News at Medicine - June 2022 - Dean's Notes June 15, 2022

Dean's Notes June 15, 2022
June 15, 2022
I hope everyone is doing well as we move closer to the summer. It has been a busy few weeks with numerous in-person events and announcements taking place.

Funding announcement to advance research

On Friday, May 27, hosted by the Faculty of Medicine, Memorial welcomed more than $18 million for two new initiatives – the Centre for Analytics, Informatics and Research (CAIR) and the Accelerated Analytics and Machine Learning (AAML) project.

The initiatives will focus on innovation and research in such diverse fields as data science and astrophysics, genetic analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning, image analysis and scientific computing. You can read more about this significant investment in The Gazette

Provincial government announcement regarding the Doctor of Medicine program

Last week, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced that they will reserve five additional seats for applicants to the Doctor of Medicine program who are from Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Currently, 60 seats out of the class of 80 students are reserved for NL students. The announcement is part of the overall strategy to help address the physician shortage in the province. This increase from 60 to 65 seats will take effect during the current admissions cycle and those students will begin the program in Fall of 2023. For more information about this exciting announcement, read this news story on our website.
From left: Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi, Dr. Susan MacDonald, (back) Dr. Baron Thiessin, Ms. Georgia Darmowkow, Hon. Dr. Andrew Furey, Dr. Margaret Steele, Dr. Dolores McKeen, Dr. Taryn Hearn, Dr. Shane Arsenault.
Photo by Jennifer Armstrong, HSIMS

Spring convocation for undergraduate and graduate studies

Our last full in-person spring convocation was in 2019 and it was wonderful to be able to attend and celebrate our learners finishing their programs. Thank you to everyone who has supported our learners during these past two years of challenges and unexpected circumstances.
We are so proud of all of our undergraduate learners who completed their Doctor of Medicine (MD) program as well as our graduate students completing their masters and PhD programs. One of our graduate students, Dr. Valerie Webber, who received a PhD in medicine (community health and humanities) on June 1, was included in the Gazette’s Class of 2022 special feature.


Doctor of Medicine Shingles Convocation celebration

With the return to in-person convocation celebrations, the Faculty of Medicine was able to host the traditional Shingles Convocation celebration for the MD class of 2022. Graduates, their families and friends, faculty and staff came together on June 2. The Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and also one of our alum from the MD class of 2001, was able to join us and addressed the graduating class and provided his congratulations. Dr. Natalie Bridger, associate professor of pediatrics, was selected by the class of 2022 to be the emcee for the evening.
We also had the pleasure of presenting some special awards to students, faculty and staff:
  • Dr. Bob Green Memorial Award in Medicine - Dr. Jack Kerr
  • Dr. Charles Nardini Memorial Award - Dr. Mark Hewitt
  • Dr. Gregory Rideout Award - Dr. Elise Thorburn
  • Dr. I. E. Rusted Award - Dr. Mark Hewitt
  • Dr. D.W Ingram Award - Dr. Sarah Small & Dr. Yoong Wah Lee
  • Silver Orator Award - Dr. Rod Russell & Dr. Rufaro Chitsike
  • Community Physician Teaching Award - Dr. Chris Patey
  • Outstanding Intern/Resident Award - Dr. Kayleigh Maxwell
  • Honourary Order of the Killick Award - Kelly Penton
 We also celebrated Dr. William Pryse-Phillips who has been with the Faculty of Medicine for 50 years! It is always a pleasure to have Dr. Pryse-Phillips address the graduating class and then lead them in reciting the Hippocratic Oath.
Graduates received their wooden shingle with their name and a small reception was held afterwards in the Faculty of Medicine atrium.

Dean’s Excellence Awards

On June 7, I had the pleasure of hosting the Dean’s Excellence Awards. These awards provide an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the achievements and success of our faculty and staff
Because of public health restrictions due to the pandemic, we were unable to host our event in 2020 that would have recognized the 2019 recipients. Therefore, this event celebrated our winners for 2019 and 2021. In addition we had our inaugural Community Member Health Champion Award winner Mr. Daniel Rubin able to attend. 
2019 awardees
  • Junior Faculty Award – Clinical - Dr. Michelle Ploughman
  • Senior Faculty Award – Clinical - Dr. Chris Kovacs
  • Junior Faculty Award – Non-Clinical - Dr. Matthew Parsons
  • Junior Teaching Award - Dr. Michiru Hirasawa
  • Senior Teaching Award - Dr. Ann Dorward
  • Max House Teaching Award for Continuing medical Education/Continuing Professional Development (CME/CPD) - Dr. Kara Laing
  • Service Award – Managerial - Ms. Jacinta Reddigan
  • Service Award – Administrative - Ms. Janet Bartlett
  • Service Award – Technical - Ms. Corinne Mercer
2021 awardees
  • Community Member Health Champion Award - Mr. Daniel Rubin
  • Service Award – Managerial - Ms. Angela Dunn
  • Service Award Administrative - Ms. Caitlin Power
  • Senior Teaching Award - Dr. Jill Barter
  • Max House Teaching Award for CME/CPD - Dr. Shabnam Asghari
  • Junior Faculty Award – Non-Clinical - Dr. Touati Benoukraf
  • Senior Faculty Award – Non-Clinical - Dr. Qi Yuan
  • Senior Faculty Award – Clinical - Dr. Joan Crane
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2019 and 2021 Dean's Excellence Awards!
Photo by Jennifer Armstrong, HSIMS

Celebrating graduate student awards and achievements

On June 8, we held the annual Graduate Student Awards and Achievements Luncheon. It was wonderful to be able to recognize the accomplishments of our graduate students and recognize their excellence in academic pursuits and research.
Due to the pandemic, this year we acknowledged awards and achievements from 2020 to 2022.  We celebrated the achievements of over 90 students, who in the last three years have received over 150 individual prizes, fellowships and grants. This comprises Tri-Council funding awards including CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarships, as well as awards from national bodies such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and provincial organizations such as the Aging Research Center of Newfoundland and Labrador and the NL SUPPORT Educational Funding Opportunities. We have continued success with funding support from the Janeway Foundation and internal awards for academic standing and travel. Our students have created an impressive repertoire of acquired funding. Congratulations everyone!

Congratulations to our graduate students!!
Photo by Jennifer Armstrong, HSIMS

Celebrating our faculty and residents in emergency medicine

Earlier this month, the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP), the national voice of emergency medicine, held their annual conference.  During the conference, Dr. David Bradbury-Squires received the Emergency Room Physician of the Year Award!
We are also proud of our faculty who are involved with CAEP like Dr. Gillian Sheppard is the current chair of the Women in Emergency Medicine committee, CAEP and Dr. Emma McIlven-Brown is a member-at-large on that committee.
Finally, I would also like to recognize Dr. Kayla Furlong who has been selected as the 2022-23 Canadian Journal of Emergency medicine (CJEM) intern. 

Bystander training

I am pleased to share that Ms. Maxine Paul, Associate Advisor with the Sexual Harassment Office at Memorial University will be offering two-part Bystander training sessions here at the Faculty of Medicine. The first session introduces participants to the concept of bystander responsibility and recognizing inappropriate behaviour that requires intervention, and the second focuses on how to intervene.
The first session will take place on Monday, June 20 from 2-4 p.m. and the second will take place on Wednesday, June 22 from 2-4 p.m.  Registration is open to any interested faculty, staff or students. If you would like to attend, please email by the end of the day Friday June 17 if you would like to attend. Registration is on a first come basis and is limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

MedQuest (Virtual) 2022

If you know any students in grades 10-12 in Newfoundland and Labrador, please let them know about MedQuest Virtual; taking place July 26 - 27. Organized by our Office of Professional and Educational Development, this exciting, career-oriented two-day virtual event will introduce students to health professions such as medicine, nursing, pharmacy, human kinetics and recreation, and others. These health careers and special topics will be presented through lectures, guest speakers, and virtual tours of various health facilities. Registration URL:  

Pride Month

June is Pride Month and here at the Faculty of Medicine, we are committed to fostering a learning and work environment of respect and inclusion. We stand in support of our 2SLGBTQ+ community through out this month and every day. There are a number of resources available to learners at Memorial University and I encourage you to learn more about them:
I hope you enjoy the next few weeks as we look forward to summer.
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