President's Blog

Mamdouh's Month

York U plays host to healthcare innovation and the Rogers Cup

Mamdouhs Month Graphic

Building on the momentum of our spring Convocation, July was an exciting time to be at York University, with two key events shaping the month—an announcement of York’s collaborative partnership with Ontario’s healthcare community, and the opportunity to welcome the world to our Keele Campus for the 2016 Rogers Cup tennis tournament.

On July 21, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains announced that the Federal Economic Development Agency for southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) will invest $15 million in a York-led project titled The Health Ecosphere: An Innovation Pipeline for Commercial Health Solutions. York will develop leading-edge healthcare technologies to support patients across the country alongside Southlake Regional Health Centre, the University Health Network (UHN), and dozens of other partners. At the event,  I had the opportunity to speak about the immense impact this important investment by the Government of Canada will have. Not only does it recognize the critical role of innovation and knowledge mobilization in both health promotion and health care, but it will enable York to build on the success of our Connected Health & Wellness Project, an initiative that underscored the power of providing individuals with the technology and tools they need to manage their health.

FedDev funding announcement group
Left: Government officials and academic partners joined us for the funding announcement in Newmarket. Right: With The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

York’s Faculty of Health is the lead academic partner and administrative centre for Health Ecosphere. One example of the kind of projects that will be developed here is the Health Coach Institute, which will produce specialized continuing education and training in emerging practice areas for the health coach such as youth mental health, Aboriginal health and aging.

Towards the end of July, with the arrival of the 2016 Rogers Cup, we welcomed the world’s top players in men’s professional tennis to the Aviva Centre on our Keele Campus. It was particularly exciting to host Canadian Milos Raonic, ranked No. 7 in men’s singles, so close to his hometown of Thornhill. 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov, this year’s Wimbledon Junior Champion from Richmond Hill, was another crowd favourite, becoming the youngest Canadian in the Open era to win a main draw singles match at the Rogers Cup. Vasek Pospisil and Daniel Nestor had an excellent run that ended in the semi-finals—no doubt the perfect warm-up for their campaign at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Witnessing the pride that Rogers Cup spectators had for their Canadian competitors assures me that support will be in good supply for our five York community members who will represent Canada in Rio. I look forward to joining the York community in cheering on Brittany Crew, Khamica Bingham, Arthur Biyarslanov, Melissa Pagnotta and York honorary degree recipient Daniel Nestor (LLD ’12) this summer. Go Lions!

Crowd watching Milos Raonic at the Rogers Cup.
Milos Raonic (CAN) playing against Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Ontario on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo by Peter Power for Tennis Canada)
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