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REF NO.: 114

SUBJECT: Faculty of Medicine Building a Healthier Tomorrow with major campaign

DATE: July 29

Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine has launched a fundraising campaign inviting the communities it serves to join together in building a healthy future. 

The campaign officially launched on Thursday, July 28, during an event held in the Medical Education Centre in St. John’s, N.L.

It aims to raise $5 million, with more than $3.2 million already committed by individuals, corporations and foundations.

The Building a Healthy Tomorrow campaign has three goals: To increase financial support to students; to enable medical students, residents and practising physicians to perfect more medical procedures through simulation; and to expand medical research in areas pertinent to Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Research that is taking place in Newfoundland and Labrador for the benefit of our people will also have worldwide impacts,” said Dr. James Rourke, dean, Faculty of Medicine. “We want to increase support for those emerging discoveries that address medical conditions impacting our communities. In addition, one of the most urgent priorities is to increase the number and amount of scholarships, bursaries and awards available to students.”

Third-year medical student Desmond Whalen agrees.

“The support that will come from this campaign is critical for students like me. I’m from Caplin Cove and I came to medical school so I could help Caplin Cove. There are so many future physicians and researchers out there just like me, but they don’t have the means to attend medical school. Like me, they want to give back to our province. This campaign will help them to accomplish that.”

The third goal of the campaign focuses on equipment and resources for the faculty’s simulation centre and the need for state-of-the-art technology for medical students, residents, practising physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals.

“With our new Clinical Learning and Simulation Centre, we have an opportunity to do so much more to ensure patient safety through simulation so the students can practise more medical procedures, making them even more prepared for when they become doctors,” said Dr. Rourke. “The Building a Healthy Tomorrow campaign will help us better train our future physicians, medical scientists and health-care leaders. This will ultimately improve health outcomes for the people of this province and our region.”

Dr. Rourke says the health and well-being of the people in communities of this province is the key priority for the Faculty of Medicine.

“Caring for the people of our region starts right here—in the classrooms and our research laboratories at Memorial. Health and well-being are so complex today and the Faculty of Medicine has a critical role to play as we meet those challenges head-on.”



Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine includes the medical school, postgraduate residency training programs and graduate programs leading to a master’s, doctoral or MD-PhD degree or to diplomas in community health, clinical epidemiology and post-secondary studies (health professional education). The Faculty of Medicine is located in the Medical Education Centre and the Health Sciences Centre on the northwest corner of the St. John’s campus of Memorial University, as well as many smaller sites in urban and rural areas throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and Atlantic Canada.

The Faculty of Medicine is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools of the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The doctor of medicine curriculum places particular emphasis on community and rural medicine learning environments, and patient contact starts early in a medical student’s training. The Faculty of Medicine excels in clinical teaching and has research expertise in specific areas of clinical specialties, community health, epidemiology, applied health and services research and basic medical science, including neurosciences, immunology, cardiovascular and renal physiology, and human genetic research.

The Faculty of Medicine has 320 medical students and 250 postgraduate residents from all socio-economic backgrounds; nearly half come from rural areas. The faculty recently won the Keith Award for the fifth time for having the largest number of graduates practising in a rural area 10 years after graduation. Memorial’s average is 38.9 per cent and the national average is 18 per cent. 

Graduate programs include a wide range of programs and disciplines, including M.Sc., MPH, MHE, PhD and assorted diplomas in graduate fields and includes an enrolment of close to 300 students.

Faculty of Medicine Building a Healthy Tomorrow Campaign cabinet:

  • Dr. Peter Collingwood, co-chair
  • John O’Dea, co-chair
  • Dr. Chris French
  • Dr. Don McKay
  • Dr. Conor Maguire
  • Shirley Strong
  • Anne Whelan

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For more information, please contact Virginia Middleton, communications co-ordinator, Faculty of Medicine, at (709) 864-6363 or by cell at (709) 725-8157 or; or Michelle Osmond, communications co-ordinator, Faculty of Medicine, at (709) 864-6358 or by cell at (709) 728-2364 or


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