Health and Community Leaders Talk: Dr. Catherine Zahn

The HWS campaign is a platform for collaboration. We’re kicking off a new blog series that’s co-authored by community and health leaders from across the province to get their insights on why health research matters for Ontarians and our economy. Our first author is CAHO’s own Chair and the CEO of CAMH, Dr. Catherine Zahn.

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Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter: A Snapshot of Ontario’s Health Research Success

CAHO’s 24 research hospitals are leaders in Ontario’s health care system, and collectively, we make Ontario healthier, wealthier, and smarter. Our blog series is dedicated to telling stories that showcase the research of our member hospitals across the province, but before we kick things off, we want to share a snapshot of the success we’ve contributed to so far.

Health research pays off
In 2014, CAHO member hospitals invested $1.4 billion in health research—and it paid off and then some. Every $1 dollar spent by research hospitals generated nearly $3 of economic output. The research initiatives at CAHO member hospitals have attracted the attention of industry investment, which accounted for 14% of research funding in 2014—that’s over two times the OCED average for business investment in higher education research and development. By contributing to Ontario’s health research, we have seen new economic growth in the form of jobs, new business opportunities, and marketable innovations.

How does that funding translate?
Health research funding has allowed the 16,400 researchers and staff at CAHO’s 24 member hospitals to make this province a Healthier, Wealthier, and Smarter place to live. For example, research hospitals have made Ontario healthier by discovering better cares, cures and treatments, and by decreasing the delivery time between lab bench and patient bedside to improve quality care. They’ve made Ontario wealthier by introducing 77 new health-tech products to the market in 2014, while stimulating nearly 41,000 jobs, and contributing $3.8 billion to the provincial economy. And they’ve made Ontario smarter by attracting and supporting the brightest and the best researchers and clinicians to deliver health innovations of the future to patients who need it today.