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HSN Officially Opens the Labelle Innovation and Learning Centre

HSN Officially Opens the Labelle Innovation and Learning Centre

Monday, March 7, 2022

A brand new, world-class facility where future doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals of Northern Ontario will train and learn, has officially opened at Health Sciences North (HSN). The Labelle Innovation and Learning Centre is a 28,000 square foot facility that will house more than 2,000 learners from 70 post-secondary institutions each year.

“This will have immediate and long-term benefits for patients of Northeastern Ontario,” said Dominic Giroux, President and CEO of HSN. “These future doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, technicians and paramedics will train on some of the most medically advanced equipment before moving on to their professional careers. There will be immediate benefits to patients as our current roster of HSN employees and physicians will also train in the Simulation Lab, while learners will help provide care to patients as they learn.”

“The Labelle Innovation and Learning Centre has been a project in the making for the past 10 years for a network of northern stakeholders, donors and community leaders, as well as HSN’s academic partners, including NOSM, Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and Collège Boréal,” added Bill Best, President of Cambrian College.

“This facility will help us continue to foster a culture of continuous learning and strengthen our ties with our academic partners,” said Dr. Greg Ross, Vice-President, Academic and Research Impact at HSN and the Health Sciences North Research Institute. “We can bring all of our learners into one hub, closer to clinical activity. It means learners from all disciplines can work together to build confidence and problem-solving skills to optimize real world outcomes.”

The Centre features a brand-new Simulation Lab that includes three sim suites, three debriefing rooms, a multi-skills lab and a classroom where learners train on the latest technology as they develop skills to care for patients. The Learners’ Centre also includes a learner lounge, two flexible classrooms that can accommodate up to 40 participants, two offices that learners can use as quiet study spaces, for meetings with their preceptors or to complete clinical work. There are 10 sleep rooms for learners to rest as per accreditation requirements and three additional offices for staff from the Academic and Research Impact division.

"Our strategic partnership with HSN is a key element in changing population health outcomes in Northern Ontario," says Dr. Sarita Verma, Dean, President and CEO of NOSM. "The opening of the new Labelle Centre will help drive innovation in health education. The next generation of NOSM-educated physicians and health professionals will greatly benefit thanks to the generosity of the Marcel and Frances Labelle Foundation." 

The Centre is named after Cochrane’s Marcel and Frances Labelle, pioneers of Canadian Industry and owners of M. J. Labelle Co Ltd, who built up communities from Thunder Bay to Moosonee to New Liskeard. They donated $5 million towards the project.

“This project would not have been possible without the support of donors, including the incredible generosity of Marcel and Frances Labelle, whose $5 million transformational gift helped bring the vision of this project to reality,” said Anthony Keating, President of the Foundations at HSN. “The Labelle Family wanted to ensure that healthcare professionals could be trained right here in the Northeast, and the Labelle Innovation and Learning Centre is now the place to do it.”

The total cost of the new Centre was $27.9 million, with $22,826,100 in funding announced in 2018 by the Ontario Ministry of Health.

“The Board of HSN also wants to acknowledge the support of the Province, as well as from the HSN Foundation and from our generous donors,” added Daniel Giroux, Chair of the Board of HSN. “We are excited about finally having one central location at the Ramsey Lake Health Centre for all learner activities.”

In addition to the Labelle family’s naming gift of $5 million, HSN also wants to acknowledge the very generous support of Crosstown Chevrolet ($500,000), BMO Bank of Montreal ($400,000), TD Bank ($250,000), and all other donors that supported this initiative.