What is UBC Health?

UBC Health:  facilitating transformative change in health care

The evolution of health care towards an integrated system focused on individual and community wellbeing is a challenge of global importance and urgency.  Enhanced innovation, productivity and agility are critical.  Supporting this transformation is a strategic priority for UBC.

UBC is uniquely placed to play a leading role in British Columbia and Canada in the transition to a system that is patient-centered, community-based, team-oriented and evidence-based.  UBC is the sole education provider in the province for many health disciplines, and has significant experience in distributed health education through the four campuses and learning sites throughout the province.  Together with its Health Authority affiliates, UBC accounts for 85% of health research in BC, and it has worked closely with the other universities to grow provincial research funding.  Government, Health Authorities and community partners expect UBC to speak and act in a coordinated way about health.

Led by the Provost, UBC Health[1] is an institutional consortium that enables more systematic collaboration across health programs at the University, and provides a coordinated interface with the developing province-wide Academic Health Science Network.  By channeling UBC expertise, closer cross-discipline and -sector linkages strengthen the University’s impact and capacity for excellence in health and health care.  They create the opportunity for improved wellbeing and patient outcomes, accelerated knowledge development and innovation, greater training effectiveness and enhanced productivity.

The University has created in UBC Health a mechanism that promotes and sustains the internal and external partnership required for UBC to succeed fully in achieving five aims:

  1. Enhanced performance in priority areas of cross-sector research and translation to patient care. Consistent with provincial focus, connection with social determinants and noted areas of expertise at UBC, three cross-cutting areas have been defined as priorities for collaboration:       (1) Indigenous health; (2) diabetes, obesity, nutrition and fitness; and (3) mental health and aging;
  2. Strengthened support for health research through improved provincial data access and management, advocacy around favourable research funding policies, and the provision of cross-cutting infrastructure including sequencing, high-performance computing and grant facilitation;
  3. Education innovation in areas that are crucial to practitioner and system development, including integrated curricula, inter-professional education, joint programs such as biomedical engineering and applied programs such as health informatics;
  4. Targeted operational integration to strengthen capabilities and drive efficiencies, initially in Finance and IT, creating a platform for broader sector cooperation and synergy. Areas of current focus include curriculum management systems, standardized patients and simulation;
  5. Leadership and specialized expertise in shaping sector dialogue and mobilizing activity across core systemic issues and opportunities, including access and the evolution of primary health care.

Importantly, UBC Health is intended to complement the activities of individual Faculties and Schools through its focus on tasks of mutual importance that require intensive functional, subject and systemic co-ordination.  It respects distinct health disciplines and unit autonomy, and supports the University’s distributed campuses in order to deliver benefit across British Columbia.

Together these are some of the most valuable contributions that UBC can make over the next five to ten years, helping the University to activate the collective assets of the province in the pursuit of greater societal and economic benefit, and to fulfil its academic mission and public mandate in British Columbia and beyond.

[1] Counselling Psychology, Dentistry, Dietetics, Kinesiology, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Psychology, Rehabilitation Sciences, Social Work, UBC-O Health and Social Development