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NOSM University receives $10M gift from FDC Foundation

Foundation will match every donation made to NOSM University for student financial aid, up to $10M
Representatives from the FDC Foundation with Dr. Sarita Verma, (centre,left) President, Vice Chancellor, Dean and CEO NOSM University, and fourth-year MD students. (Supplied)

NOSM University, formerly the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, has received a $10 million gift from the FDC Foundation of Mississauga.

As Canada’s first independent medical university, NOSM U said in a news release it "is driving forward a bold, transformative plan that will change the future of health care in Northern Ontario — and it has a visionary partner to thank." 

NOSM said the gift from FDC will change the lives of NOSM University learners, while challenging like-minded philanthropists to do the same. 

Dollar for dollar, every gift made to NOSM University for student financial aid will be matched up to $10 million, said NOSM. The family foundation supports health care and education and is dramatically strengthening the impact of NOSM University’s philanthropic efforts, which leads to more doctors in the North and better access to health care close to home for the 800,000 people who live in the region, said NOSM. 

The foundation said it hopes others will follow the example of providing support to medical students. 

“We are hoping this gift will ignite support from other donors to alleviate student debt and encourage more students to pursue careers as future health-care professionals in Northern Ontario,” says the FDC Foundation.

Dr. Sarita Verma, President, Vice-Chancellor, Dean and CEO of NOSM University, said the gift is vital to helping NOSM medical students. 

“We know that our MD students carry nearly double the debt load of other medical school graduates across the country,” said Dr. Verma. “Our primary goal is to help students access careers and education regardless of socio-economic status.”

“Through the generosity of the FDC Foundation, we’re on our way to building our first $50 million endowment,” Verma continued. “With their initial contribution NOSM University will be raising funds to double their impact, seeking an additional match of another $10 million. That means up to $20 million could be immediately invested in the Student Endowment Fund to start paying dividends for our MD students. That’s transformative.”

Northern Ontario is currently short more than 350 physicians, and that number does not reflect anticipated retirements. The health human resource crisis is underway and NOSM University is one solution to this issue, said NOSM.

“Alleviating our student debt burden is our best shot at recruiting the most diverse and motivated future physicians for Northern Ontario. At NOSM University, integrity is the foundation of everything we do. Social accountability is in our DNA; equity, diversity and inclusion have been our aim. Raising funds for our students is proof of our commitment to social justice,” said Verma. 

NOSM U has two main campuses; one in Thunder Bay and one in Sudbury. Since 2005, NOSM said its medical school has graduated 838 MDs, 65 of whom are Indigenous, and 171 of whom are Francophone. More than half of NOSM graduates have stayed in Northern Ontario.


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