News Release

Cisco Systems Canada to Help Fund Expansion of NORTH Network

Innovative telehealth project improving healthcare across northern Ontario
Jan 21, 2002

TORONTO, ON - January 21, 2002 - Cisco Systems Canada today announced it has donated $120,000 to help fund the expansion of NORTH Network, Canada's most successful telehealth project, into an additional 33 communities throughout Northern Ontario. The telehealth initiative, which recently received $2 million in public funding from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, provides specialist consultations as well as continuing medical education and patient education to rural areas via two-way video conferencing.

"By digitally connecting specialists to remote communities, NORTH Network is reducing travel and, most importantly, improving patient care," said Dr. Ed Brown, Director of the NORTH Network at Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre. "Cisco's generous donation will help us expand our reach across Northern Ontario, just as Cisco technology is enabling our telehealth network."

"NORTH Network is a world-class e-health initiative, providing crucial services to some of Canada's most isolated communities," said Nitin Kawale, Director, Enterprise Operations, Cisco Systems Canada. "As the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, Cisco is proud to be involved with NORTH Network, a model for improving the efficiency and quality of healthcare through telehealth."

NORTH Network utilizes an advanced IP network infrastructure, based largely on Cisco technology, to deliver two-way health video conferencing that links northern Ontario patients with specialists in Toronto and other referral centres in Ontario. The Network's IP-based network videoconferencing solution uses the Cisco IP/VC Videoconferencing Product Family.

About NORTH Network

NORTH Network was established in 1998 to link northern Ontario communities in Timmins, Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Chapleau with Sudbury. Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, Baycrest Geriatric Centre and the Hospital for Sick Children serve as hubs in Toronto. NORTH Network patient surveys report that 96 per cent of patients who have used the network were satisfied or very satisfied with their telemedicine experience and 94 per cent of patients would use it again if needed.

The NORTH Network program is supported by public and private sector organizations, including Health Canada's CHIPP Program, Industry Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, close to 50 hospitals in Ontario, Northwestern Ontario Medical Program, Northeastern Ontario Medical Education Corporation, Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council and communities, K-Net, Cancer Care Ontario, National Centre of Excellence for Stroke Care, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, the Provincial Air Ambulance Program, HealNet, Cisco Systems Canada, Placer Dome Ltd, Weyerhaeuser Inc and most recently the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information are available at

About Cisco Systems Canada

Cisco Systems Canada Co. has offices across Canada dedicated to customer support, sales, and service. In addition, Cisco Systems has a significant research and development centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

For Additional Information:

  • Willa Black
    Cisco Systems Canada Co.
    Pager: 1-800-68-CISCO

  • Gareth Pettigrew
    Strategic/Ampersand Inc.
    416-961-5595 ext. 428