practitioners, policy makers, and advocates in similarly challenged jurisdictions.

NOSM University and the Centre respectfully acknowledge that the entirety of the University’s wider campus of Northern Ontario is on the homelands of First Nations and Métis Peoples. The university buildings are located on the territory of Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay and the Anishinabek Nation, specifically Atikameksheng and Wahnapitae First Nations, in Sudbury.

The aim of the Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity is to improve the health of Northern Ontarians while extending beyond NOSM University’s commitment to being socially accountable in our education and research programs and advocating for health equity. The Centre’s integrated approach in the areas of policy leadership and advocacy, research and innovation, education, and community impact will produce a deeper and broader understanding of a range of issues affecting population health outcomes both inside and outside of the medical system. In this way the Centre’s social accountability research defines and strengthens the work of NOSM University and its partners, making it more effective in the achievement of this critical mission.

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The Centre's logo; an abstract interpretation of four people (chevrons pointing inwards). It insinuates collaboration and inclusivitiy.

NOSM University receives transformational $10 million gift from Temerty Foundation

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Our Priorities

Community Impact Activities

  • Tracking the intake and output of NOSM University graduates in all programs (UME, PGME, HSP, CEPD, etc.) and their impact through performance in the programs, location and type of practice, and impact on population health
  •  Identifying and advocating for specific interventions in local and regional health care delivery that will have positive impacts in the future
  • Responding to the resource needs of communities through improved health workforce planning.

Policy, Leadership and Advocacy Activities

  • Establishing Canadian and international standards for the assessment of social accountability in health education, health research, and health service.
  • Collecting and disseminating evidence of the impact of Canadian medical schools and academic health science networks in being socially accountable.
  • Enabling the continuous improvement of healthcare practices by applying this knowledge in a systematic way and leading transformative change in social accountability in health.
  • Providing leadership in social accountability at national and international conferences and meetings.
  • Becoming recognized and consulted as the most credible voice in planning and policymaking for health and wellness across Northern Ontario. 

Research & Innovation Activities

  • Creating capacity for substantive research into social determinants of health affecting community health and wellness, with a focus on both preventative and curative approaches.
  • Becoming recognized as the primary aggregator and disseminator of data and documents for other researchers in the field through the design, source funding, and execution of relevant and impactful research projects.
  • Disseminating research results and advocacy positions through publication, presentation, and participation in pertinent consultations with communities, institutions, and public agencies in the North.
  • Sharing methods, expertise, and other resources with those who are teaching or studying in social accountability or rural and Northern medicine.
  • Leveraging data collection and research relationships to build relevance of accumulated Centre work in other jurisdictions with similar challenges.

Education Activities

  • Demonstrating the measurable impact of NOSM University’s social accountability mandate through its curriculum and the alignment of NOSM University’s curriculum and training programs with the needs and priorities of the communities it serves.
  • Demonstrating our commitment to the values and intentions of social accountability in the internal policies and practices of the Centre and NOSM University.


Medical Education Research Lab in the North

The Medical Education Research Lab in the North (MERLIN) seeks to promote medical education research and scholarship in Northern Ontario. MERLIN will create opportunities for learning and dialogue around promising and emerging evidence-based practices in medical education, health professional education, as well as provide peer support to those engaging in research.


NOSM University Research Toward Health Hub

NORTHH is a practice-based research network that will support quality improvement and community research in primary care. It can help communities, physicians and practices, and policy-makers learn more about primary care in Northern Ontario.

Nourish Leadership

Nourish started with a simple idea: how can the hospital tray be a platform to dream big and transform our food and health systems? Through our work with cohorts of leaders and through action learning series, we work to equip innovative individuals and teams, empowering bold leadership in climate action and health equity. We work across community, institutional, and policy scales to steward innovation.


for Health Institutions

The purpose of the SAFE for Health Institutions Project is to accelerate transformation towards a social accountability framework in healthcare service delivery. To empower health institutions to better identify and address the priority health needs, social needs and health inequities of the patients, populations and communities that they serve.


Through appreciative inquiry, deliberative dialogue and two-eyed seeing, AI-North seeks to: (1) Understand socially accountable Artificial Intelligence, (2) Identify strengths and gaps in Artificial Intelligence research in Northern Ontario, and (3) Help to build capacity for Artificial Intelligence research in Northern Ontario.


Northern Ontario Learning Health Systems

This research group brings together people who are leading health system transformation in Northern Ontario through research, education, and health care. Our group includes researchers, educators, health system administrators, physicians and health professionals, patients, learners, among others. Our group and our projects aim to support health system stakeholders at any point in the research lifecycle, from developing an idea into a research question to methods/analysis to knowledge translation.


The CREATE Project

The CREATE Project brings together researchers, educators, administrators, policy makers, institutions, and organizations from across Canada and beyond to both study and contribute to the development of a social accountability research movement.


International Social Accountability and Accreditation Steering Committee (ISAASC)

Social accountability is not only found in medical schools and academic institutions, but is also increasingly being integrated into health service delivery. It is critical that this movement consider the different social, economic, cultural, and political determinants that influence the health status of citizens and society.

Our Team

Our diverse and dedicated team is comprised of passionate professionals driving impactful change in healthcare, research, and advocacy. With roles ranging from Clinical Lead to Student Research Assistant, our collective expertise spans social accountability, policy research, nursing, data analysis, and more.

team page
A team photo; 12 team members sitting and standing in front of a wooden wall.

Affiliates of the Centre

The Dr. Gilles Arcand Centre for Health Equity at NOSM University seeks energetic friends and affiliates who want to explore solutions and advocate for change to address local priority health and social needs. The Centre invites scientists, scholars, researchers, and practitioners to join our work towards socially accountable education and healthcare in the North.

OUR current AFFILIATESabout affiliatesapply to BECOME AN AFFILIATE

Stay in touch - there's more to come.

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