Where we've been and where we're going.
Compassionate, quality healthcare for all Canadians, in a system advanced by technology, innovation, and a rich understanding of our medical history.
Our work advances a Canadian healthcare system through innovation and technology while remaining rooted in compassion and our medical history. We convene networks, develop leaders, and fund crucial activities in medical history, healthcare research, education, and clinical practice. Our work helps improve care for all Canadians.
Canadian healthcare practitioners, leaders, educators, and medical historians:
Join a one-of-a-kind group. With our funding and support, you’ll contribute to a rich body of work and advance inquiry, system change, and your career.
Our Founding, a pioneer in prepaid healthcare
Dr. Jason Hannah founded Associated Medical Services (AMS) in Ontario in 1937 as Canada's first physician sponsored, not-for-profit prepaid health care organization. It served hundreds of thousands of people in Ontario who would not have otherwise have qualified for a prepaid health insurance plan.
The '60's and '70's
AMS becomes a self-funded charity
Though Ontario joined the national Medicare program in 1969, we continued with our original work until 1972. That's when our mandate changed. We became a self-funded charity, using what remained of our original subscribers funds as the source of our income. This is how we fund AMS today.
The late 70's
Connecting with medical faculties
In partnership, with five Ontario medical faculties, we established the Hannah Institute for the History of Medicine. Initially, it oversaw the work of our flagship program-the Hannah Chairs-named after our founder, as well as AMS grants in the history of medicine. The intention of the Hannah Chairs program was to support the pursuit of scholarly activity in the history of medicine, an underfunded discipline at the time.
The '80's and '90's
New focus, new partnerships
Recognizing the importance of medical education to the delivery of care, we partnered with those five Ontario medical faculties and the Government of Ontario to focus on medical education. Together, we created the EFPO framework (Educating Future Physicians for Ontario) which evolved into the foundation for the CanMEDS Framework, now the world’s most recognized competency framework for physicians.
We also invested in education for end-of-life care and helped establish bioethics as a discipline within Canadian medical faculties. Our educational focus today is on the history of medicine, and we remain that discipline’s primary funder in Canada.
Compassion at our core
In June 2011, we announced the AMS Phoenix Project: A Call to Caring. It was based on the premise that health professionals provide the best care when they can balance human compassion and technical expertise. The project was very successful and its eventual expansion included several partnerships. Though it’s no longer a formal AMS program, the Phoenix program set us on our current path—focusing on compassion in healthcare. Today, we work to promote compassion and healthcare technology, which affects patients and providers in every facet of the healthcare system.
Where history, compassion, and technology meet
We celebrated our 80th anniversary in 2017. Though our mandate has shifted over the years, we continue to pursue innovative ways to advance health care in Canada. We believe deeply in our core streams: the history of medicine, and ensuring that compassionate care and technology go hand in hand. We see an incredible opportunity for digital health, in particular, to reshape Canadian healthcare, given its accelerating use in our system. At AMS, we’ll continue to support those who advance the cause of better healthcare for everyone in Canada.
The people driving our organization
Our staff and board members are truly dedicated to people who are working to improve Canadian healthcare. We're fortunate to have such a wealth of expertise backing our mission.
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