UNB News
News and stories from one of Canada’s top universities

Breaking new ground in the health sector

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Aug 10, 2023

Category: UNB Saint John

A significant milestone was reached on UNB’s Saint John campus August 9 with an official groundbreaking at the future location of the new Health and Social Innovation Centre (HSIC).

The 65,000 square foot HSIC building will provide a home for UNB’s Integrated Health Initiative, or IHI. The IHI will educate innovative leaders and find bold solutions to tackle the health grand challenges of today and tomorrow.

“The importance of IHI to UNB, Saint John and the province cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Petra Hauf, vice-president Saint John. “It will not only transform the health sector but will also bolster the economy of the region, strengthen Saint John’s stature as a centre of excellence and confirm New Brunswick’s reputation as a leader in health and social innovation.”

This three-and-a-half storey structure will be located strategically near key health partners such as Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick, New Brunswick Community College Allied Health, and the Saint John Regional Hospital on a site overlooking the Kennebecasis River. It will create a hub for interdisciplinary activity that brings together the strengths of academic, publicly funded and private-sector health research while educating the health workforce of the future and generating economic and social benefits for the local community and New Brunswick – today.

Co-location like this is unique in Atlantic Canada and will foster a lot of collaboration, leading to positive change, data-informed decision-making and new approaches to health care.

The new building will adhere to green building standards, aiming for LEED certification and a low carbon footprint.

“This would not be possible without the initial $27.2M in funding provided by the federal and provincial governments to kickstart the construction. We are immensely grateful for their support,” said Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, UNB’s president and vice-chancellor.

“Several years in the planning, the Integrated Health Initiative is well situated to realize its ambitious vision to transform the health sector.”

A campaign cabinet has been formed to bring the IHI vision across the finish line.

The groundbreaking event was combined with a gift announcement from the Pannell Family Foundation of $1 million to fund the Pannell Centre for Integrated Health Research.

The Pannell Centre will be located on the second floor of the HSIC and will focus on applied research. The Pannell Centre is expected to drive positive change in the areas of public health and health policy, children’s health, aging in the community, equitable access to digital health tools and more efficient management in health care.

UNB continues to bring together those with a goal and a passion for improving the quality of life for New Brunswickers so we can focus on the evolving societal needs of our community. That is exactly what this building will achieve.