Summer Update

The beautiful Saskatchewan summer is now at its best and I simply want to take a moment to thank you all for the hard work and remarkable accomplishments of the academic year we just concluded. Everyone deserves a good rest.

This past academic year we have moved some of the really big rocks. We have seen our research programs show growth and success as demonstrated in the recent celebrations for Tri-Council grants, renewal of the Heart and Stroke Chair (Dr. Mike Kelly) and the arrival of our MS Chair (Dr. Michael Levin).

Year three of our new curriculum was completed, and we successfully navigated the overlap year.

Thanks especially to all the clinical teachers, UGME and departmental staff that helped make that happen. PGME has had some programs receive positive accreditation news, and most importantly is well into planning for Competency by Design with our first program, Anesthesia starting this year. New leadership in CME and Faculty Development are already making big changes, and I am particularly pleased about our contributions to a major CPD event coming this fall with regards to the opioid crisis.

We have been intensively involved in planning for a transition to a single provincial health authority, and I am pleased to say that the importance of our teaching and research mission is being heard, and the new physician leadership model will integrate academic and clinical mandates. We expect the announcement on a new CEO shortly. In terms of our second campus in Regina, we now have a new MOU that outlines our mutual aspirations for the growth of that campus.

A huge accomplishment this year has been a new strategic plan for the College of Medicine, and I continue to get positive feedback both about the plan and the process by which we all came together to produce that plan.

One of the major parts of The Way Forward (essentially our strategic plan for 2014-17) was the establishment of our One Faculty model, and specifically our new model for appointment of physicians to faculty at the U of S. The Board approved this policy at its June meeting, and the Provost has now approved the corresponding procedures for physician faculty appointment. The bottom line is that this is already working as we see steadily increasing engagement by physicians in the College of Medicine. Thanks again to all who contribute, and kudos to Dr. Keith Ogle, our Vice-Dean Faculty Engagement, who led this effort on our One Faculty policy.

One of the “biggest rocks” moved this year was the successful completion of the documentation for our full accreditation visit this fall. The DCI (Data Collection Instrument) with the Independent Student Analysis, the Medical School Self Study and appendixes exceed 1000 pages and all were submitted on target, ahead of the due date on June 21. Many, many people including students, faculty and staff have been contributing to this enormous effort but great kudos and thanks go to Dr. Athena McConnell, Assistant Dean, Quality, and Marianne Bell, our Accreditation Specialist for a job well done!

When we all return in August the work now shifts to visit preparation. The visit to both campuses will involve over 200 people, 30+ meetings, and lots of complex logistics. Sinead McGartland is the project lead for visit preparation and we have a very comprehensive plan for all of those who participate directly, as well as the whole CoM community. As I have said many times accreditation is a team sport. Remember an accreditation visit team member can ask anyone in the corridor a question. We will ensure all the information you could possibly need to support the CoM at the time of the visit is available to you, however we will also need your engagement. I am sure there is no need to remind anyone about how important successful accreditation is to the COM, U of S and Saskatchewan.

So I hope you all have a great summer and a chance to enjoy family friends and some rest.

One summer challenge for me is balancing the desire to go back to the Maritimes to see family and friends (as well as enjoying an ocean side retreat, lobster feasts and time at the fishing camp) while thinking – why would anyone leave Saskatchewan in the summer! Nonetheless I head out tomorrow morning for two weeks in the Maritimes.

As always I am happy to hear from you, but maybe in this case later in August.