Richard J. Currie Makes Gift in Support of Education at University Health

TORONTO, Aug. 5 /CNW/ - Richard J. Currie, Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick has made a $2 million gift to create an international fellowship program at the Wilson Centre at University Health Network.

The Currie Fellowship Program at the Wilson Centre, the first of its kind in the world, will create leaders in health professional education research by offering financial support to top international candidates. The Fellows will obtain intensive mentoring in how to develop high quality research programs; how to collaborate with a diverse set of research colleagues; and how to train the next generation of medical professionals in clinical fields such as medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, nursing, and nutrition sciences.

"I believe very strongly in the possibility of improving health care through research in education. Improving education will help support healthcare professionals in their ability to be international leaders in their field. In this respect, the creation of this fellowship supports two causes very important to me: education and health care research," said Mr. Currie. Candidates will need to demonstrate leadership potential, academic excellence and financial need. One international candidate will be eligible in 2011.

This important gift follows a previous gift in 2003 which established the Richard & Elizabeth Currie Chair in Health Professions Education Research at the Wilson Centre. Its current chair holder is Dr. Brian Hodges, also Director of the Wilson Centre.

Many challenges facing our healthcare system today - wait times, communications, patient safety and interprofessional teamwork - have educational dimensions. Our research is aimed at finding ways to improve the training of health professionals, current and future, to meet the demands of today's complex healthcare environment and the needs of society," says Dr. Hodges.

Richard J. Currie is a celebrated Canadian businessman who was President of Loblaw Companies from 1976 to 2001. In those 25 years, the value of Loblaw increased by over 25 percent per year, to over $14 billion and Loblaw became the largest private sector employer in Canada. In 1996, he became President of George Weston Limited, when its share value was $16 per share. By 2002, when he stepped down and became Chairman of Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), the value of Weston had become $123 per share. He retired from BCE in 2009 after a business career spanning five decades.

He was Canada's CEO of the year in 2001 and was elected to the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and inducted into the Business Hall of Fame of his native New Brunswick in 2003. In 2004 he was promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Retail Council of Canada and has been called "One of Canada's Ten Greatest CEOs of All Time" by the Globe & Mail. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors and in 2007. On the 100th Anniversary of engineering education in Nova Scotia, he was selected by Dalhousie University as one of five top graduates in that century.

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About The Wilson Centre

The Donald R. Wilson Centre, a joint initiative between the University Health Network and University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, is a unique, world-renowned centre for development of health professional education research and researchers. Its goals are to foster the discovery and application of new knowledge relevant to advancing healthcare education and practice; to promote creative synergies between diverse theoretical perspectives, and between theory and practice; and to provide worldwide leadership in education research.

The Wilson Centre is made possible through the investment and support of the University Health Network and the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, as well as health sciences departments, faculties and institutions across the Greater Toronto area. Located at UHN's Toronto General Hospital, The Wilson Centre houses PhD scientists, graduate students, research fellows, research assistants, and administrative staff. For more information, visit

About University Health Network

University Health Network consists of Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospitals. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, and genomic medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.

About Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital as well as for their respective research arms, Toronto General Research Institute and Toronto Western Research Institute. The Foundation's vision is to enable global leadership and innovation in health by developing and sustaining strong relationships with University Health Network stakeholders.

SOURCE Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

For further information: For further information: Nadine Hubert, Director of Communications, 416-340-4293 or

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