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UOHI moves to fourth place from sixth on national top 40

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute and the Ottawa Hospital have moved to fourth place from sixth in the national Top 40 Research Hospital rankings, published by Research Infosource.

“Ottawa hospitals really seem to be on a roll,” said Ron Freedman, chief executive officer (CEO) of RE$EARCH Infosource Inc. “They are posting double-digit gains in research income, well above the national trend. This indicates they are putting more emphasis on developing and exploiting their research talents.”

RE$EARCH Infosource Inc. also posted a Top 50 Canadian Research University funding list, on which the University of Ottawa scored eighth place, up from ninth in the previous year’s report.

The Heart Institute and the Ottawa Hospital also scored well in research intensity, indicating how much money the institution receives per researcher. The institute and the hospital have a combined 301 researchers for an average of $507,400 per researcher, moving them into fourth place from eighth in 2011–12. The dollar average per researcher was second best of any hospital in the top 10. First place went to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

The ranking is also based on total research funding, an area that both the Heart Institute and the Ottawa Hospital have performed well in. In the 2012–13 fiscal year, funding increased by 17.5 per cent to $153 million from $130 million in 2011–12

The funding increase has been part of a larger trend for both the Heart Institute and the Ottawa Hospital, which have seen significant funding increases over the last number of years. In 2009, both had $87 million in research dollars and in every year since then, with the exception of 2011, they have beaten the national average in year-to-year funding increases. Overall, that represents a 56.8 per cent increase in funding between 2009 and 2013.

This is welcome news to Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and scientific director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, vice-president of research at the Ottawa Hospital, and a professor of medicine at the U of O.

“Now that the Ottawa Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in Canada, and now that we’re up there with some of the largest and most successful, it tells us that the Ottawa Hospital is a major part of the academic hospital research in Canada,” he said.

Stewart said credit for the increase should go to the scientists at both hospitals.

“The funding mostly comes from the activity of the scientists,” he said. “It reflects well overall on our scientists and reflects on their ability to be competitive in getting money from the private sector.”

Stewart also said financial support from the community has been tremendous, and traditional grants only cover a portion of the hospital and Heart Institute’s costs.

“People come to us knowing that we’re one of the most successful places in Canada,” he said. “All of this benefits us and benefits Ottawa by bringing more resources tied to specific projects.”