Dr. Jayna Holroyd-LeducThese 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