"Building the medical network of the 21st century, a network without walls, without boundaries, without limits to quality patient care, research and education for the benefit of society"
MESSAGE FROM THE DEPARTMENT HEAD
These are challenging times for the Department of Medicine, given the ongoing pandemic, the Alberta economy and the breakdown in the relationship between the Alberta government and AMA. Despite these challenges, department members continue to impress me with the positive impacts they are having on the health and wellness of those living within the AHS Calgary zone and beyond. We should be proud of the fact that, through creative and innovative ways, we continue to provide patient-centered clinical care and educate future generations of physicians. Our research, including ongoing novel COVID-19 related research contributions, is having broad impact. Additionally, our members are providing key and effective leadership within the university and AHS. I am proud to say that I am the Head of the Department of Medicine in Calgary.
The Departmental leadership recognizes that many of our members are continuing to struggle with the unique challenges that the pandemic has created. Department members are trying to balance work with family commitments at a time when available supports are limited. We also recognize that there is much anxiety with the upcoming opening of schools and with recent COVID-19 cases in childcare and healthcare facilities. The Departmental leadership is committed to supporting you as best we can through these difficult times. The Section Chiefs / Division Heads will be leading discussions with their members, focused on developing creative strategies for meeting the sectional / divisional clinical care commitments throughout the pandemic. Dr. Dempsey has taken on the new role as DOM Vice-Chair of Virtual Health, with the goal of supporting the Department to provide appropriate virtual care during and past the pandemic. The Department continues to be supportive of members working from home, as required and appropriate. We recognize that as the pandemic progresses and evolves, many members may struggle in 2020/21 to realize their full academic potential and to meet all their teaching and research deliverables. This will be considered during the 2021 annual reviews.
Moving through and past the pandemic, I promise to do my best to support and advocate for all department members. I feel privileged to be surrounded by a strong and supportive leadership team, which includes an amazing Department Manager, ten committed Section Chiefs / Division Heads and knowledgeable Vice Chairs. I will be looking to add two new Deputy Heads (Clinical; Academic) to the leadership team this fall – please look for the upcoming position postings. The Department has prioritized the wellness of our members, and is focusing on creating a workplace that is equitable, inclusive and diverse.
The future holds lots of potential for the Department and our members. We need to embrace this time of uncertainty as best we can. Let’s try to learn to dance in the rain, instead of waiting for the storm to pass.
– Dr. Jayna Holroyd-Leduc
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.
– Wendy Desjardins-Kallar
DEPARTURE ANNOUNCEMENT – DALE RASHLEIGH
On behalf of the Department of Medicine Finance Team, I would like to advise that Dale Rashleigh will be moving on from Alberta Health Services and his position as AAMHSP Financial Coordinator within the Department of Medicine, effective November 30, 2020. Dale’s last day will be Friday, November 27, 2020.
Dale’s career with AHS and the Department of Medicine has spanned over 12 years. Alberta Health Services and the Department of Medicine would like to thank Dale for all of his contributions and for his many years of service. He will be missed.
Please join us in wishing him all the best in his future endeavours.
NEW DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE SITE LEAD – FMC
The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce that Dr. Caley Shukalek is taking on the role of Department of Medicine Site Lead for Foothills Medical Centre (FMC), effective December 1, 2020.
The Department would like to thank Dr. Kelly Zarnke for his contributions and many years of service in this role.
We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to Dr. Ward Flemons for stepping up at the start of the COVID pandemic to take on the role as the interim DoM FMC Site Lead and for demonstrating great leadership at such a critical time for the department and FMC.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Shukalek on his new leadership role.
NEW SECTION CHIEF – GIM
The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce that Dr. Leanne Reimche has been appointed as the incoming Division Head / Section Chief for General Internal Medicine (GIM). Dr. Reimche will transition to her new leadership role in early 2021.
Dr. Reimche will be taking over from Dr. Jeffrey Schaefer, who has served in this role since 2016. The Department would like to thank Dr. Schaefer for his contributions and commitment to the position of GIM Division Head / Section Chief over the past four years.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Reimche on her new leadership role.
NEW INTERIM PHYSICIAN RECRUITMENT COORDINATOR
The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce that Rylan Wiest will be taking on the role of Physician Recruitment Coordinator on an interim basis, effective September 28, 2020.
Rylan is currently the Physician Recruitment Assistant for the department. He joined the department’s Physician Recruitment Team in December 2019.
Rylan can be reached at:
Please join us in congratulating Rylan on this interim appointment.
NEW ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES MANAGER
The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce that Sandy Hafez will be taking on the role of Administrative Services Manager for our FMC and PLC sites, effective September 28, 2020.
Sandy is currently the acting Administrative Services Manager for FMC and PLC and Physician Recruitment Coordinator for the department. She joined Alberta Health Services in 2011, and has been with the Department of Medicine for the past six years.
Please join us in congratulating Sandy and wishing her all the best in her new position.
NEW DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE SITE LEAD – PLC
The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce that Dr. Mitesh Thakrar has taken on the role of Department of Medicine Site Lead for Peter Lougheed Centre, effective September 15, 2020.
Dr. Thakrar takes over from Dr. Ian Scott, who has served in this role since 2011. The Department would like to thank Dr. Scott for his contributions and years of service as the former Department of Medicine Site Lead for PLC.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Thakrar on his new leadership role.