The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) declares the Smooth Rock Falls Hospital Foundation and community member Trista Breton the official winners of The NOSM Trivia Challenge. The trivia contest ran from November 10, 2020 to January 12, 2021.
Individuals across the country were invited to pick any Northern Ontario community from the drop-down menu and help them win $10,000 for a local health-care centre and qualify for a $1,000 individual cash prize. Questions related specifically to Northern Ontario, including: Indigenous and Francophone health; health equity in the North; impacts of access to health care in the region geography; and, history and culture.
NOSM launched the online game with the announcement of the School’s new strategic plan, The NOSM Challenge 2025. “The NOSM Trivia Challenge was developed to help our communities and supporters learn more about NOSM, about health care in the North and general facts about Northern Ontario,” says Dr. Sarita Verma, NOSM Dean, President and CEO. “It was a fun, creative and COVID-safe way to connect the communities of Northern Ontario with their medical school. We are impressed with the spirit and collaboration within these communities to rally together in order to improve quality health care in their region.”
More than 1,300 registrants took part in The NOSM Trivia Challenge, with 77 Northern Ontario communities represented. Communities with the highest score following Smooth Rock Falls were Red Lake, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Hornepayne and Marathon. A full list of the rankings can be found on NOSM’s website.
Lina Arseneault is a member of the Board of Directors for the Smooth Rock Falls Hospital Foundation. She encouraged community participation by posting a challenge on Facebook. With posts in French and English, Arseneault explained how their community could play the NOSM Trivia Challenge and win some much needed funds for the local hospital. She says she was absolutely thrilled with how the community came together.
“The $10,000 prize is going to be used to buy three hydraulic lifts for the long-term care area of the hospital,” Arseneault says. “The lifts will benefit both patients and staff, aiding them in safely and securely moving people from a bed to a wheelchair to a bathtub. It was a community effort for a greater purpose that will serve future generations and loved ones.”
The $1,000 cash prize went to Trista Breton, who also resides in Smooth Rock Falls.
“Thank you to everyone who played the game,” says Dr. Verma. “We hope you had fun learning more about health care in Northern Ontario and the unique challenges NOSM is working to overcome in its strategic plan. Thank you to the our sponsor, TD Insurance, for their assistance in making The NOSM Trivia Challenge possible.”
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is an award-winning socially accountable medical school renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research. With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and advocacy for health equity, NOSM relies on the commitment and expertise of the peoples and communities of Northern Ontario to educate health-care professionals to practise in Indigenous, Francophone, rural, remote and underserved communities.