Skip to content

Northern medical school on the newcomers recruiting trail

Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Lakehead University researchers receive $330K in immigration research grants

Government research involving the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and Lakehead University is looking to find ways to bring more immigrants to Northern Ontario to work in primary health care.

The Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund (OHCRIF) is providing more than $330,000 to Lakehead and NOSM. 

The study aims to build a consensus model of community-specific needs, recognizing that primary care in the North often includes emergency department coverage and in-patient care.

The team will investigate how the workforce of Northern Ontario is evolving differently from that of the rest of Ontario, and will examine models of planning for workforce sustainability involving different demographics and different conditions of health-care demand, said a news release from Lakehead.

Want to read more stories about business in the North? Subscribe to our newsletter.

The funding includes $250,000 from OHCRIF going to researchers Dr. Erin Cameron, Dr. Diana Urajnik, Dr. Brianne Wood and John Hogenbirk. 

Their study, “Working models for human capital planning in Northern Ontario: a model for the primary healthcare workforce,” will focus on human capital planning in Northern Ontario’s primary care sector, said the release.

“It is an ambitious project, but study findings could help inform provincial agencies, workforce planning boards, communities, employers such as hospitals, primary-care providers, health-care education institutions, Ontario Health Teams, and others to better plan for and respond to community and employer needs within a primary health-care setting," said Cameron, an assistant professor at NOSM.

Additional funding of $83,093 has been granted to a team of Lakehead researchers led by Dr. Kathy Sanderson for research that examines how community and organizational welcoming affects the retention and recruitment of new immigrants.

Sanderson and her team from the Faculty of Business are looking for local employers and community leaders to get involved and share their experience in this area. To find out how to participate, visit

Both projects are funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.