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Communications - News at Medicine - September 2018 - Dean’s notes – Sept. 5, 2018

Dean’s notes – Sept. 5, 2018
September 5, 2018
Welcome back from summer. I hope all of you had a wonderful summer enjoying the absolutely beautiful weather. I have been fortunate to have several family and friends from around the world visit me and they are always struck by the beauty of this vast province.
Summer is a great time to relax and reflect on the past academic year and to plan for the coming one.

This past year we published an annual report highlighting our learners, staff and faculty activities and significant achievements. The annual report was circulated to our learners, staff and faculty as well as key university personnel, alumni, community organizations and government. We have received a lot of positive feedback. I would like to thank Rebecca Ribeiro and Michelle Osmond, our Faculty of Medicine communications team, for producing this excellent document. In case you have not seen it, please find it here.
Several of our faculty members received prestigious awards for their outstanding contributions to health sciences research. Drs. Connors, Hodginkson, Pullman and Young won the Governor General’s award for their impactful research in the area of arrythymogenic right cardiomyopathy. Dr. Jane Green, an internationally recognized human geneticist, received the Order of Canada for her research in the areas of hereditary cancers and hereditary eye diseases.
In addition, the following individuals obtained Canada Institutes of Health Research grants —Dr. Rod Russell, for a project titled Analysis of Virus-Induced Mechanisms of Programmed Cell Death, and Dr. Jennifer Shea, for a project focused on mental health and addictions in communities comprising the NunatuKavut Community Council in Labrador.
Dr. Russell also received an NSERC Discovery Grant for his project Expanding the Genetic Code of Viruses, along with Dr. Qi Yuan for L-type calcium channels in memory, and Dr. Laura Gillespie for her research on the Molecular characterization of the M1ER2 and M1ER3 transcriptional regulatory complexes.
Also, Dr. Ken Hirasawa received a large Canadian Cancer Society research grant for his research on Improving photodynamic diagnosis and therapy by targeting the MEK ABCB1 axis.
As the dean of the Faculty of Medicine I am committed to a workplace free of bullying, intimidation, harassment and sexual harassment. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure they have read the Respectful Work Environment and Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault policies. To learn more about the policies, please review the presentation completed by Sheila Devine, a human rights expert, and Rhonda Shortall, sexual harassment advisor to the president on D2L. We welcomed our new postgraduate learners on June 27 and our first year undergraduate medical students on August 22. During their orientation, our undergraduate and postgraduate administrative teams ensured that the students are aware of these policies, the supports available to them, and their responsibilities to ensure we have a safe and respectful learning and work environment. Our graduate students are starting this week and will be provided with key information.
During the summer, the unit assessment report from Dr. Sandy LeForte was released. As you may be aware, there was much media attention related to this report. I received emails from colleagues across the country indicating their support for our approach to dealing with this important issue and several offers to assist and collaborate on potential initiatives. I have established an Intimidation, Harassment, Sexual Harassment Unit Assessment Working Group which will have its first meeting this month. The mandate of the working group is to review the 39 recommendations and oversee the implementation of the recommendations. We will provide updates throughout the coming year. We will also provide a report to President Kachonoski by March 15, 2019.
I would like to thank Janet McHugh, who retired in June, after 37 years of working in the Faculty of Medicine. Janet has been passionate about our learners and the Faculty of Medicine community. Janet has also been actively involved with research in the area of medical school admissions at the national and international level. She has definitely spread the word about our leading practices in admissions. I would also like to thank Jillian Gibson, who has moved to St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia for a more senior development role. Jillian worked closely with me during the “Building a Healthy Tomorrow” campaign in which we exceeded our fundraising target of $5 million dollars. Jillian had established excellent relationships with our alumni, donors and community partners and was always looking at ways to raise the profile of the learners, staff and faculty in the Faculty of Medicine. I wish Janet and Jillian all the best as they start on the next stage of their journey.
I would also like to thank Dr. Scott Moffatt for his leadership as the assistant dean, Student Affairs for the past six years. Dr. Moffat has been committed to enhancing student supports for both our undergraduate and postgraduate medical learners. Dr. Moffat is a proud graduate of Memorial University and has participated in many key committees, initiatives and activities in the Faculty of Medicine.
The Destination Excellence Strategic Implementation Team (DEIST) has been meeting over the past few months. I would like to thank all of you who have applied to the various strategic planning project teams which include: data management; mentorship; wellness; research; social accountability; and undergraduate curriculum review. I have been delighted to see the interest from our learners, staff and faculty and to see our banners and strategic plans in key rooms and offices. Several divisions, units and disciplines have embarked on strategic planning and have asked Gerona McGrath, project manager for the strategic planning, to attend their meetings to discuss the strategic plan or to help facilitate their strategic planning. We are definitely in the midst of achieving our mission and vision. For updates on strategic planning please refer to the website.
Many events are planned for the fall so please consider attending rounds, key note talks, strategic planning activities such as focus groups, and our Open House on October 14, 2018.
Wishing you all a successful academic year.

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