J.D. Irving has contributed $2 million to Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick's Medical Research Campaign to establish the first endowed occupational medicine research chair in Canada.
"As a company that is proud to call Saint John home for many of our manufacturing operations, we are very pleased to support this important first for Canada - a fully endowed chair in occupational Mmdicine. The health and safety of our employees is our top priority. This centre of excellence will support our commitment to continuous improvement, and advance best practices for occupational health and safety in Atlantic Canada and across the country," said Jim Irving, co-CEO of J.D. Irving.
Occupational medicine focuses on promoting, creating and maintaining healthy workplaces, free from preventable workplace illnesses and injuries. Good businesses know that companies that promote and protect workers' health are among the most successful and competitive.
"Today's gift exemplifies J.D. Irving, Limited's commitment to their employees and the health of New Brunswickers and Maritimers alike," said Tom Marrie, dean, Dalhousie Medical School. "There has been a real void of occupational medicine expertise in the Maritimes. The new chair will be the impetus for very positive impact on workplace-related injury and illness."
Anil Adisesh will serve as the inaugural J.D. Irving Limited Research Chair in Occupational Medicine. He comes to the position from the United Kingdom national Health and Safety Laboratory in Buxton, England, and is an internationally recognized researcher and clinical physician.
In addition to research, Adisesh will develop curriculum to ensure graduates have a strong knowledge of recognizing, managing and preventing workplace illness and injuries, collaborating with government, industry and labour to establish better workplace safety and well-being.
"The establishment of the J.D. Irving, Limited Research Chair in Occupational Medicine as the first medical faculty chair at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick is inspirational for me. There has been a tremendous collaborative effort undertaken through fundraising and organizational work by all the stakeholders from government, industry, labour, Horizon Health Network and Dalhousie University," said Adisesh. "The work of the chair in medical education, research and clinical service provision will be important in providing practical tools in the real world of work in the Maritimes and Canada's contribution to creating healthy workplaces."
Adisesh assumed the chair in June 2013 and will hold the position for five years.
This investment in world class occupational medicine research, clinical work and advancement of best practices is supportive of Industry Canada's Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) program as part of Irving's obligation under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.