Orangeville hospital is one of Toronto Metropolitan University’s newest clinical affiliates

Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) school of medicine is partnering with Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) as one of its newest clinical affiliates.

TMU is working to bring a community-driven approach to its medical education. The partnership will help support the advancement of medical education and training in the region while also furthering new innovations, collaborations and community engagement.

Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones said that she is happy this partnership has been formed and that medical training is expected to begin September 2025.

“There are so many opportunities,” Jones said. “I think that (HHCC) has a lot to show to students and clinicians who want to train there and, of course, there are going to be some pretty obvious benefits for the residents who access Headwaters Health Care.”

Dr. Grace Wang, vice-president of medical affairs and chief of staff at HHCC, said there was no hesitation about joining a partnership when TMU approached them.

“Over the years, Headwaters has welcomed students and residents through the Rural Ontario Medical Program so they can fulfil their clinical placements or practicums,” Wang said. “With the TMU partnership, we will increase the number of medical learners within our hospital, which will enhance the experience for patients and the health-care team.”

HHCC has been working with organizations such as Rural Ontario Medical Program, Humber College, Georgian College and more for years. Having this partnership with TMU opens doors for physician recruitment, cutting-edge research and more collaboration with Dufferin-Caledon.

This year, Dufferin County has been taking steps to recruit more physicians to the area. Wang said the hope is that the affiliation will attract physicians to experience HHCC who will ultimately want to stay and work there once their training is done.

“We know physician recruitment is a long-term strategy, and TMU is one part of the province’s plans to address that need,” Wang said. “Our community is growing, and we want to meet the needs of those who count on us, by strengthening and expanding our medical staff and clinical services.”

Current physicians at HHCC also have an opportunity to join TMU’s faculty and be a part of the education process from the very beginning.

“Involvement in students’ educational journeys is crucial,” Wang said. “It not only brings benefits to the students and patients but to all staff who serve as mentors to these students.”

TMU’s school of medicine accreditation is currently pending; however, the school expects to see 94 undergraduate students in fall of 2025. Postgraduate residency programs are scheduled to begin in July 2025.

Rebecca Weston, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner