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

Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2021

a photo of a virtual conference call on a laptop screen

Dear colleagues,

As we welcome a new academic year, I am proud of the way our Faculty has weathered the pressures and turns posed by the pandemic. Our physicians, researchers, educators, learners and staff continue to do their best amid what have been trying times. I thank you wholeheartedly for your leadership and outstanding efforts, and I urge you to continue to take care of yourselves so that we may transition back to a better normal with intention and patience.

Below you will find some key points from recent leadership discussions.

Executive Leadership Team (ELT) Highlights: April – August 2021  

CoVaRR-Net – The Faculty was very proud to learn that Dr. Marc-Andre Langlois’ team has been granted $9 million by CIHR to lead the national Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network (CoVaRR-Net). The Network, which includes several of our members and affiliates, will allow for better researching and responding to the global threats posed by COVID-19 variants.

Staff Wellness Survey: Jennifer Dale, Manager, Human Resources, shared Faculty of Medicine specific results from uOttawa’s latest Wellness Check survey. Since the last survey in 2020, respondents showed an increase in mental health concerns and workload volume challenges, and a decrease in issues with tools and equipment. Roundtable management team meetings have resulted in the development of Wellness Action Plans, and the ELT adopted a Summer of Kindness approach to encourage all staff, faculty and learners to recharge from the demands of the pandemic.

University-Hospital Health Research Network: ELT was delighted to celebrate the historical milestone of our new partnership agreement between The Ottawa Hospital / Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa. Meant to formalize the commitment to fostering a dynamic, collaborative and impactful health research community through collaboration, it will allow us to align strategies on research priorities and infrastructure. Implementation will begin with the creation of working groups later this fall.

Centre for Indigenous Health Research and Education (CIHRE): On July 1st we were pleased to appoint Dr. Sarah Funnell as the CIHRE’s Founding Director. Under her leadership, discussions have and are taking place with faculty members and Indigenous communities to develop the priorities of the Centre, which will serve as a hub of transformation where education, research and practice align to address the right to self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous health will also be front of mind for the Faculty through activities planned during the Truth and Reconciliation Week (Sept 27 to Oct 1).

Centre for Innovative Medical Education (cIMED): Dr. Vicki LeBlanc, Chair of DIME, presented a proposal for the new cIMED, based on broad consultation and the work of an advisory committee of representatives from the breadth of our education-related portfolios. The Centre will allow for greater coordination and strategic growth of education successes, in both official languages, of the Faculty and its members. It aims to foster innovation, scholarship, and interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborations in health education; promote best practices between the scholarship and the practice of education; and support the delivery and scholarship of medical education through a community-of-practice approach. The ELT and SLT approved of the proposal, and it will be presented next to Faculty Council.  

Global Health Partnerships: Dr. Manisha Kulkarni, Director of the Global Health Program, presented ELT with two promising Global Health partnership initiatives. The first is a Strategy that outlines a set of key principles and approach for the Faculty of Medicine to partner with academic organizations in the global South. This would support shared experiences, opportunities, and learning, with an emphasis on reciprocity and shared benefits, as well as provide our learners, faculty and partners the collective ability to improve health outcomes and address health inequities in a particular region. The second is a new partnership with the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College in Tanzania, intended to provide opportunities for collaboration and reciprocal student/faculty exchanges in education, research, and clinical care. ELT approved of the partnership initiatives.

Interdisciplinary Centre for Black Health (ICBH): Dr. Sharon Whiting, Vice-Dean of Faculty Affairs, has been working with several uOttawa faculties and affiliated hospital research institutes in the creation of the ICBH, set to launch this fall. Meant to address gaps in research, care, training, and public policies, the ICBH will be Canada’s first academic research centre entirely dedicated to the study of the biological, social, economic, occupational and cultural determinants of health in the country’s Black communities.

Recognition Survey and Strategy: Dr. Erika Bariciak, Chair of the Faculty Experience Team, and Meghan Marcotte, Project Manager of Faculty Engagement in the Marketing and Communications Office, shared faculty recognition survey findings.  These, as well as a recognition strategy, will be shared across the departments early in the fall, with similar documents for staff coming shortly thereafter.

Staying Connected…

ELT is listening. Please feel free to reach out 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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