Harnessing the power of new technology to improve health and patient care in Northwestern Ontario

News release

Government of Canada investment supports facility expansion and new ICT equipment at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

February 8, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ontario – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario - FedNor

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), in partnership with St. Joseph's Care Group (SJCG) and the Northwest Health Alliance (NWHA), unveiled their new, state-of-the-art regional data centre today. The design, engineering, construction and equipment of the new shared facility was made possible thanks to a Government of Canada investment of $1 million.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North, and Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, attended today’s event and made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor.

The FedNor investment was critical to creating the new data centre, which will now assist the TBRHSC and its partners to further implement regional electronic health records and applications, research systems and business applications, Regional Picture Archiving Communications Systems (PACS), as well as business intelligence and administrative systems. Furthermore, the new equipment and expanded capacity is expected to help foster collaborative research opportunities in data mining and analytics, strengthen data management and usage, and facilitate disaster recovery.


“Having good data and information is critical to making good decisions and growing our economy. Our government is thrilled to support this important project that will help transform our regional and national economies. This is a true collaboration between all Northwestern Ontario hospitals and shows what we can do when we work together. Congratulations to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and all of its partners.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North

“I am pleased that our government’s investment has contributed to making this project possible. We are committed to positioning Canada as a global centre for innovation and we are confident this investment will help develop the health care solutions of tomorrow, while growing the local economy and creating meaningful middle-class employment here in Northwestern Ontario.”

Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River

“Thank you to the Government of Canada and FedNor for recognizing the value of technology and data in 21st century health and patient care. This contribution has allowed us and our partners to provide better, more effective resources to our health care providers, researchers and private sector stakeholders. This means more secure health records, better systems and applications, and new opportunities for applied health research and innovation.”

Mr. Jean Bartkowiak, President and CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute

“This regional data centre is an example of partnership that benefits all hospitals in Northwestern Ontario in a way that will expand capabilities for electronic medical records, support research, and provide a foundation for technology that will help us to innovate and advance care.  It is a $4-million-dollar project that would not have been possible without the $1 million investment of the Government of Canada and FedNor.”

Tracy Buckler, President & CEO, St. Joseph’s Care Group

“The Northwest Health Alliance is proud to be part of this partnership which will see an expanded state-of-the-art regional data centre to help serve our regional hospitals and our patients’ through-out the northwest. We are thankful for the new funding from the Government of Canada and FedNor that not only helps improve services in Thunder Bay, but at all of our 12 regional hospitals from Manitouwadge to Kenora. Technology is a valuable bridge that allows our region to provide fast and efficient health care in any of our regional hospital sites."   

David Murray, Executive Director, Northwest Health Alliance

Quick facts

  • The Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario outlines the Government of Canada’s approach to ensure the region can fully benefit from the national Innovation and Skills Plan. It is focused on three key economic development areas: supporting innovation; growing companies; and building stronger communities.

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

  • After debuting on the list of Top 40 Research Hospitals in Canada in 2010, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre continues to rank among the leading health research institutions in the country. This success is attributed to the ongoing success of the Centre’s research arm, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, and to internal and external partnerships. All of the research conducted at the Health Sciences Centre aims to improve patient care in Northwestern Ontario and to make the region healthier, wealthier and smarter.

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Paul Denis
Communications Officer

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