uOMedTalks: Updates from the Executive Leadership Team (January 2022)

Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2022

a photo of a virtual conference call on a laptop screen

Dear colleagues,

I hope this new year finds you in good spirits, despite the ongoing pressures of the pandemic. 2021 closed with many accomplishments at the Faculty of Medicine, and I am extremely proud of our leadership and efforts in these challenging times.

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

Executive Leadership Team (ELT) Highlights: September – December 2021  

COVID-19: All of our Faculty of Medicine community continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, and many of you are actively working on solutions, whether they be on the front lines, in research or teaching innovation, or in an operational capacity. Two highlights from the fall that reflect our local and national leadership and teamwork in this area are:

  • CoVaRR-Net: Dr. Marc-André Langlois continues to lead the nation’s Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network (CoVaRR-Net), with a recent $9-million grant renewal from CIHR.
  • COVID Clinic at RGN: We hosted a TOH-CHEO clinic in the RGN atrium and classrooms, which that allowed our health care workers, researchers, staff, and their children to receive a COVID vaccination or booster, as well as the flu shot. The ELT worked with staff to operationalize the clinic within a few days, and we were thrilled to offer this service onsite.

New Programs: ELT was delighted to learn that some new high-profile programs that were developed in the Faculty have recently been approved by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance.

  • Undergraduate Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD): Falling under our new School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, this program will be offered uniquely in French, meeting a societal need for French pharmacists, and complementing our strategic priorities of la francophonie and new innovative educational programs. The program is expected to welcome its first cohort of students in the fall of 2023.
  • Master of Applied Science in Anatomical Sciences Education (MASc): Offered by DIME, this 20-month research-paper-based program is the first to offer anatomy instruction and laboratory training in both French and English. Focusing on anatomy education and modern medical education principles, this laboratory-course-intensive program will focus on student-centred learning and innovative teaching strategies.

Awards Ceremonies: This fall saw many of our faculty, learners and staff formally recognized for their outstanding accomplishments. I encourage you to explore these celebrations below.

Recognition: To acknowledge all aspects of recognition, including day-to-day and informal, the Faculty Experience Team has finalized our Faculty Member Recognition Strategy. This was informed by our Recognition Survey, the Faculty-level results of which were shared with all faculty members, along with the Strategy, in December. In addition, departmental-level survey results were shared with department chairs, for circulation within their membership. Similar documents for staff will be circulated shortly.

Planetary Health: Dr. Husein Moloo, interim director, planetary health, was introduced to the ELT. He outlined his initial priorities in the position: namely, to seek incorporating planetary health into the curriculum; identify best practices in planetary health education for medical students and residents; and to partner with TOH and other affiliate hospitals. The ELT was very supportive of his directions. Subsequent discussions have been focused on creating a formal entity for planetary health in our Faculty and on developing graduate programs.

Global Health: Dr. Manisha Kulkarni, director of the Global Health Program, gave the ELT fall updates on a wide range of activities in her portfolio, including elements such as the Global Health Advisory Committee, progress on partnerships, and educational innovations, including new monthly seminars and a journal club. The ELT approved the proposed Terms of Reference for a Faculty of Medicine Taskforce on fairness and antiracism to enhance academic research, partnerships and education in global health. This is in line with the ELT’s support to be the first Canadian university to sign on to the Brocher Declaration, a statement of ethical principles for global health engagements.

Graduate Studies Learner Demographics: Dr. Nadine Wiper-Bergeron, assistant dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, presented the ELT with data identifying challenges faced by underrepresented groups in our basic science programs. Her analysis found that race/ethnicity was a barrier to recognition and scholarships, while Francophonie and gender were not. Other findings include overall concern for mental health of learners and financial barriers at all program levels. Recommendations were made for the voluntary collection of demographic data, better EDI training for evaluation committees, additional access to financial and wellness supports, and a dedicated space for prayer.

Centre for Indigenous Health Research and Education (CIHRE): Dr. Sarah Funnell, director of CIHRE, and Lisa Abel, program manager, presented the ELT with an overview of CIHRE activities over the last year, including much outreach on the Centre’s priorities. Next steps involve finalizing an organizational development report, continuing to engage within the Faculty and with the Indigenous community, and creating a formal proposal for Faculty Council. The ELT suggested exploring increased access to cultural safety, and Indigenous language educational opportunities.

Alumni and Donors: The ELT heard from Advancement Office staff on various efforts to strengthen outreach and engagement opportunities with alumni, donors and the community. Tim Hoswitschka discussed prospecting and stewardship. Sarah Nelems and Kerry Winnemore spoke of the importance of engaging current learners and appealing to women of influence interested in FoM cases for support.

Staying Connected…

ELT welcomes your feedback. Get in touch anytime by emailing infomed@uOttawa.ca (or by calling ext. 8117).

Also, in the vein of valuing your exceptional colleagues, don’t forget to recognize someone deserving of accolades via our Professional Affairs kudos.

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


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