ventureLAB and Saint Elizabeth Partner to Develop a Connected Health Innovation Cluster in York Region

MARKHAM, ON, June 28, 2016 /CNW/ - ventureLAB, a not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre and Saint Elizabeth, a national health care provider and not-for-profit charitable organization, announced a new partnership today with the goal of developing a vibrant health innovation cluster in York Region.

The partnership will allow both organizations to expand programs, leveraging transformative solutions to deliver quality healthcare and drive better patient outcomes. Saint Elizabeth, Canada's largest social enterprise, is responsible for many advances in Canadian health care, including their recently announced program to strengthen hospice care, investing $4 million over two years to achieve these goals; their use of SoapBox, a cloud-based platform that connects leaders with the best ideas from frontline workers; and collaborations with Canadian and international organizations focused on people-powered health innovation.

In 2015, Saint Elizabeth, ventureLAB and partners Southlake Regional Health Centre and MaRS Health Innovation, collaborated on the Healthcare Ecosphere Program, which fostered strategic connections between hospitals, entrepreneurs and other partners. This new collaboration is the result of a mutual interest the two organizations had in formalizing their ongoing relationship. Since then, ventureLAB and Saint Elizabeth have jointly organized several thought-leadership workshops and strategic events designed to advance the adoption of innovation in health care.

ventureLAB is leading health care innovation initiatives in York Region through the development of strategic partnerships with key healthcare partners and programs such as Healthcare Ecosphere; pulseHUB, a health and wellness-focused accelerator; and strategic events such as the annual MedEdge Summit, a health innovation conference that takes place each June. The convergence of health solutions with digital technologies plays directly to the strength of large, medium and small companies in York Region, one of the largest IT clusters in all of Canada.  These enabling technologies will also allow for the creation of communities of care, providing health services outside of hospital walls and more directly to those in need.

ventureLAB and Saint Elizabeth have already identified several collaboration opportunities, including co-mentoring healthcare ventures, providing Saint Elizabeth with access to ventureLAB's innovation tools and programs, ongoing involvement in the Healthcare Ecosphere Program, and thought leadership events. "Saint Elizabeth is an important partner to ventureLAB and has assisted us in developing a strong health innovation cluster in York Region," said Jeremy Laurin, President and CEO of ventureLAB. "We are excited to expand and formalize our partnership."

"Social innovation and sustainable business models are imperative in today's health environment," says Shirlee Sharkey, CEO of Saint Elizabeth. "Working with ventureLAB is an incredible opportunity to promote cross-pollination with entrepreneurs and new ventures, and scale impact."

About ventureLAB
ventureLAB is a non-profit Regional Innovation Centre, which cultivates, supports and celebrates innovative entrepreneurs. Located in York Region, an integral leader in the Digital Corridor, ventureLAB supports entrepreneurs at all stages across York Region, Simcoe County, Muskoka District and the GTA. ventureLAB is the place where talented entrepreneurs get help bringing their innovation to market. Visit www.ventureLAB.ca for more information.

About Saint Elizabeth
Saint Elizabeth is a national health care provider that has been opening the door to new possibilities and care experiences for more than a century. Recognized as Canada's largest social enterprise, we employ 8,000 people and visit 18,000 clients every day.  Through the Saint Elizabeth Research Centre, our Health Career Colleges and the Saint Elizabeth Foundation, we are helping to make the future of health care brighter and stronger. Learn more at www.saintelizabeth.com or find us on Twitter at @StElizabethSEHC

SOURCE ventureLAB

For further information: Rachel Azagury, Director of Marketing, ventureLAB, razagury@venturelab.ca, 905-248-2710; Madonna Gallo, Head of Public Voice, Saint Elizabeth, mgallo@saintelizabeth.com, 905-968-6430

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