PACE Network


The Promoting Access and Care through Centres of Excellence (PACE) network brings together leading inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) centres to advance best practices for medical professionals and elevate the standard of care for patients in Canada with IBD.
Launched in 2016, PACE is Canada’s first national network of IBD Centres of Excellence. Through collaborative research efforts between the centres, the network aims to address existing gaps in how people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis access care. Evidence gathered through research and clinical care will be the catalyst for changes in the public healthcare system.

In 2021, phase two of the PACE program, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada will launch priority-driven research programs that address gaps in care in the following areas for IBD patients in Canada:

1) Mental health; and
2) Diet and nutrition  

The initiatives will be developed and undergo pilot testing over a three-year period with the potential for national dissemination, and be recognized as a significant advancement in the quality of IBD healthcare delivery in Canada. 

What is an IBD Centre of Excellence?
To receive optimal care for Crohn’s or colitis, patients require a multidisciplinary team. When that team of specialists is scattered at various sites, it makes it difficult for patients to coordinate multiple visits and have their multi-faceted needs met.
For the PACE network, an IBD Centre of Excellence houses a team of medical professionals skilled in various areas to provide more complete care to people with Crohn’s or colitis. PACE sites provide leadership, research, and training for IBD care.
Servicing remote communities through telemedicine
This initiative out of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital looks to extend specialized Crohn’s and colitis care to underserviced communities. Dr. Geoff Nguyen and his team established an IBD telemedicine program in Ontario that provides timely access to IBD specialist for patients’ in remote areas underserviced by gastroenterology care.

The team at Mount Sinai Hospital expanded telemedicine accessibility to patients through nurses who specialize in treating IBD while utilizing existing provincial telemedicine infrastructure. In phase two of the PACE, the IBD telemedicine program will expand across the country.

Learn more about Mount Sinai’s PACE IBD telemedicine program
Learn more about the Ontario Telemedicine Network

Monitoring patient health between visits
Dr. John Marshall and Dr. Neeraj Narula at McMaster University Medical Centre in Hamilton are helping patients take a more active role in their healthcare by implementing MyGut, a combination of a mobile application and web-based platform. The MyGut program allows patients and healthcare teams to monitor the patients’ disease between planned visits. The electronic reporting tool also gives healthcare providers more robust information during visits with patients.
Once the MyGut program undergoes pilot testing, it will be available nationally to IBD healthcare providers and their patients. Available for download through Apple and Android stores, MyGut is a free, easy-to-use-app that enables patients’ to track, understand, and manage their journey with IBD. Patients’ require a referral code to connect their responses in the mobile application with the web-based MyGut Provider Portal. 

Learn more about the MyGut mobile application and MyGut Provider Portal. 
Reducing chronic steroid use
People with Crohn’s or colitis are often prescribed steroids to control their symptoms. While this treatment can be effective at relieving symptoms, it carries the potential for a number of short and long-term side effects.
Dr. Karen Kroeker, Dr. Remo Panaccione, and Dr. Cynthia Seow at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary developed a clinical care pathway that offers healthcare providers guidelines on how to limit or avoid steroid use. 

What is a clinical care pathway? A clinical care pathway is a structured care plan that describes the timing and actions required by providers in order for the patient to meet target goals in a timely manner and reduce the incidence of preventable errors. They can be an important method of closing the gap between evidence and actual practice.
Measuring healthcare advances
Dr. Alain Bitton and Dr. Waqqas Afif at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal established quality indicators, based on current evidence and patient input, which will measure the effectiveness of quality improvement programs in the Canadian IBD healthcare landscape. What is a quality indicator? Quality indicators are standardized, evidence-based measures of care delivery that reflect optimal care.

Additionally, the PACE team at McGill University Health Centre developed an IBD global rating scale. What is a global rating scale? A global rating scale is a web-based self-assessment tool that allows clinics and healthcare professionals to review the quality of their care delivery and the impact of any improvements to care services.

Transition of care for IBD pediatric patients to adult healthcare services

This pediatric-focused PACE initiative is the most recent project added to the program. Dr. Eric Benchimol (Hospital for Sick Children), Dr. Melanie Barwick (Hospital for Sick Children), Dr. Nancy Bollegala (Women’s College Hospital/University of Toronto) and Dr. Nancy Fu (University of British Columbia) have teamed up to create a national care model for IBD pediatric patients transitioning to the adult healthcare system. What is a transition of care intervention program? Transition of care is the purposeful and planned movement of adolescents and young adults with a chronic medical condition to adult-oriented healthcare systems/healthcare providers. 

An effective transition from child-centred to adult-centred healthcare systems for IBD patients is essential to prevent harmful effects on their health and overall quality of life. 


Development of a Global Rating Scale for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Access to Specialists and Emergency Department Visits in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Selection of Quality Indicators in IBD: Integrating Physician and Patient Perspectives
Transforming Access to Specialist Care for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The PACE Telemedicine Program​
PACE marks its second year with further progress in raising the standards of Crohn’s and colitis care
PACE program adds a new partner in Thunder Bay 
PACE program adds new site co-lead in Calgary
The progress of PACE, one year after launch
Bringing care closer to people with Crohn’s or colitis
New Crohn's and Colitis Canada Network Unites World-Class Canadian Healthcare Centres

Terms of Reference 

Please find below the Promoting Access and Care Through Centres of Excellence (PACE) Terms of Reference, which will provide you with more information about the roles and responsibilities of our Steering and Oversight Committees. In addition, you will find a list of the current membership.
Terms of Reference

Strengthen the PACE network
Donations to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada allow the PACE network to carry on its vital work and elevate inflammatory bowel disease care. Click here to make a donation

Contact information

To learn more about the PACE program, please contact:

Katy Devitt
Manager, Research Programs
416-920-5035 x229


  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

Other Areas of Interest