Surveys help us communicate and improve

As was recently shared in E-News, we have the results of the 2022 employee engagement pulse survey. It and previous employee engagement surveys  provide us with a sense of where we are at and where we can make improvements. While things don’t change overnight in an organization as big as the CoM (nor the university and the healthcare system!), these surveys do provide a valuable internal communication tool from which we can all benefit through participation in the survey and our response to the survey results.

With this blog, I want to share some general information about the results of the pulse survey, and provide a heads up to you of a bigger survey coming up in 2023.

The 2022 pulse survey showed that College of Medicine employees’ overall engagement and that of employees across USask both came in at 58%. What wasn’t shared in E-News was the varying degrees of engagement employees identified beyond that figure. A further 22% identified as ‘almost engaged,’ which tells us with a little work, this group could move to ‘engaged’ and we would be reporting 80% in the engaged in their work category! Importantly, we learned that 8% of CoM employees identified as ‘indifferent’ and 11% are ‘disengaged’—concerning numbers because we aim to have a workplace where all employees are engaged in what they do. So of course we know that we can do more to get all employees more full involved in positive ways that inspire engagement.

Among the 20 survey questions, one was open ended, allowing for more individual thoughts and responses and capturing important themes for our college. For instance, faculty and staff have a general appreciation for the college with a high regard for people leaders and coworkers. Employees also feel a high sense of pride in the work that they do.

The 19 closed questions rolled up into the following 9 engagement drivers, with the resulting scores:

2022 College of Medicine Employee Engagement Pulse Survey results

As well, there were many valuable comments related to areas that the college can improve upon. For example: there were several mentions of disrespectful behaviour not being addressed; there are concerns around equity, diversity, and inclusion; and there were also a number of comments related to workload issues. College leadership is committed to both leveraging our areas of strength related to employee engagement, and more importantly, focusing on ways to improve the areas of concern. Thank you to those who took the time to provide us with this valuable feedback. We continue to work on ways to improve the CoM for all employees.

A larger, more comprehensive employee engagement survey will be taking place in late winter or early spring 2023—be sure to participate! More detailed information on the 2022 survey results and the upcoming survey will be provided in the dean’s blog next week.


MEDICAL EDUCATION: Thriving in Saskatchewan

Guest blog by Dr. Kent Stobart, vice-dean, Education

A lot has happened in recent years in medical education in our province. Saskatchewan is more present on the Canadian medical education scene than ever. We’ve grown and achieved so much here, and have built an excellent team and executive that have provided exceptional leadership for our CoM medical education programs. We are making important contributions—often leading them—to improvements that have national and international reach.

In short, we are seeing in so many ways and so often that we can and do have success at the highest level right here in Saskatchewan.

Some examples of what I mean: our dean is on the national education committee for the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), and I am a member of the AFMC’s senior education deans group. At those tables—and others—we bring ideas and solutions generated and tested at our own medical school and here in our own province.

We are also involved nationally with the work of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, providing input and learning about what others are doing and dealing with across the nation in these specialty areas. Our enhanced skills programs in surgery and anesthesiology support family medicine practitioners and improve care and services in rural areas; they are among few across the country and are nation leading.

So many medical education leaders in our province, with their teams, are doing cutting edge work, across areas that include program expansions in Regina and southeast Saskatchewan, curriculum and admissions reform, Indigenous health, postgrad accreditation, rural medicine and rural training programs, continuing medical education, enhanced ties with our provincial medical partner organizations, leadership education, medical scholarship, student affairs and wellness. In so many ways we are making a difference for Saskatchewan and its people, and serving as a model of excellence well beyond our provincial borders.

With all of the above in mind, this blog marks the first in a series of guest blogs from members of the medical education leadership team that will appear on Preston’s Page over the coming weeks and months. Each blog will delve into more detail in focused areas of work—most mentioned above—as a means of showcasing to you the excellent work, achievements and plans of medical education arising from within our very own CoM.

Stay tuned!


Wishing all a safe and peaceful holiday

Winter has certainly set in here in Saskatchewan, with some very cold days and plenty of snow before we had even reached December. I hope as we approach the holiday season you are looking forward to the warmth and comfort of holiday traditions and time with loved ones, as well as some rest and peaceful moments to reflect on the accomplishments of 2022.

For our college, many of the challenges we have navigated in recent years related to the pandemic have eased or at least become more habitual. With current concerns regarding respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the flu and COVID-19 variants, we do need to continue to be careful about our health and exposures.

At the CoM, we have enjoyed a good fall term, and I think I can speak for most learners, teachers, researchers and academic leaders when I say we are appreciating a smoother day-to-day approach to teaching, learning and discovery, with more time on campus and, while still with challenges, overall improved circumstances in clinical learning.

Work in preparation of the fall 2023 Postgraduate Medical Education accreditation review will kick into even higher gear in the New Year. The efforts of 2022 to establish the new Office of the Vice-Dean Indigenous Health and Wellness, and Department of Indigenous Health and Wellness, will more fully take off. Those will be key areas of focus, but as always, they are just the tip of the iceberg when talking about all we deliver for Saskatchewan and beyond as a successful medical school! But for now, we can focus on some well-earned rest and relaxation over the upcoming holidays.

As usual, Jane and I will be doing some travelling to see family. Ahead of Christmas, we will be in Humboldt visiting Jane’s brother and his family and then in Kananaskis with our daughter and her family. We’ll be at home in Saskatoon for Christmas, and then off to the Maritimes for more family time. I am looking forward to plenty of time with my grandchildren!

I wish all at the CoM, as well as your loved ones, a safe holiday enjoyed in good health.

Department of Surgery well positioned for leadership transition

The inauguration of the new Surgical Skills Lab earlier this month and today’s farewell celebration for Dr. Ivar Mendez, hosted by the Department of Surgery, both serve to underline Ivar’s exceptional work for our college, our university, our health system and our province over the last 10 years.

His retirement as Provincial Head of Surgery is effective December 31, 2022, after two consecutive terms in this leadership position. During his time leading the department, and with the incredibly busy schedule that goes with that role, he still found time for important research successes and humanitarian work. Thus, it is no surprise that in the New Year he will turn his time and attention to virtual care global initiatives to support underserved populations nationally and internationally in low resourced countries. He will also continue much of his research at our college as professor emeritus.

On behalf of the CoM, I thank Ivar for his extraordinary leadership over the past decade to grow the Department of Surgery for Saskatchewan. The department has more than doubled in size in these years, greatly increasing surgical care in the province. The academic productivity of the department has also grown exponentially. Ivar has led work to shift to a more integrated academic and clinical surgery presence for the entire province, with the advent of the Saskatchewan Health Authority. His work has positioned the department to better respond to surgical backlogs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Surgical Skills Lab shifts into operation in the New Year, and will showcase how surgery in Saskatchewan has grown in sophistication and excellence in the past decade. The quality and size of the team in the Department of Surgery today is in large measure due to Ivar’s outstanding strengths as a researcher, teacher and surgeon. The department is well positioned for its new leader to further solidify and improve excellent surgical care in our province.

As I touched on above, while leading a decade of growth in the department, Ivar also carried out significant innovative research in remote care and robotics. Additionally, his humanitarian work—for remote Saskatchewan and other communities, including for people in Bolivia where he was born—has been impressive. I have no doubt that we will be witnessing more great achievements in research and in his new areas of focus in the coming months and years!

We have been working closely with Ivar and the team in the department on transition plans, including a provincial department head search that is just wrapping up now. I anticipate we will announce a new head very shortly.

I know I can speak for all at the CoM in extending our great appreciation to Ivar for his many years of service to our college, university and patient care in our province, and for the research he will continue as professor emeritus, and in offering our best wishes to him on his exciting new endeavors.


In-person at AAMC an excellent experience!

After three years, it was incredibly great to be back in-person for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annual meeting, themed Learn Serve Lead, this past week.

Held November 11-15 in Nashville, the conference struck an impressive balance of relevant and important content and entertainment and engagement. The four plenary sessions all opened with 15 minutes of music with some definite Nashville country flavor, including one that opened with a country singer who also happened to be a neurosurgeon, and another featuring a medical student and resident duo playing the violin and cello.

It’s the first major conference I’ve been to in-person since the pandemic struck and it brought home how valuable it is to find ways to be in the same space with our counterparts and experts. There are about 6,000 in attendance for this conference and is the biggest in North America for both American and Canadian medical schools. And it is always so well-orchestrated and successful in bringing the most important topics of the day for us together with Pulitzer prize winning speakers, celebrated authors, extraordinary historians and other top experts.

The big plenaries are always focused on social issues and advocacy, reminding us of the fundamental things we must never forget in delivering healthcare that is compassionate, safe and inclusive. Equity, diversity and anti-racism continue to be a significant focus. This year, climate change and health was a major addition. The AAMC and the Medical Council of Canada are just beginning to take steps to have this critical area reflected in medical school curricular programing.

We can be proud of our college in this area, as we are ahead of the curve already thanks to some amazing student advocates who lobbied for climate change content in our curriculum: Sehjal Bhargava, now in residency in Ottawa; Nathan Fortin, in Year 4 and Brooklyn Rawlyk, in Year 3 of our medical doctor (MD) program. And thanks to our excellent undergraduate program leaders, Regina Gjevre and Meredith McKague, who listened and responded to offer this cutting edge curriculum in the USask undergraduate medical education program.

Our curriculum currently includes content on environmental health and climate change in each of the four years of the MD program. For example, Year 1 students learn about changing climate and respiratory diseases including the impact of smoke and forest fires (very relevant here in Saskatchewan and Canada!), heat exposure, as well as health in the context of food production and climate change—to name only a few of the areas covered. Year 2 students are involved in further learning across climate change, environmental health, and water security and health. In Year 3, our students learn about environmental health in relation to occupational hazards and environmental toxins, and Year 4 students can take a complete elective on environmental health and participate in a review session on environmental/occupational health in preparation for residency.

The plenary session on November 14 was titled Why Climate Action Is the Future of Medicine and How Health Care Professionals Can Make a Difference Today. Climate change is actively affecting our health as many know, and medical professionals need to be aware of causes of potential harm to human health, their prevention and treatment. As is so true in all areas of care, people who are already vulnerable due to current health issues and ability to access care are impacted the most. The session showed us why academic medicine needs to play an active role in combatting climate change—and thus  its negative impact on health.

One fascinating example shared was the impact of healthcare on climate change, and the estimate that hospitals in the United States are responsible for 8% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. If American hospitals were a country they would be the seventh-greatest emitter in the world! We heard of initiatives from reducing food waste to “greening” the operating room. (Some good information on this can be found in this British Medical Journal article.)

Care providers, learners and academic healthcare leaders have an important role to play and we learned about how the big picture of climate change connects to the practice of medicine, how climate action can improve health and positively impact health equity, climate interventions at the bedside, and our role in leading societal change as trusted voices.

The other plenaries were equally excellent. One focused on civil discourse and the need to listen to one another regardless of our own ideology, politics and background rather than shouting over one another and remaining entrenched (and more ignorant) in our own beliefs. Another focused on the racial divide that continues to do so much harm in the United States and that as Canadians we can certainly learn from and apply to our own challenges with equity, diversity and inclusion here.

These sessions—and the whole conference—truly provoked thought and inspired!

Reflecting on the year past and enjoying Saskatchewan summer

I hope as this message reaches you that you are finding time to enjoy another wonderful Saskatchewan summer! And I encourage everyone to step back over the coming weeks when possible to get some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

I am looking forward to this weekend’s trip to Calgary to see my grandson, golf with my son-in-law and run the Stampede Half-Marathon with my daughter; beyond that, many hours in my garden with Jane and golfing with friends until mid-August, when I go to the Maritimes for two weeks—and more golf as well as lobster rolls and a family reunion with my siblings and their families.

I do want to take a moment first, though, to reflect briefly on some of the many accomplishments of the past year at our college.

I will start by offering my congratulations to the incoming first-year class of USask medical doctor students and to our MD 2022 graduating class. To the latter, I wish you all the best in your medical residency! Welcome and congratulations also to all new licensed physicians. I know many join me in thanking all medical learners for your remarkable resilience and valued contributions through a long second year of the pandemic.

In other areas, we have made significant steps in establishing a new Division of Indigenous Health. Most recently that included the hiring of Dr. Janet Tootoosis as interim vice-dean of Indigenous Health. Prior to that, a great deal of work and discussion was led by Dr. Veronica McKinney, Val Arnault-Pelletier and members of our Indigenous Health Committee.

I am thrilled to have two other key leaders on our team join us: Dr. Adekunle Garba (AG) Ahmed, Provincial Head of Psychiatry, started June 1, 2022, in a five-year term, and Dr. Erique Lukong, Assistant Dean Graduate Studies, started July 1, 2022, also in a five-year term.

We developed, launched and gave out new staff awards to improve recognition of administrative staff in the college—such a key and often unsung group of individuals on our team who are so critical in all areas of our mission.

Researchers in our college made important strides, achieving funding and improving knowledge leading to better human health across areas including Indigenous health, COVID-19, mental health, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and many more—too many to list here!

The Division of Continuing Medical Education did not slow down from all its work supporting professional education needs for the pandemic, recently announcing new programming supporting HIV and HCV, mentorship for new physicians, and enhanced support for internationally trained physicians—who play a critical role in supporting rural and remote care in our province.

Significant work over more than the past year resulted in the announcement a few months ago of our renewed admissions process for the medical doctor program. Our post-graduate program is well into work preparing for its next full accreditation.

As always, the year was busy and flew by. Another academic year with all its promise and excitement is ahead. But for now, let us take a moment to catch our breath and appreciate the enjoyments of another beautiful Saskatchewan summer!

Staff recognized in inaugural annual awards program

Guest blog by Greg Power, Chief Operating Officer

I’m thrilled to share with everyone in the CoM the recipients in the first year of our new administrative staff awards program. All the recipients have been notified, and I know you join me in congratulating them, as well as all other staff who were nominated. Here are both the recipients and those who were nominated:


Living our Values

  • Sherrill Bueckert, Admissions – Undergraduate Medical Education
  • Stephanie Kehrig, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology
  • Cindy Matthews, Department of Psychiatry

Team Achievement

  • Sonja MacDonald and Cheryl Pfeifer, Undergraduate Medical Education
  • Administrative personnel team, Department of Pediatrics – Jeanine Dice, Michelle Haley, Nancy Groenveld, Mary Grace Benedicto, Christie Klein, Kathy Tunnicliffe, Jennifer Simpson, Laurel Scherr, Sheri Olain, Kathy Doell, Jody Garnett, Susan Jackson, Jenel Vogelsang, Mila Jovic, Cecile Tuerca, Roxanne Rathgeber, Rebecca Florizone, Gina Kangas, Heather Sobrey, Kelsey Heagy, Kristy Lang, Larysa Noehring, Kerilyn Yaholnitsky, Debbie Milhomens and Angele Thiessen


For this award, the nominators create the award and award name for their nominee.

  • Bruna Bonavia-Fisher, Biomedical Sciences, awarded for “Invaluable Facilitator”
  • Cathy Cuddington, School of Rehabilitation Science – Regina, awarded for “Advocacy in Action”
  • Cassie Eskra, Regina Campus, awarded for “Rookie of the Year”
  • Amy Winik, Faculty Development, awarded for “Figures it Out and Gets it Done”

We will feature the above individuals and teams more fully in upcoming college news, so watch for that series of staff award profiles in the coming months! Congratulations to all of you and thank you for your work on behalf of the CoM.

Many others were nominated and I want to acknowledge them here. Members of our CoM community considered your work excellent and worthy of awarding, and took the time to write and submit a nomination to acknowledge this. It’s significant and worthy of recognition and congratulations to each of you. Those nominated in addition to those named above are:

Living our Values

  • Bren Thompson, pewaseskwan (the sky is clearing), Indigenous Wellness Research Group
  • Amanda O’Leary, Department of Medical Imaging

Team Achievement

  • Human Resources team, College of Medicine – Clay Benaschak, Samantha Marcoux, Joceyln Hrabinsky and Isabella Thomas
  • Administrative staff, Office of the Vice-Dean Research – Megan Truscott, Keleigh Garcea, Chantal Jantzen, Alyssa Gallagher, Shelley-May Neufeld, Stefany Cornea, Nayoung Kim
  • Information Technology and Audio-Visual team, College of Medicine – Dave Hall, Mark Drapak, Willem de Jong, Todd Reichert, Asim Hameed, Malcolm Whyte, Michael Graham, Austin Peters, Kelly Mulligan, Ganna Tetyurenko, Tyler Lagacy, Max Lyons, Cheng Cheng, Gord Unger, Scott Robson


  • Joshua Lloyd and Donna McLean, Undergraduate Medical Education
  • Clinical staff, Department of Academic Family Medicine, for “Team Spirit” – Maria Balmeo, Michealla Baldoza, Roxy Bec, Christine Green, Keri Hankewich, Leanne Lehman, Ann Luu, Lori Neudorf, Bethany Rolfe and Patricia Salandanan

Congratulations, all!

And I do want to remind everyone to consider nominating a deserving staff member or team for next year’s awards. Information on the three staff awards can be found on the college’s awards website and in my earlier blog here introducing the awards. Watch for future communications for the nominations process to open for next year, but it is never too early to think about this and other employee recognition—whether they are on your team, colleagues you appreciate, or provide support to you as a learner or faculty member.

MD admissions renewal work will benefit Saskatchewan

Guest blog by Dr. Trustin Domes, Director of Admissions

Earlier this week we announced a renewed approach to MD admissions in our college.

Over the past few years, the admissions team and a broad range of stakeholders have looked at our processes with a focus on ensuring we attract a strong applicant pool. We are ultimately striving for successful candidates who will be the best trainees for our province and who will find success and fulfillment of their own aspirations in our program. In other words, we have developed a more robust approach to make sure that applicants are a good fit for us, and we are a good fit for them.

After an external review of MD admissions in 2019 followed by a visioning retreat in early 2020, stakeholders strongly endorsed that those admitted into the CoM medical doctor program should have a strong personal connection to the province, that we need more diversity in our processes and applicants, and that we need more data to drive our decisions going forward.

In response, an admissions renewal committee was created, composed of five subcommittees, with the task of evaluating and operationalizing the proposed recommendations. The committee was diverse, with broad representation from across the province and included medical students, residents, faculty, staff, patients, the Division of Social Accountability, Indigenous Admissions, our Regina campus, the University of Regina, the Saskatchewan Medical Association, First Nations and Metis Knowledge Keepers, and Métis Nation–Saskatchewan.  Each subcommittee focused on a different priority area to be considered for selection to the program.  These priority areas are academic preparedness, diversity, communications skills/emotional intelligence, Saskatchewan “connectedness,” and professionalism.

Based on the admissions renewal and admissions committee work, the following changes to MD admissions have been recently approved through all university governance processes:

  • submission of short personal essay(s)—opportunity for applicants to share their background and relevant experiences
  • participation in a panel interview
  • minimum entrance average requirement of 80% for all applicants (a lower average of 75% for Saskatchewan-residents had been introduced when there was a shift to a four-year degree requirement in consideration of a smaller applicant pool; the applicant pool has increased now to historic levels and this new threshold would not have significantly disadvantaged the last four years of matriculants)
  • implementation of an Indigenous Admissions Circle, which will increase Indigenous representation and add a more holistic and cultural lens to the admissions process for Indigenous applicants; the goal is increasing the number of Indigenous applicants and students in the program, and strengthening our college’s response to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
  • introduction of an Indigenous studies prerequisite beginning with 2024 applicants, also a response to the TRC Calls to Action
  • the Diversity and Social Accountability Admissions Program (DSAAP) will be expanded by transitioning it from an opt-in program (where applicants had to meet a strict financial threshold) to an opt-out program where all applicants will have the opportunity to respond to the DSAAP questionnaire and a DSAAP index will be calculated based on those responses
  • the Saskatchewan resident and non-Saskatchewan resident pools will be eliminated and applicants will be assessed through a Saskatchewan connectedness index based on admission factors linked to continued practice within the province; the goal is to admit more applicants that have a greater chance of practicing in the province after completing their medical studies

Existing requirements of a four-year degree, the MCAT exam and participation in multiple mini-interviews will continue.

I want to thank everyone who offered feedback and participated in our admissions renewal process. This critical and time-intensive work helped us to collaboratively arrive at new processes and procedures that are evidence-informed and strategically aligned.

Our admissions team is excited to begin implementing these new changes! Our goal is to admit a diverse incoming medical school class that will not only be successful in our program but will also reflect the patients that we serve in Saskatchewan, will have a propensity to develop leadership capacity and will have a desire to serve the province as future physicians. I believe we are well on our way to achieving these important goals in medical education and, ultimately, delivery of care for Saskatchewan.


Creating our “new normal” in undergraduate medical education

Guest blog by Dr. Meredith McKague, Associate Dean Undergraduate Medical Education, and Dr. Kent Stobart, Vice-Dean Medical Education

A great deal of change was necessary in the USask MD program, in the healthcare system and in the broader university, to navigate the pandemic. Our top priority in UGME was keeping learners, staff and faculty safe, while working to find effective ways to continue delivering education and keep graduation timelines on track. And as we navigate now to our “new normal,” we are using the feedback of our learners, faculty and staff to create a teaching and learning environment that benefits from both tried and true practices and what we’ve experienced these past few years.

One area of potential misinformation we want to address is speculation that the pandemic served to reduce the cost of delivering the USask MD program. This was not the case, mainly due to increases in small group teaching due to group sizes being reduced to better enable physical distancing, as well as PPE costs. Faculty time previously spent on in-person lectures was instead used to create pre-recorded lectures or to live-teach, virtually. (There were few instances where previously recorded lectures were re-used over the past two years.)

Thus, overall, while there were savings in other cost areas within UGME, the cost of teaching in the MD program in fact rose during the pandemic. Changes made to manage the pandemic did not reduce the cost of delivering the MD program.

Now, as we have transitioned back to more in-person teaching and learning in our program, we are testing a hybrid approach based on what we learned during the pandemic, leaning heavily on student and faculty feedback. The UGME office has received mixed feedback from students regarding online course delivery, with some preferring in-person learning entirely and others preferring a virtual approach where feasible for the content.

Thus, this current hybrid approach, with a mix of in-person and online learning, is being used and tested out, and supports what we have heard from MD students. It is very much still a new approach and we are learning as we work together to deliver a strong program. Faculty and course leads, building on the many changes made during the pandemic, continue to explore ways to creatively deliver content. We are committed to working with our learners and faculty to arrive at a sweet spot—the best possible delivery of our program to learners that ensures effective outcomes and offers reasonable flexibility for everyone involved. As always, there are various things that must be considered, including taking into account the range of needs and preferences of students and faculty, delivering a solid program and achieving strong learner outcomes, all balanced against sustainable program costs.

An area of success this year for learners and our program we would like to highlight is that our Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Qualifying Exam-1 results were slightly higher than the Canadian medical school graduate average, and we achieved very similar outcomes across our campuses and sites; this is a really important achievement as a provincial medical school delivering medical training to meet the needs of all of Saskatchewan. It’s important also as we expand the Regina campus this August to include 40 per cent of our first-year medical students; up to now first year for all seats in the program was delivered in Saskatoon.

We are also excited to be unveiling a renewed curriculum for the MD program this fall, so watch for more details on that at that time.

The pandemic has been a difficult time in so many ways for so many people. Our learners, faculty and staff have come together to support one another, and we have also seen some positive changes. We will keep working with learners, faculty and staff together as a CoM team to continue to improve our curriculum delivery in support of student learning.

Congratulations to our researchers on recent successes

In spite of the challenges to research productivity posed by the pandemic, the CoM has been able to celebrate many research successes in the past few years. Most recently, we had a number of very successful Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant applications in the Fall Project Competition, and I want to acknowledge those researchers and the important funded work they will be conducting.

Adding to his incredible career as the “father of agricultural medicine,” Dr. Jim Dosman is the principle investigator in a $1.4 million project over five years to examine what contributes to the mental wellness of Indigenous peoples in the home setting. More details on this work was provided in a recent USask announcement.

Dr. Juan Ianowski is leading a team of researchers, including from our college: Drs. Julian Tam, Asmahan AbuArish, Veronica Campanucci, and Chung-Chun (Anderson) Tyan; in a three-part project to advance understanding of cystic fibrosis. More information about this project, funded by $810,900 over five years, can be found in this USask article.

Also successful in recent CIHR funding Priority Announcement areas were Dr. Anil Kumar, with $300,000 for work in the area of infection and immunity (Early Career Research Support), and Dr. Deborah Anderson, with $100,000 for work in breast cancer research.

I’d also like to congratulate successful participants in one of our college’s internal research funding programs, and look forward to the successes they will have due to the support from ComBRIDGE, offered and coordinated by the Office of the Vice-Dean Research. Those successful researchers are: Drs. John Howland and Robert Laprairie, principle investigators with co-applicants Drs. Ian Winship, Christopher Phenix and Allen Chan; and Drs. Valerie Verge and Kam Chan, principle investigators with co-applicants Drs. Anand Krishnan, Jenna-Lynn Senger and Christine Webber.

While budgets are increasingly a challenge, providing internal support programs to help our CoM researchers achieve success continues to be an important priority of our college.

I know you will join me in congratulating these researchers on their recent successes, and in thanking all our researchers and those supporting them on their continued commitment through challenging times.