uOMedTalks: Quarterly summary from the Executive Leadership Team (January 2021)

Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2021

a photo of a virtual conference call on a laptop screen

Dear colleagues,

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a chance to rest up over the holidays, and that 2021 has gotten off to a promising start, despite the significant effects of the ongoing pandemic. I am proud of how our members, learners and staff weathered the storms of 2020, and I look forward with optimism to seeing what this year will bring.

Reflecting back on the last few months of 2020, below you will find the latest quarterly highlights from your faculty leadership.

Executive Leadership Team (ELT) Highlights: October – December 2020  

Strategic Plan and Town Hall: The Strategic Blueprint, which supports the five priorities of our Strategic Plan (Education, Research, Engagement, Francophonie, and Internationalization and Global Health) through actionable items, was approved at Faculty Council. In addition, a comprehensive 2020 Progress Report was finalized, which shows achievement to date of strategic goals. In the vein of continued reporting back, the ELT elected to hold another series of Town Hall virtual meetings in order to discuss strategic progress and answer any questions from faculty, learners and staff on a wide range of topics.

2020 Year-End Celebrations: While most of 2020 precluded us from gathering in person, the ELT was pleased to gather with many of you online in December to celebrate some of the year’s best accomplishments. On December 15 we held an unprecedented Awards Ceremony that allowed participants to create an avatar and mingle in a virtual reality environment. This event paid tribute to our 25 winners of the Faculty of Medicine Awards of Excellence, and also honoured our recipients of the Research Day Awards and the COVID Recognition Program. This event followed on the heels of the bestowing of our Awards in Education, and of our Alumni Awards of Distinction ceremony. We have much to be proud of!

COVID-19 Pandemic Response Program: The ELT approved 11 projects, receiving up to $50,000 each, in support of new initiatives that accelerate the development, testing and implementation of medical, educational, social, and/or policy countermeasures to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19. Applications were welcomed from faculty, learners and staff, and I invite you to discover the diverse grant-winning projects.

Governance Terms of Reference (ToR): To better align with our Strategic Plan, slightly revised ToRs for both the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) were approved at the December 2020 Faculty Council. In addition to the dean, vice-deans and COO, the ELT now includes several new positions, for which new ToRs were also approved by ELT. The new positions on ELT include: vice-dean, internationalization and global health (Dr. Mark Walker as interim); associate dean, external relations, engagement and advancement (Dr. Ali Jalali); associate dean, social accountability (Dr. Claire Kendall); and director, strategic planning and implementation (Ms. Gillian Lord).

Social Accountability: Dr. Claire Kendall, associate dean of social accountability, asked the ELT to consider the Faculty’s identified priority populations. The decision was made to define the following groups: Indigenous populations, francophones living in minority context, people living in rural/remote communities, and marginalized groups (groups and communities that experience social, health, political and economic discrimination and exclusion).

Indigenous Affirmation: The ELT approved of the use of an Indigenous Affirmation for those wishing to use a standardized statement for events and/or written purposes. The Affirmation will be brought to the Senior Leadership Team for approval, and then shared with department chairs and managers.

Departmental Highlights: Following discussions between the dean and departmental chairs, the ELT formulated a proposal through Dr. Jalali to have rotating departmental highlights featured in the bullet point section of MedPoint. All members of the ELT agreed to proceed, and MarCom will prepare a template for departments to follow. Two departments per month will be asked to submit bullets on successes relating to the Faculty’s five strategic areas.

Triennial Plan: The dean updated ELT that he presented the Faculty’s Triennial Plan to uOttawa’s Central Budget Committee. Specifically, he presented requests for the 2021–2022 budget that would increase our operating funds by close to 15 percent, all of which would be invested in our ongoing and emerging initiatives in support of our Strategic Plan.

Cafeteria: The ELT was pleased to officially open Roger Guindon Hall’s revamped cafeteria through a small ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 18. The lounge is open to everyone, except for two small side rooms dedicated to medical students. Food services to come…

MD/PhD Director: The ELT approved the re-posting of the currently vacant position of director of the MD/PhD Program.

Renewal of Health Sciences Library: The ELT heard from leaders at uOttawa’s Library about a proposed new Health Sciences library to include a technology lab equipped with state-of-the-art tools and expert staff. Augmented and virtual reality, a micro-recording studio and a data visualization wall are some of the ideas being considered. The ELT was very enthusiastic about this proposal, especially as it relates to curriculum renewal, and leaders within the library are now developing the vision and key concepts in consultation with key Faculty of Medicine stakeholders. This renovated Health Sciences library would be located in Roger Guindon Hall in the current library location and is part of the Top Shelf Project to renew the Alta Vista Campus.

Leadership Retreat: As we have done since Dr. Jasmin became interim dean in 2017, the ELT, joined by the department chairs (SLT), will meet to discuss issues of priority for the Faculty at the 4th Annual Senior Leadership Team (SLT) Retreat. This year’s agenda is being finalized but will likely focus on reviewing/updating the Strategic Plan and Blueprint, and modifying it based on our 2020 progress and opportunities emerging from our vibrant environment. At the retreat, participants will be asked to also brainstorm on strategies and initiatives aimed at expanding our global leadership in many relevant sectors (as per our new mission statement), which ultimately should positively impact our world rankings. The virtual retreat will take place February 1 to 3, 2021.

Staying Connected…

Please continue to refer to the Faculty’s dedicated webpage for COVID-19 updates.

The ELT always enjoys hearing from you. 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


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