In 2009, the federal government, through Industry Canada, invested $5 million in the creation of the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation and Leadership (the Centre), as part of the government’s strategy to advance and promote science and technology in Canada. Originally, the Centre was given the mandate to, “develop a highly skilled workforce that fosters next-generation health technologies/innovations that would create new jobs and business opportunities and grow the economy” (Hon. T. Clement, March 23, 2009). Additionally, the Centre was also tasked with becoming, “a global leader in identifying, assessing and commercializing innovative technologies, systems and processes for Canada’s health care system and providers that would lead to meaningful progress in patient care…[and] would abide by the mission of the Richard Ivey School of Business, which sets out to develop Canadian business leaders who ‘think globally, act strategically and contribute to the societies within which they operate’. 

Leveraging Innovation and Leadership

The Centre’s founding Academic Chair was Hon. Dr. Kellie Leitch, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, who now serves as a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Simcoe-Grey region in Ontario. During her tenure as Academic Chair, Dr. Leitch advanced the Centre’s creation of thought leadership through publishing several white papers, including: “Innovation Takes leadership” (2010), “Leveraging Information Technologies to Transform and Sustain British Columbia’s Health Care Sector” (2010), and “Transforming Canadian Health Care through Consumer Engagement: The Key to Quality and System Innovation” (2011). Research projects focused on adoption strategies for innovations in health systems.

Value-Based Health Care and Health System Design

Following Hon. Dr. Leitch’s successful election as an MP in 2011, Dr. Anne Snowdon was appointed the Centre’s Academic Chair. Throughout Dr. Snowdon’s tenure at the Centre (2011-2015), she continued building the Centre’s reputation as a thought leader through publishing the following white papers: “Transforming Canada into a Global Centre for Medical Device Innovation and Adoption” (2011), “Strengthening Health Systems Through Innovation: Lessons Learned” (2011), “Measuring What Matters: The Cost vs. Values of Health Care” (2012), and “’It’s All About Me’: The Personalization of Health Systems” (2014). At the same time, the Centre’s research projects took a shift towards health system design, pathway development, and global health care best practices, while still facilitating the adoption of health system innovations in Canada. 

The Future of Health Innovation at Ivey

In 2015 Dr. David Barrett was appointed the Centre's Executive Director. Since the inception of the Centre in 2009, new markets and opportunities have emerged that were unimaginable 7 years ago. The Centre is optimistic about the future of innovation and health system improvements and we look forward to contributing positively to that future.