News from the JGH

Federal Government Grant Aimed at Advancing Oral Health Across Canada

Promoting and advocating for oral health research is essential to ensure a high level of oral health and care for all Canadians.

Montreal, October 13, 2022 –Today, Rachel Bendayan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Outremont, announced, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, a new investment of $2 million over five years from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to support an established national research network that will advance oral health science in Canada and help improve dental care for Canadians.

The Network for Canadian Oral Health Research (NCOHR) is led by Dr. Ana Miriam Velly, a researcher at the Lady Davis Institute, the research arm of the Jewish General Hospital (JGH), and one of Canada’s leading experts in the prevention and treatment of acute and chronic pain. With the support of the new funding from CIHR, Dr. Velly and her team will work together with scientists, health care providers, industry partners, and patient representatives to spearhead new discoveries and strengthen existing approaches for improving and maintaining oral health. They will also support the training of the next generation of oral health researchers and clinicians with a strong focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

To this end, a greater emphasis will be placed on engaging students, researchers, patients, and partners from minority groups to play a more active role in improving oral health research deliverables and promoting patient-oriented research with particular consideration for the oral health of Indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. “There is no healthy body without oral health," says Dr. Velly. "NCOHR’s mandate is to promote and support oral health research excellence, which is critical to ensure a high level of oral health and care for all Canadians.”

For nearly a decade, the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research (NCOHR) has proven its ability to initiate, support, and advance collaborative oral health research across the population. With a well-established infrastructure in place and more than 840 members across the country, including researchers from all academic ranks and different disciplines as well as trainees, dental health professionals, patient representatives, and industry, the NCOHR is ready to advance oral health research and knowledge translation even further.

“The Jewish General Hospital’s Department of Dentistry plays a vital role in the management of dental care for patients who are compromised by underlying medical conditions or with special needs and is also home to a significant training program for residents," says Dr. Melvin Schwartz, Chief of the Department of Dentistry at the JGH. "Research and knowledge dissemination initiatives by the NCOHR inform us on best practices, new protocols, and innovations that translate into ever better access and care, especially for the vulnerable patients we serve.”

Oral health is a major contributor to the overall health and well-being of Canadians. Researchers have found links between the quality of a person’s oral health and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and arthritis. Evidence has also shown that poor oral health is linked to socioeconomic factors, mental health, race, ethnicity, and nutrition. In particular, there is a growing issue around oral disease among the frail elderly and there are groups of Canadians who still have high rates of oral disease and little access to oral care. “I want to congratulate Dr. Velly and her team for their commitment to strengthening capacity for oral health research in Canada," says Ms. Bendayan. "The work that will be done at the JGH and institutions across the country will make an important contribution in our efforts to improve dental care and promote the health of Canadians.”

Quick Facts

  • Good oral health is an important part of overall health.
  • Vulnerable groups living in Canada have both the highest level of oral health problems and the most difficulty accessing oral health care.
  • Seeing a dentist is important to maintain good oral health, but it can be expensive. A third of Canadians currently do not have dental insurance, and in 2018, more than one in five Canadians reported avoiding dental care because of the cost.
  • The Government is supporting oral health research with $2 million in new funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research. The Network will support research, training, and knowledge sharing to improve oral health care for Canadians.

Associated Links

Media contact:
Pascal Fischer
Research Communications Officer
Lady Davis Institut
Tel.: 514-340-8222 x 28661 or 450-218-6487
For more about the Lady Davis Institute:
For more about the Jewish General Hospital:

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