It’s hard to believe it’s already the last week of November. Time has been flying and our 150th year of celebration is almost another year older! Here’s what we have been up to heading into the holiday season:
DalMed150 Gala Celebration Weekend
Our DalMed150 Anniversary Weekend from November 2-4, 2018 was a huge success! It was a pleasure to be able to come together and celebrate the memories, experiences and achievements of our school.
On Friday November 3rd, the 8th Annual Thomas Fear and Alice Morgans Fear Memorial Conference presented a symposium on “Health & Health Care Systems: Meeting Our Needs for the Future.” Presentations given by a variety of field experts and speakers focused on how to meet the needs of the aging population and governments and systems need to plan for a sustainable health care system. The audience was invited to envision their specialties in ten years’ time through a series of engaging speakers. This was an impressive and thought-provoking event attended by over 200 faculty, staff, students, residents, alumni and partners of Dalhousie Medical School. Thanks to Drs. Connie LeBlanc, Associate Dean of Continuing Professional Development and Andrew Lynk, Head of Department of Pediatrics for co-hosting this event.
Our Friday evening facilities tours and alumni receptions kicked off the weekend and a little rain and wind didn’t keep folks away from the 5K Fun Run hosted by the Dalhousie Medical Students’ Society in support of Kids Run Club first thing Saturday morning.
The Innovators’ Luncheon held on Saturday afternoon celebrated twelve influential pioneers, known as our Dal Med Innovators, who accomplished well-known and celebrated medical achievements that have revolutionized medicine to present day. With many of their family members and loved ones in attendance, the event was also a chance to say thank you to these scholars and leaders who have inspired and challenged us. Thanks to Joanne Napier who provided commemorative paintings of all twelve Innovators that will hang proudly in the Medical School for many years to come.
More than 1,200 alumni, medical students, residents, faculty, staff, donors and friends of the medical school converged on Halifax’s new convention centre on Saturday, November 3rd, filling the grand ballroom to capacity for a long-anticipated evening of celebration. Thanks to President Florizone and our Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick students for some memorable performances.
I was pleased, alongside of Dr. Peggy Leighton, President of the Dalhousie Medical Alumni Association (DMAA), to present the DMAA 100K Cup to the Class of 1970 in honour of its $100,000 gift to the medical school. And, the Class of 1983 received the first-ever 200K Cup! Thank you to our highly engaged medical alumni who have demonstrated their confidence in our school’s future with substantial gifts in support of medical students, their research projects and their overall wellbeing.
Our Scrubs ‘n Grub breakfast, hosted by the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, was served first thing Sunday morning following the gala. Many thanks to everyone who gathered with us to break eggs and bread with faculty, researchers and those impacted by the great work of the DMRF.
All in all, it was a weekend to remember—the perfect way to cap off a year of remembering and celebrating the past, and imagining and committing to a better future. Just like the founders of Dalhousie Medical School 150 years ago.
Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating 150 years of Dalhousie Medical School. We are grateful for your energy and engagement dedicated to our anniversary celebration. Stay tuned – we are doing this again next year! Please join us in making the annual Med School Gala the medical event of 2019. Details to follow.
Postgraduate Medical Education Accreditation
This past week has been a very busy one at the medical school and indeed around the Maritimes as our post-graduate education programs were being accredited. A huge thank you to Dr. Andrew Warren, Dr. Jennifer Hall, Dr. Geoffrey Williams, Ms. Christine Silver Smith and Ms. Carolyn Hicks for their hard work and preparations leading into accreditation week. As well, thank you to the program directors, residents, staff, faculty and partners of the medical school who met with members of the accreditation team with the goal of improving our excellent programs. There were some challenges this year given Dalhousie was the first medical school to be accredited with a new set of postgraduate standards and the fact that we are in midst of implementing a new evaluation system for residents, Competency by Design.
With the new accreditation standards, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Canadian College of Family Physicians have been clear that, moving forward, accreditation will focus much more on Continuous Quality Improvement rather than being a “one-off” event. As a result, some programs will have more work to do over the upcoming years before they reach full accreditation status. This is a good thing for quality improvement and we will work with the Colleges and programs to ensure our residents enjoy the best possible training experiences.
Overall, the preliminary results of the accreditation process were very positive. All of our programs remain accredited and some received commendation for areas of leading practice and innovation. We will be receiving our final accreditation status report in June 2019.
Discovery Day 2018
Despite the weather, we had a terrific Discovery Day at Dalhousie last month. This event was hosted by the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and sponsored by the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation. Dalhousie University was the only university in the Maritimes to host the event intended to give high school students interested in science, the opportunity to explore a variety of career options in medicine and health sciences.
The students heard a great presentation from one of our leading research scientists, Dr. Christine Chambers. The post-event evaluations from attendees indicated that the day was a rich and inspiring learning experience for those who could attend:
“Interesting presentation. I loved when hearing from and about women in science. Dr. Chambers is a really great role model for women wanting a start in the health sciences.”
“Today definitely encouraged me to pursue my goals in the medical field. It inspired me to find opportunities related to medicine. It was an amazing opportunity and I am very grateful for it.”
Discovery Awards 2018
Atlantic Canada’s most prestigious science recognition event, the Discovery Awards in honour of Halifax’s Discovery Centre, announced its award winners on November 22nd. Dal researchers won all four major categories at last Thursday night’s ceremony which included Dr. Patrick McGrath and Dr. Michael Schmidt from the Faculty of Medicine.
Get to know the winners and the other Dal finalists here.
November’s Dal Med Innovator
Our final Dal Med Innovator of 2018 is Dr. Richard Goldbloom; one of the most influential pediatricians in the world.
As head of the Department of Pediatrics at Dalhousie Medical School and physician-in-chief at the IWK Health Centre, Dr. Goldbloom still considers the team of exceptional physicians he built between 1967 and 1985 to be his greatest legacy. At the same time, he was transforming how children were cared for at the IWK. In an era when parents were considered “visitors” and hustled out the door promptly at 5 p.m., Dr. Goldbloom took the radical step of allowing parents to stay with their children all hours of the day and night.
Dr. Goldbloom’s influence grows far beyond the Maritimes. He is a prolific author and editor of the definitive textbook in the field, Pediatric Clinical Skills (now in its fourth printing), has spoken to packed auditoriums at conferences around the world, and continues to be involved as an occasional ambassador for the IWK Foundation.
I invite you to read more about Dr. Goldbloom’s and our previous Innovators’ contributions and achievements here.
Recipients of the Royal College 2018 Mentor of the Year and Prix d’excellence Specialist of the Year
Congratulations to Drs. Stephen Beed and Philip Tibbo, the recent recipients of the Royal College 2018 Mentor of the Year and Prix d’excellence Specialist of the Year, respectively.
Dr. Beed changed the landscape of critical care in the Atlantic region by redesigning curriculum, training teachers, and getting buy-in from health workers and administrators about the importance of organ donation. It’s Dr. Beed’s humility and ability to incorporate a multitude of perspectives that have contributed to critical care training and organ donation programs that have saved countless lives in Nova Scotia, and have garnered attention around the world.
Dr. Tibbo has been instrumental in changing that misconception and in giving young people hope at the most frightening time of their lives. His passion and commitment have inspired not only young people and their families, but a generation of young psychiatrists.
The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Welcomes 2018 Fellows
I’m pleased to share that two of our faculty members were among the newly named Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) 2018 Fellows. Congratulations to Drs. Sultan Darvesh and Chris McMaster.
Dr. Sultan Darvesh holds the Irene MacDonald Sobey Chair in Curative Approaches to Alzheimer’s disease. In 1994, he established the Maritime Brain Tissue Bank, one of the largest in Canada. Through his leadership, the MBTB supports national and international neuroscience research.
Dr. Chris McMaster is the scientific director for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Genetics. He has captured over $30 million in research funding over the last seven years, and helped develop a program that enables trainees to receive skills development beyond lab science.
Complete list of 2018 Fellows can be found here.
International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition
iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) is an international genetic engineering competition. Dalhousie’s team made up of undergraduate science students, called Dal iGEM, recently took home a silver medal at the iGEM conference in Boston. There, along with teams from all over the world, Dal iGEM presented their latest genetic engineering research which included finding a more cost-effective way to test water samples for toxic aluminum levels. Congratulations Team!!
Appointment of Ops & Policy Manager
Welcome to Lisa Nardecchia will be joining our team as the Ops & Policy Manager effective November 19th (replacing Megan Dixon during her maternity leave). A graduate of Mount Allison University (Bachelor of Arts Degree), Seneca College (Corporate Communications Post-Diploma) and the Nova Scotia Community College (Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management), Lisa has worked in the fields of human resources, communications and program administration. She comes to us following two plus years with the Office of Education within the Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine, Dalhousie University where she held the roles of Coordinator, Global Health & Evaluation and Education Coordinator. Lisa is currently completing her Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) part-time at Dalhousie University with a focus in policy work, research and data management.
2018 United Way Campaign
The Faculty of Medicine’s 2018 United Way Campaign is in full swing, raising funds in effort to support hundreds of important programs and resources in our communities. What you may not know, is that the Faculty of Medicine has been the top fundraiser for Dalhousie for the past three years!
The money raised through employee donations and fundraising events supports hundreds of important programs and resources in our communities. Your donation not only changes lives, it stays local. Donations made on our Carleton, Sexton and Studley campuses are directed to United Way Halifax; and funds raised by DMNB will go to United Way Saint John.
I encourage you to get involved in this year’s United Way campaign in any way you can. This year’s Campaign Coordinators are Jennifer Lewandowski and Wendy MacIntyre (Dean’s Office). If you have any questions or are interested in hosting your own event, please let them know. To stay informed, learn how to make a donation, or find an event near you; visit the Dalhousie United Way web page. The team will also be sharing updates on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #DalUnited.
Faculty of Medicine 2018 Holiday Celebration
Please join us for our Annual Holiday Reception – a festive gathering to cap off a year of remembering and celebrating the past, and imagining and committing to a better future. Enjoy some holiday mingling with faculty, staff and students to celebrate the season of giving and a remarkable 150th anniversary year.
The reception will be held on Friday, December 7, 2018 from 12PM to 1:30PM at the Life Sciences Research Institute Atrium. Refreshments and a light lunch will be served. Please RSVP to email@example.com by Friday, November 30, 2018.
I wish all of our students the best of luck with their exams and congratulations again to all our recent award winners. It takes teamwork to achieve great things and we have incredibly strong teams. I’m already looking forward to seeing what we can do in 2019!
Happy Holidays to everyone.