uOMedTalks: Quarterly summary from the Executive Leadership Team (October 2020)

Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

In this final issue of uOMedTalks for 2020, I want to acknowledge the various hardships that we have each faced this year due to the pandemic, and more recently the uOttawa administrative staff strike. We have had to alter our usual way of life, and deal with ongoing uncertainty and upheaval in our labs, offices, and clinical settings. Our front-line workers have had to make many sacrifices, and we owe a great deal of gratitude to them for helping keep our community well cared for. We are all having good days and bad days, and it’s important now more than ever for all of us to practice self care.

ELT has continued to lead through challenging situations, and I’m honoured to be part of such a committed team. Below are our last quarterly highlights so that you may stay informed of your Faculty’s latest progress.


ELT Highlights: July – September 2020

Expansion of Translational and Molecular Medicine (TMM) Program: Dr. Alain Stintzi, Vice-Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, informed his fellow ELT members of the continued uptake of the TMM program, which saw a doubling in enrollment in this very popular 2-year program bringing the total number of students to 120. Work is underway with the Faculty of Science to develop a joint 4-year TMM Program.

Innovation and Partnerships: Dr. Daniel Figeys (our recently appointed Interim Director, Innovation and Partnerships) presented a proposal on “Developing our Innovation and Partnership Plan”. Dr. Figeys explained how he has been in discussions with partners for plans on innovation and education (such as a proposal for new programs between Medicine and business and for science-based entrepreneurs); innovation and research (such as in biomedical, clinical, educational research); and partnerships (nationally and internationally with government and industry). He emphasized the importance of fostering equity, diversity and inclusion in innovation and partnerships.

Social Accountability: Dr. Claire Kendall, our new Assistant Dean, Social Accountability, presented details of her Social Accountability Grants Program, expected to launch in 2021. The Program aims to strengthen partnerships between the Faculty of Medicine and our community stakeholders, as well as provide opportunities for learners and faculty members to design and execute research through meaningful engagement with community organizations. ELT was very supportive of the new initiative.

Centre for Indigenous Health Research and Education: On top of our undergraduate medical education’s Indigenous Program, which strives to increase awareness of Indigenous cultures and traditional knowledge, trains Indigenous physicians, and helps prepare medical students practice cultural safety in serving Indigenous populations, Indigenous health is also a top research priority for the Faculty. To that aim, and in support of our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action on Indigenous health and the education of health professionals, we are currently shaping the direction for our Centre for Indigenous Health Research and Education (CIHRE). Much more to come on that front!

International Learner Community: Dr. Mark Walker, Interim Director of the International and Global Health Office, outlined his proposal for the creation of an International Learner Community (ILC), to be launched in 2021. In conjunction with several Offices at the FoM and at uOttawa, the ILC would: create a community of support; provide resources on topics related to international visa or work/study permits and Canadian culture; and celebrate international learning achievements and intercultural connections. The ELT approved for the initiative to progress to the stage of finalizing the proposal and creating a working group to develop the program.

Executive Onboarding and Professional Development Program: Alexandre Messager, Manager, Human Resources and Faculty/Clinical Leadership Development, shared details about a new program being offered to support faculty leaders. The aims of the Program are to promote and ensure success of the academic mission of the department, and to develop the participant as part of the succession planning process at the Faculty of Medicine. ELT members approved of this initiative.

Harmonized Communications: To facilitate consistency in high level branding, the Office of Marketing and Communications will update and circulate an electronic signature that meets uO guidelines and includes different pronoun use options. FoM letterhead and PowerPoint templates featuring our new logo will also be re-shared.

Reengineering of the Business Transformation Office: Michelle Emard, COO, shared a new Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Office formerly known as BTO. The new mission is to successfully identify, lead and be accountable for business process improvement projects by supplying resources and tools for skills development, project management and business analysis expertise to departments, programs and business service units using Six Sigma and Lean methodologies. The Office is currently exploring a new name. The ELT approved the ToR.

Staying Connected…

A reminder that 2020 marks our Faculty’s 75th birthday, You can read more about the founding of the faculty, and past and present-day achievements, via our 75th anniversary website.

Please continue as well to refer to the FoM’s designated webpage for COVID updates.

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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