uOMedTalks: Quarterly Summary from the Executive Leadership Team (April 2020)

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Dear colleagues,

This year, while still young, has moved rapidly from celebratory beginnings, to strategic focus, to emergency action. Our 75th anniversary and our new strategic plan, still very much on our radar, have taken a back seat in the current pandemic environment. While life has been anything but normal over the last month and a half, at every level our faculty continues to display remarkable stamina, whether it be in ongoing priorities or in new imperatives. I welcome you to read about our latest quarterly highlights below.

ELT Highlights: January – March 2020

  • Faculty of Medicine’s 75th Anniversary: 2020 marks the Faculty’s 75th birthday, and we kicked off the year with a media-covered launch event. Over 250 distinguished guests, including alumni and donors, were congratulated by uOttawa president Jacques Frémont. Our Jason A. Hannah Chair in History of Medicine, Dr. Susan Lamb, regaled the crowd with stories of the little faculty that could. You can read more about the founding of the Faculty, and past and present-day achievements, via our 75th anniversary website.
  • ELT Retreat and Faculty Strategic Plan: The ELT, joined by department chairs, held its annual retreat from February 3 to 5. Our new five-year strategic plan, Leading Innovation for a Healthier World, was the main topic, with discussion around governance of the Faculty and the Strategic Plan, and the associated actionable blueprint. Under each of the 20 goals within the strategic plan’s five main themes (education, research, engagement, la francophonie, and internationalization and global health), the blueprint identifies 81 objectives and 183 action items. During the retreat, a short list was identified, resulting in 12 broad-based priority initiatives to be reported on quarterly. I am happy to share that plans on priorities like Artificial Intelligence, the École de pharmacie, and the Institute of Medical Education are moving forward, among others. In early March, the blueprint and the list of 12 priorities were circulated internally for feedback. Given the ensuing pandemic, the deadline for comments has been extended to September 15, and all feedback is welcome at infomed@uottawa.ca.
  • COVID-19: The Faculty of Medicine has been working with affiliate hospitals and research institutes, Ottawa Public Health, and uOttawa to ensure timely decision-making and communications in the face of this unprecedented challenge. Our clinicians, researchers, teachers, learners and staff have shown, and continue to show, tremendous courage, commitment and adaptability in this ever-changing landscape. Wherever possible, business continuity planning has enabled the carrying on of our important work. Please continue to refer to the FoM’s designated webpage for COVID updates.
  • International Womxn’s Week: Our Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), which offers seminar series, training programs and mentorship to support diversity, for International Womxn’s Week this year organized several special events geared at women in science.
  • Mois de la Francophonie: March also saw celebration of our francophone spirit with festival Francofun. Before the effects of the pandemic, Affaires francophones were able to put on an array of creative events including movies, games and an improv show.
  • CaRMS Match: Dr. Melissa Forgie, vice-dean of UGME, was happy to announce that after the second iteration, 100 percent of students from MD 2020 who entered the 2020 cycle matched.
  • École de pharmacie: The creation of a school offering an undergraduate doctoral program in pharmacy in French at the Faculty of Medicine is progressing well. Following an internal environmental scan and a needs study conducted by an external firm, a team of experts is working to make the project a reality. The program will meet the need for pharmacists able to speak French in minority communities across the country. The training of future pharmacists will focus on some of the most innovative learning elements, including the competency-based approach, active and experiential learning, spiral curriculum and interprofessionalism. The creation of this school also aligns with our ongoing and emerging research initiatives in areas such as drug discovery and innovative therapeutics.
  • Faculty of Medicine Research Chairs: As part of our Clinical Research Chairs Program, which aims to support excellence in clinical research with an ultimate goal of improving health and/or patient care, this year we offered a new opportunity: the Clinical Research Chair in Wellness, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Professionalism.
  • Women in Leadership Fund: The ELT also approved a fund to support women faculty members to take programs that encourage them to pursue senior roles in health education at the Faculty of Medicine.
  • FoM Recognition Strategy: Meghan Marcotte updated the ELT on MarCom’s work with the Faculty Experience Team and Faculty Affairs on recognition. The ELT reviewed, and gave feedback on, a draft recognition strategy.
  • Policy on Hiring and Retention: To create and maintain a diverse and inclusive learning environment that reflects the demographic of our population, the Faculty of Medicine has developed a policy on hiring and retention for faculty members. Identifying best practices and procedures will help promote the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, and support increased participation of underrepresented groups, such as those identified in the Canada Employment Equity Act (women, visible minorities, Indigenous people and peoples with disabilities as well as LGBTQ2SA+ individuals, men in female-dominated specialties and francophones).
  • International Partnerships: The ELT, based on recommendations from the International and Global Health Office (IGHO), approved the following partnership renewals:
    • Université de Paris (formerly Université Paris Descartes) – basic sciences research – primary emphasis, teaching, student and faculty mobility
    • University of Fukui – focused niche collaboration in reproductive sciences

We are here for you…

During this difficult time, know that your Executive Leadership Team wants to support you in any way we can. You can reach out to me anytime by emailing infomed@uOttawa.ca (or by calling ext. 8117).

Bernard Jasmin, PhD
Dean and Professor, Faculty of Medicine
University of Ottawa

Photo of Dr. Bernard Jasmin, dean of the Faculty of Medicine.



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