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North York General Hospital announces first-of-its-kind research chair

Dr. Frank Sullivan named first Gordon F. Cheesbrough Research Chair in Family and Community Medicine

TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - North York General Hospital (NYGH) announced today the appointment of Dr. Frank Sullivan as the first Gordon F. Cheesbrough Research Chair in Family and Community Medicine. The Chair is the first of its kind in Canada and will play an important role in community hospital-based research.

Dr. Sullivan will also be appointed to the role of Director of the University of Toronto Practice Based Research Network (UTOPIAN), a network of the 14 University of Toronto primary care sites working together to improve patient care in community settings.

"At North York General, our clinical strength, focus on academics and population diversity provide us with the opportunity to ask vital questions related to the health of individuals and populations," said Tim Rutledge, president and CEO, NYGH.  "Dr. Sullivan brings with him a wealth of experience that will help us derive new insights into family medicine and community care."

Dr. Sullivan has worked as an Academic General Medical Practitioner with an interest in clinical trials and linking health data for research since 1984. After graduating from the University of Glasgow he combined clinical training in Scotland and service general practice with a PhD in Health Services Research. Until early 2014 he was the National Health Service (NHS) Tayside Professor of R&D in General Practice and Primary Care and Director of the Scottish School of Primary Care. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011.

Dr. Sullivan will lead research initiatives at NYGH, the North York Family Health Team, and at UTOPIAN sites across the region.

"UTOPIAN will strengthen our involvement in clinically important research that will have a direct impact on the care of our patients," said Dr. Eva Grunfeld, Vice-Chair Research, Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM), University of Toronto.

Dr. Sullivan will conduct research of a high international standard that is aligned with the strategic directions of NYGH and the DFCM. In addition to pursuing his own research agenda, the Chair will be a catalyst, at NYGH and beyond, to create a culture where research investigations are a shared enterprise, and where clinical leaders, university faculty, and students interested in primary care research will be mentored.

About Gordon F. Cheesbrough:
The Gordon F. Cheesbrough Research Chair in Family and Community Medicine was established at NYGH to support an outstanding academic individual with a demonstrated track record in research excellence relevant to family and community medicine and involving practice based research networks.

Gordon F. Cheesbrough was first appointed to North York General Hospital's Board of Governors in June 2000. He was elected Treasurer in June 2001 and served in that capacity until his appointment as Chair in 2005. In early 2010, he joined the Board of Governors for the Foundation. In these roles he provided incredible vision and leadership to the hospital, in service to the community and led North York General Hospital to many great successes.  Mr. Cheesbrough had just completed a five-year term as Chair of the Hospital's Board of Governors when he passed away after a sudden illness in June 2010.

The University of Toronto Practice Based Research Network (UTOPIAN) represents groups of primary care clinicians and practices working together to answer community-based healthcare questions and translate findings into practice, engage clinicians in research, quality improvement activities and foster an evidence-based culture. It includes all 14 teaching units, four rural sites and 38 teaching practices affiliated with the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM). Simply put, UTOPIAN will act as a "laboratory" for studying populations of patients and care providers in community-based settings.

About North York General Hospital
North York General, affiliated with the University of Toronto, is one of Canada's leading community academic hospitals. We offer our culturally diverse community a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services across three sites. North York General takes a purposeful approach to meeting and exceeding patients' expectations. The patient experience is at the heart of everything we do.

SOURCE North York General Hospital

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