Barry Rubin, right, and Dr. Harry Rakowski
The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) Innovation Committee was created by Dr. Barry Rubin, (R), and Dr. Harry Rakowski. They were looking for a “unique and nimble process” to evaluate and launch innovative proposals to impact cardiac and vascular care. (Photo: The Globe and Mail)

William Charnetski is a big believer in "celebrating our champions" here in Ontario. But touting our homegrown accomplishments is something we, as Canadians, don't always do well enough, says Ontario's chief health innovation strategist.

"It feels like with anything other than hockey, we seem to require that people go elsewhere and establish themselves, [to] gain the inherent credibility that makes them more popular at home," he says.

Talking up the province's healthcare success stories has been a priority for Mr. Charnetski and his team since he took on the newly-created position in Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in 2015.

So when he attended a meeting of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) Innovation Committee, Mr. Charnetski knew he was witnessing an exciting Ontario healthcare story worth celebrating.

"I love the structure," says Mr. Charnetski of the dynamic committee that's been called the Dragons' Den of healthcare. "It's obviously [comprised of] smart, passionate, hard-working people. The notion that the hospital's doing it this way is important, and it's important for us to showcase the work that's being done."

Created in 2012 by Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director of the PMCC, and cardiologist Dr. Harry Rakowski, E.D. Wigle Chair in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Research, the PMCC's Innovation Committee reinvented the wheel when it comes to funding healthcare projects.

Instead of small groups of doctors making funding decisions, the committee is made up of more than a dozen people of diverse backgrounds and skill sets, and several committee members come from outside of the medical field entirely. Surgeons, scientists and cardiologists mix with hospital administrators, entrepreneurs and business leaders on the committee, and everyone has an equal vote.

PMCC Magazine 

The third annual Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) magazine published by The Globe and Mail focuses on why Canada's premier cardiac centre is known for being “the heartbeat of innovation.” The magazine explores the PMCC model that supports the creation, development and evolution of innovative ideas into action – making “today's idea, tomorrow's practice.” It also examines the impact that a culture of innovation has on the way cardiovascular care is delivered now and into the future.

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