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Groundbreaking for cutting-edge brain health centre

VANCOUVER – British Columbia has broken ground on a new centre that it hopes will lead the way in neurosciences by uniting brain health and patient care. Uniting psychiatry, neurology and neuroscience, the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health may revolutionize brain health by bringing research together with care.

All the areas of brain health will be under one roof, housing hundreds of scientists and healthcare professionals who will treat and pioneer new treatments and cures for patients affected by brain diseases and injury.

“Our goal is to literally revolutionize how we currently treat and approach brain health,” said Dr. David Ostrow (pictured), president and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health. “By bringing together our researchers and healthcare teams, we can offer every patient the chance to participate in research studies, as well as the opportunity to be provided with the latest in treatment, prevention, and education.”

Brain diseases result in a significant drain on workforce resources and challenge our healthcare system. This new centre will promote effective and efficient use of healthcare resources by getting British Columbians access to early intervention and the best possible treatment to promote rapid recovery.

Patients will receive improved care as the centre is designed with their special needs in mind. It will also offer immediate access to clinical trials.

The Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health also has a teaching centre that will be used by hundreds of University of British Columbia faculty of medicine students who will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and the ability to learn from leaders in the field of brain health.

Cost of construction for the centre is $68.8 million. The province is contributing $28.24 million to the facility, which includes $25 million from the Ministry of Health and $3.24 million from the BC Knowledge Development Fund. The Government of Canada contribution of $13.24 million to the construction includes $3.24 million through the Canada Foundation for Innovation and $10 million through Industry Canada.

The building is named after Vancouver philanthropist Djavad Mowafaghian in honour of his $15-million donation to UBC. A $5-million donation was received through the faculty of medicine from the Townsend family. Other private donations totalled $4 million.

“It is my hope that this facility will help lay the foundation for future discoveries in brain health and making a difference in the lives of the children of British Columbia and beyond,” said Djavad Mowafaghian.

The centre will bolster the Province’s ability to recruit and retain scientists and health professionals, as well as help power B.C.’s biotech industry into the future.

The facility is scheduled to open in 2013. Construction is expected to create close to 1,600 jobs.

Posted October 20, 2011