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Sir James Dunn Foundation donates $1 million to UNB’s Integrated Health Initiative

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jan 9, 2024

Category: UNB Saint John


The University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) Integrated Health Initiative (IHI) has received a twofold boost to its ambitious vision for excellence in health and social innovation, thanks to a $1 million gift from the Sir James Dunn Foundation.

Half of the gift ($500,000) is designated to support the work of the chair in child rights for child health, Dr. Ziba Vaghri. A researcher with more than 20 years’ experience in child rights and development, Dr. Vaghri currently leads two major international projects: GlobalChild, a universal and comprehensive child rights monitoring platform; and InspiRights, a global inventory-taking of good practices that inspire children’s rights.

The child rights for child health chair bridges and expands two areas of research excellence at UNB – leadership in population data research and evidence-informed health policy development – for the sake of giving children a better start in life.

The remaining $500,000 has supported construction, now underway, of the Health and Social Innovation Centre on UNB’s Saint John campus. In particular, the foundation’s gift has made possible a flexible space in the centre, that will be named in honour of the late Marcia Anastasia “Christofor” Christoforides, wife of the late Sir James Dunn, pending approval by the UNB Board of Governors.

The space will allow for small conferences, workshops, classes, presentations and special events. The Christofor, along with an outdoor rooftop patio, will offer sweeping views of the Kennebecasis River and the Canada Games Stadium.

“Investment in the future of health care is more urgent than ever and the work of the Integrated Health Initiative is ambitiously addressing this need within our province and region,” said Michael Doyle, president of the Sir James Dunn Foundation. “It is our pleasure to support excellence in health research and innovation through this initiative.”

“Thanks to the support of the Sir James Dunn Foundation, the Integrated Health Initiative at UNB is already beginning to realize its vision to transform the health sector, leading the way for New Brunswick and Canada,” said Dr. Petra Hauf, UNB’s provost and vice-president academic. “This initiative would not be possible without donor support and we are thrilled to name a space in honour of one of New Brunswick’s most generous philanthropists.”