Happy New Year to everyone in this great Department! Five years ago this month on a very cold day, I joined the University of Ottawa. The journey over the last five years has been exciting and very rewarding. Skating on the Rideau Canal, skiing in Gatineau Park, attending the NAC and the National Gallery have been exciting. More importantly, I have made wonderful friends and worked with amazing colleagues in the best Department of Family Medicine in the country! These are all reasons for students to choose our training program as we embark on the CaRMS process.
We have achieved a lot in the last five years, built on the accomplishments of current and former colleagues. We are fully accredited with an outstanding program and continued research success. We renewed our governance and accountability processes. We work with a wonderful team in a great new facility at Peter Morand. Our partners continue to excel with a new AFP implemented at the Montfort, a successful reinstatement of the PGY3 in anesthesia, the finalizing of the Chair in Primary Care, Healthy Aging and Dementia and many other accomplishments to be highlighted in the upcoming annual report.
Our faculty and students are recognized with awards and promotions. We have welcomed many new faculty members, both part-time and full time. In the last year we welcomed the following full-time faculty: Dr. Rita Hafizi and Dr. Erin Stone, Primrose clinic; Dr. Shauna Bassel, Riverside clinic; Dr. Moweya Zayad and Dr. Kheira Jolin-Dahel, Melrose Clinic; Dr. Sufian Zayad, Bruyere clinic. Our future is bright with these talented new members.
I am fully aware that change is coming: for me, for the faculty and as always, for our learners. The search committee has begun the deliberations to recruit a new Chair for the Department of Family Medicine. I trust you will find an excellent leader. My goals in the coming months are to ensure a stable transition and to finalize a number of outstanding projects. Thanks to Sylvie Forgues-Martel we have successfully recruited five talented new staff. We anticipate two additional replacements in the next month. We have a great team and they have risen to the challenges of being short-staffed.
January begins our budget planning cycle. We have been working on new methods to ensure that we are supporting our programs in a transparent and accountable manner while providing more autonomy for innovation. As we implement these changes, we are mindful of the pressures on budgets. We are continuing to develop streamlined processes to ensure accurate and timely payments. I will ensure the Department is in the best financial position possible.
I look forward to supporting faculty and residents to continue to excel in our Department.