I sit on the deck of a cottage at White Point Beach Resort in Nova Scotia, enjoying the cool North Atlantic fog rolling in, the sound of the waves, the smell of the salt air and a fine NS sparkling wine (Nova 7 by Benjamin Bridge – highly recommended). We are back in the Maritimes to vacation, see family and old friends, and see our youngest daughter get married. I hope all of you take the time to get the rest and relaxation you deserve. I don’t plan for my second year to be any less busy as together, we move the CoM forward.
In that regard, I would like to highlight the activities that occurred as our school year came to a close.
Following the UGME accreditation visit last May, we have already begun preparations for our next full visit that is scheduled for 2017. A number of working groups have been struck, and you will be hearing more from Athena McConnell and Kevin Siebert as this work amps up over the coming weeks. We will hear back from the accreditors this fall on the outcome of last May’s visit, but let’s remember the real target is 2017.
In the meantime, I have diverted my attention to the PGME visit in December and am meeting regularly with Anurag Saxena to review preparations. I would like to thank the Program Directors and Administrators for the hard work already done preparing the PSQs that are due to the Royal College in early September. As always, I am interested in feedback as we prepare for this important event in the late fall.
As you saw earlier, we announced a new Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Kent Stobart, who I believe will bring great strength and leadership to our education team when he joins us on September 1. I would like again to commend and thank Gill White for the tremendous work he has done, and I am thankful he is willing to stay on as our Associate Dean in Regina. Gill is truly the face of the CoM in Regina and has done an outstanding job building our presence there.
In that regard, Gill has led the way in establishing important initiatives in Simulation and Faculty Development. Moving our simulation plan forward is essential as we have a way to go to catch the national leaders. Gill has recruited Dr. Neil Cowie to lead simulation and Dr. Mendez has recruited Dr. Cole Beavis to lead on a Surgical Skills lab and program. Many thanks to these people for stepping up to the plate.
As we engage more faculty in our academic mission and expand our efforts in Faculty Development, I am pleased Dr. Kalyani Premkumar has taken on this role. As I’ve said before, a one faculty model is essential for the CoM’s success, and a comprehensive faculty development strategy helps to support all faculty across the province.
In the last two weeks, we had interviews with two final candidates for the Vice Dean of Research, inviting a broad group of researchers and stakeholders. I hope to have an announcement when I return in August and someone in place by January 1, 2016.
Dr. Gordon McKay has done a tremendous job as our research lead, so I am sorry that he has decided to step down from this role. I am extremely grateful for his hard work, pleasant and professional collaboration and his unwavering support to me, but I certainly do understand his desire to spend more time with his family. I will shortly announce an Acting VDR to support our researchers in the interim.
Searches for Unified Heads in Pathology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Medicine all are nearing closure with ongoing interviews of a strong slate of candidates in each. I hope again to have announcements upon my return or early in the fall. As Dr Alanna Danilkewich will finish in June of 2016, we will be starting a search for the Head of Family Medicine in September.
Faculty are also busy on the committee for internal searches for assistant deans of curriculum, student affairs, and PGME. These should conclude in September.
We are launching an internal search for a Vice Dean of Faculty Relations. As you will recall I took on this role and was richly rewarded by coming to know well many faculty members. As we move forward on the vision of a one faculty model, there is lots of work with faculty to be done. All faculty engaged in our academic mission at the CoM deserve a senior leader fully devoted to their interests. I hope all may give some thought to this role or encourage a colleague who may be well-suited.
Our project on restructuring our basic science programs and governance is well underway and ably supported by Jim Thornhill and Sinead McGartland. I thank those faculty members and department heads who are taking up this work.
Finally, our joint submission with Health Quality Council to CIHR for the Saskatchewan Center for Patient Oriented Research went in the first week of July. This took tremendous work by many people but could see as much as 34 million dollars from the federal government to support Patient Oriented Research coming to Saskatchewan. Thanks to all, but I need to single out the hard work of Beth Horsburgh.
So as you can see the school year ended with what I feel is a growing sense of progress and momentum.
My old boss always said enjoy your summer because we will do even more next year. I sure hope so!!! 🙂
Enjoy your summer!