UAlberta and AHS pledge cooperation in renewed partnership

15-year master agreement marks the way forward for health innovation and improved patient care in northern Alberta.

Ross Neitz - 22 September 2017

A long-term partnership was renewed at a low-key ceremony at the U of A Hospital's McMullen Gallery. Witnessed by a small crowd of supporters, the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services renewed vows of sorts through the signing of a new master affiliation agreement. The document commits the pair to a path forward together to improve patient care in Alberta.

"It's kind of like a marriage," said Dennis Kunimoto, acting dean of the U of A's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. "Sometimes there are disagreements. Having agreements laid out makes it clear so that there is no misunderstanding about who should do what, or who owns what, and how we move forward together. That's what it really represents."

"It is an incredibly productive relationship that has been in place for a long time. This agreement reaffirms that and opens the door for future ongoing collaborations," added University of Alberta president David Turpin. "I think the opportunities here are legion. The collaboration has been great and this just reaffirms it."

The 15-year master affiliation agreement, which runs until 2032, marks a new era of collaboration between the U of A and AHS, putting pen to paper to formalize a foundation for the two organizations to build upon shared goals. The agreement outlines guidelines for the way the organizations will work together in such areas as: training and academic programs, the appointment of medical staff and health professionals, health care delivery, information privacy and security, capital projects, public policy and research.

"In addition to the typical relationship expectations, we also talk in the affiliation about how we support innovation together. At Alberta Health Services we want to be a great receptor to the university's ability to contribute research innovation and translate it into useable initiatives that the health system can actually use," said Kathryn Todd, Vice-President Research, Innovation & Analytics at AHS.

"With the way the health research and innovation landscape is changing, I think that this master affiliation is going to drive us both to do better for Albertans. How patients are going to directly see this is that they will have the best care from the best trained professionals," added Todd.