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Celebrating Partnerships: Significant co-investment will result in more effective and efficient health care

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A group of people holding a large cheque at the Mitacs announcement

Another important milestone was announced this month at the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub as engineering interns, industry, government, and academia gathered to celebrate another partnership.

Through a five-year $1.4-million grant from Mitacs, 42 of Dalhousie University's top industrial engineering interns and two post-doctoral fellows will be embedded within the provincial health care system to solve some of our biggest health care problems.

Mitacs is a national non-profit that powers research and development by linking the private sector and post-secondary institutions. the IMPROVE Research Network is the largest project Mitacs has ever undertaken with a health authority in Canada.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates exactly how we, at the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub, are partnering to push the system to further evolve,” said Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President, Research, Innovation and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive at Nova Scotia Health. “Meaningful partnerships allow the Health Innovation Hub to transform health care for those across the province.”

This partnership brings industrial engineers together to implement cutting-edge health care operations research into daily clinical operations. “These successes will enhance Nova Scotia Health and Dalhousie University’s ability to attract, train, and retain skilled talent,” Tomblin Murphy said.

Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson, Brian Wong, Minister of Advanced Education, as well as Dr. Alice Aiken, Vice President Research and Innovation at Dalhousie University, commended the partnership, what it means for students, and what it will mean for health care.

The IMPROVE Research Network builds on an internship program established by Dalhousie industrial engineering researcher Dr. Peter Vanberkel and co-led by Nova Scotia Health’s Matt Murphy. It has already seen a number of Dalhousie graduate students make valuable contributions to health care efficiencies and a number of students joined the panel discussion on nurturing the next generation of health leaders.

Mitacs Chief Executive Officer Dr. John Hepburn said their work will result in transformational change across the health care system through the implementation of high-performance technologies and streamlined processes.

These changes will include shorter wait times for Nova Scotians to access the care they need, better ways of moving patients within and between facilities, smarter scheduling of hospital staff, and supporting health professionals to work to their full scope of practice.