Dr. Bjerre takes a new chair

Five dignitaries from the university of Ottawa faculty of medicine and hospital Montfort stand holding a giant $2 M cheque

The Department of Family Medicine, Institut du Savoir Montfort, and Fondation Montfort are proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Lise Bjerre to the new position of University of Ottawa and Institut du Savoir Montfort Chair in Family Medicine.

"Dr. Bjerre's impressive background in both family medicine and research, as well as her innovation and flexibility, make her the ideal person to take on this ambitious mandate,” said Dr. William Hogg, associate vice-president of research and acting scientific director of the Institut du Savoir Montfort (ISM). 

"Dr. Bjerre draws inspiration for her research from her clinical practice, which is very close to her heart. This keeps it firmly rooted in the reality of medical practice, while ensuring relevance of her research.’’

Epidemiologist and family physician

Dr. Bjerre is an epidemiologist and a practicing family physician at the Civic Family Health Team within The Ottawa Hospital. In addition to her clinical career in family medicine, which she has led on two continents, she has extensive research experience as a clinician-researcher with the DMF since 2010. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Family Medicine and is also affiliated with the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa. The accomplished researcher is also an Adjunct (full-status) Scientist at ICES - the agency responsible for Ontario's population health databases, which she uses for several of her studies. 

Her areas of interest focus on access to primary health care (particularly for vulnerable and underserved populations, including Francophone minorities and rural populations), and on the appropriate use of medications at the population level. She also conducts evidence-based knowledge syntheses to improve clinical practice and to foster patient involvement in managing their own health. In addition, she uses artificial intelligence (AI) in combination with population databases as a means to make better use of existing data resource.

A mission to inspire

"It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I embark on this new mandate, but also with great humility and a strong sense of the responsibilities that this role entails. I see the role of the Chair in Family Medicine first and foremost as one of leadership, whose mission is to inspire, support and conduct rigorous research that produces relevant results and contributes to the dissemination of knowledge and the improvement of health for all." said Dr. Bjerre. 

 "To do so, I will work hard to attract and support high-calibre researchers, fellows, postdoctoral students and graduate students at the Institut du Savoir Montfort. This will help to promote the ISM's strategic vision and its positioning as a center of research excellence, in Canada and abroad, in the field of family medicine research.’’

Supporting and advancing la francophonie

Dr. Clare Liddy, chair of the Department of Family Medicine, noted that Dr. Bjerre’s experience and expertise will lead research that advances primary care for all, while working towards the elimination of health inequities for francophone Canadians. 

“Our department is privileged to include, support and advance our francophone medical learners, educators, patients and communities, and we eagerly anticipate collaborating with Dr. Bjerre at every opportunity to realize our shared visions for excellence and equality in primary care,’’ Dr. Liddy said.

“The Fondation Montfort is proud to welcome Dr. Bjerre as the first Chair to address the impact of health care services on linguistic minorities in Canada. Philanthropy and community support will provide Dr. Bjerre with a solid financial foundation for her research work,” said Mr. Marc Villeneuve, president and CEO of the Fondation Montfort. “Once again, we are able to demonstrate that philanthropy is a strong foundation for achieving excellence.’’

Research activities

As Chair in Family Medicine, Dr. Bjerre explained that her research activities will aim to provide rigorous knowledge aimed at improving the health and quality of life of patients, their families and our communities.

 "This goal is well aligned to my research program on access to health care and the appropriate use of medications at the population level, which I will continue to actively pursue,’’ she said.

Dr. Bjerre holds a B.Sc. in Biology from Concordia University, an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Epidemiology from McGill University, a Medical Doctorate (MDCM) from McGill University, and a Medical Doctorate (Dr. Med) from the University of Göttingen, Germany. 

Dr. Lise Bjerre, smiling, stands in front of a piece of abstract art

Above: Dr. Lise Bjerre is pursing research on access to health care and the appropriate use of medications at the population level.

Photo at top of page: A $2M cheque to fund the new Chair is held by (left to right): Dr. Clare Liddy, Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, Ronald Caza, Board Chair of the Monfort Foundation, Marc Villeneuve, President and CEO of Fondation Montfort, Céline Monette, President of the Institut de Savoir Montfort, and Dr. Denis Prud'homme, Associate Vice-President, Research, and Scientific Director of the Institut de recherche de l’Hôpital Montfort


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