Lakehead University and Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
OSMH president and CEO, Carmine Stumpo, says the two organizations are committed to innovation and partnerships, which is what led to officially formalizing the relationship between the two community organizations on Tuesday.
“We have a history of working together on a variety of topics,” Stumpo said. “We have a strong desire to take that even further.”
Stumpo says the hospital will benefit in many ways from the MOU.
“Working with Lakehead on programming, we can customize education that meets the needs of our organization,” he said. “In return that will meet the needs of the community that we serve for health.”
The MOU will create more opportunities for the hospital to work with the university for research and research ethics support that is already in progress, he explained at a ceremony at the Orillia campus of Lakehead.
“We have the opportunity to innovate,” Stumpo said. “We are a part of innovation forms within the Lakehead campus, which is really important as we look for new and better ways of doing things.”
Lakehead University president and vice-chancellor, Moira McPherson, says the MOU fits with the vision, mission, and mandate of the school which is to serve the community.
“As we’re educating students and furthering post-secondary education, we are also doing partnerships and offering programming that actually meets the needs of the regions that we serve,” she explained. “It is fundamental to everything that we do.”
McPherson says the partnership is an opportunity to complement the two community organizations.
“This is an opportunity for us to really go the next step in making a difference in the economic, social, health, and well-being of the community.”
Orillia campus interim principal Dr. Linda Rodenburg says the MOU could impact students in many ways.
“We are planning to create research opportunities,” she said. “Our students will be involved in participating in those.”
While OSMH is still in the planning stages for a new hospital, Stumpo says officials continue to explore potential sites.
“We know there are opportunities here,” he said. “It really supports the further exploration of options.”
While the hospital and the university already had a "great" working relationship, Stumpo says Tuesday’s announcement provides an element of acceleration.
“We see the value,” he said. “We want to do more and create a deeper partnership. We are using this milestone to really propel ourselves forward with this partnership.”