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MESSAGE FROM THE DEPT. HEADS
The COVID-19 pandemic has been thrust upon us and many activities have been pushed aside as we prepare for what may come. I must admit to having had some uncertainty of purpose until Kelly Zarnke shared ‘Flatten the Curve’ with me. The internet offers variations of this graphic. Perhaps most compelling is that from Flowing Data which includes the quality of patient care that can be achieved with and without early containment measures. https://flowingdata.com/2020/03/09/flatten-the-coronavirus-curve/
Aside from providing a crystal-clear rationale as to why it matters that we screen, use PPE, and self-isolate, the Flatten the Curve graphic also reinforced to me the need to be thoughtful about everything we do. What is the objective? And of the many paths to getting there, which is most efficient, effective, and safe? Too often we fall into the habit of being habitual. We do things because “it’s always been done that way”.
Education can be guilty of the habitual. We’ve all been to lectures where the speaker finishes when it’s time to leave. I’m guilty having given some of them. Not much time for questions or debate. And if anything was accomplished, it was the emails because only a few points would have impact on behaviour. I rather like presentations where the speaker begins at the end, “These are the three take home messages!” I sometimes wonder what would happen if that was followed by, “please take them now, we’re done!” While there are advantages to passive learning, they are few and perhaps it is time to replace lectures with webinars or Youtube-style videos. I’ve had some encouraging discussions about that recently and would love to setup a medical studio to that end. I found some interesting literature on this subject.
Wash your hands, for your health and to flatten the curve.
MESSAGE FROM ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP
Taking on the role of Zone Clinical Department Manager almost 3 months ago came at a time of multiple leadership changes for the Department of Medicine. Seeing both Dr. Leigh move onto a new role as well as Andrew Jenkins ending his interim role as department manager occurred simultaneously with my onboarding as well as Dr. Schaeffer and Dr. Zarnke assuming their interim roles as Department Heads.
I think it is fair to say that some of the dust has settled and having the opportunity to connect face-to-face with the members of this team has been very meaningful to me in order to not only learn about you but also support you through this time of transition.
It has been a great opportunity to work with and to get to know a bit about each division to gain some understanding of both the successes and the challenges being faced. I have gained so much insight from the honest dialogue about everything that will be upcoming and anything currently that would directly impact the department as whole. Being able to take part in these conversations has inspired me by the teamwork that I observe and the willingness to work collaboratively. I am very eager to contribute to the solutions and goals of this department moving forward.
It is not lost on me that our health care organization is being tasked with large scale changes that affect both operations and physicians in differing measures. With change comes much angst about the possibilities and future outcomes, many of which the leadership team has no definitive answers for. I want to acknowledge the ongoing work and dedication the Department of Medicine team, both staff and physicians, continues to show despite the information we have received and the speculations that continue to surface. I will endeavor to be as transparent as I can in sharing information that is current and accurate as possible as well as to engage those affected as actively as I am able.
I want to thank all of you for being extremely welcoming and supportive as I transition into this role. Coming from clinical operations, there are some similarities but also some very key differences that, without your support and knowledge, I would not be able to learn and grow from. The staff on the 9th floor, the physician leadership, the medical affairs leadership and the clinical operations leadership has been very gracious with their time in reaching out to welcome me and bring me up to speed on the department. I look forward to working with all of you over the next year. I know that with great change can come great challenges; however, I feel that the individuals within this department are well equipped for what is ahead and I have no doubt that we will be able to achieve some great successes together.
RCSPC INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION AWARD
Dr. Gwen Hollaar and Dr. Jane Lemaire are co-recipients of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s (RCPSC) 2019 Royal College International Collaboration Award.
The Royal College International Collaboration Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and excellence in advancing postgraduate medical education and residency training outside Canada, through — but not limited to —enacting, participating in, or promoting Royal College frameworks, programs and/or collaborations.
Drs. Hollaar and Lemaire, together with their Lao colleagues, have provided the leadership to help develop a new medical school undergraduate curriculum, initiate a family medicine training program and provide continuing medical education opportunities for family medicine program graduates. They work tirelessly with their Lao colleagues to strengthen medical education within teaching hospitals and rural teaching sites.
The Laos project is supported by a multitude of invested physician and non-physician volunteers and colleagues both in Calgary and Laos. This immensely productive and successful collaboration has spawned friendships, positive change and hope.
Please join us in congratulating Drs. Hollaar and Lemaire on this accomplishment!
CROHN’S & COLITIS CANADA PHYS. OF THE YEAR
The Physician of the Year Award recognizes a physician who has made exceptional contributions to the clinical care of patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. In addition, the recipient is acknowledged by patients and families as a caring and dedicated healthcare provider who has made a substantial impact to the delivery of clinical care of Crohn’s and colitis patients. This award celebrates those specialists who have displayed a steadfast commitment to their patients, serving as both physician and patient advocate, often beyond normal “office” hours.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Novak on this accomplishment!
CANADIAN ACADEMY OF HEALTH SCIENCES
Dr. Braden Manns and Dr. Mark Swain were inducted into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) on September 19, 2019. The CAHS has recognized Drs. Manns and Swain, along with three other UCalgary faculty members, for their positive impact on the urgent health concerns of Canadians.
CAHS fellows advise the public and private sectors on complex health challenges, providing strategic and actionable solutions to help inform public policy. They do so through interdisciplinary and evidence-based assessments.
“As leaders in their field, and now fellows of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, these five scholars are making tremendous progress in how we address Canadians’ most pressing health concerns,” says Andre Buret, interim vice-president (research). “This honour will expand the reach of their research as they offer their expertise on matters of critical importance.”
Please join us in congratulating Drs. Manns and Swain on this accomplishment!
UCALGARY PRE-CLERKSHIP AWARDS
Drs. Darren Burback, Alex Leung, and Kevin McLaughlin have received Pre-Clerkship “Behind-the-Scenes” Awards from Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) at the University of Calgary.
Dr. Darren Burback received his award in recognition of significant “Behind-the-Scenes” contributions to the Pre-Clerkship Community Correlation for the Population Health Course in the 2018-19 academic year.
Dr. Alex Leung received his award in recognition of significant “Behind-the-Scenes” contributions to the Pre-Clerkship Course IV in the 2019-20 academic year.
Dr. Kevin McLaughlin received his award in recognition of significant “Behind-the-Scenes” contributions to the Pre-Clerkship Course IV in the 2019-20 academic year.
Please join us in congratulating Drs. Burback, Leung, and McLaughlin!
CIHR EARLY CAREER INVESTIGATOR GRANT
Dr. Leslie Skeith has received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Early Career Investigator Grant in Maternal, Reproductive, Child & Youth Health, with a special call in Infection/Immunity for her project, “A prospective study evaluating complement activation among pregnant patients with obstetrical antiphospholipid syndrome”.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Skeith and the entire antiphospholipid syndrome project team, which includes Drs. Paul Gibson, Ann Clarke, Louis Girard, and Marvin Fritzler, on this accomplishment!
CHOOSING WISELY ALBERTA GRANT
Dr. Kerri Novak has received a grant from Choosing Wisely Alberta for her project, “Can we improve the use of gastroscopy to investigate dyspepsia in otherwise healthy adults in Alberta? Sharing Choosing Wisely guidelines, current practice patterns and resources to optimize appropriate use”.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Novak on this accomplishment!