Coming days at the CoM

I wanted to share some current thoughts for how our college is operating today in light of the pandemic, and what we expect in the coming days and weeks.

Increasingly we are seeing the need to continue with our critical actions of physical distancing, practicing proper hygiene, staying at home as much as possible, and self-isolation when required. The Government of Saskatchewan’s release of COVID-19 modelling for Saskatchewan yesterday as the basis for health system planning (it is not a prediction), underlines this need to continue with current measures.

In short, we are in a holding pattern for now. I am sure you will appreciate that we cannot plan with great certainty, especially farther out. We do know that for the moment and likely until at least July, we are continuing with learning, teaching and working remotely.

Our physicians too are delivering more care virtually, but of course our residents, medical faculty and some of our staff are attending our hospitals and other healthcare facilities, looking after patients, while learning and adjusting to new realities, approaches and safety measures. To this group: you are our colleagues and our learners, and we are keenly aware of the challenges and difficulties you are facing. Alongside everyone in Saskatchewan, we are thinking of and thanking you each and every day.

We are committed to supporting your efforts on the frontline by doing our part to stay home, practice appropriate hygiene, and do all in our power to stay well.

For all who are learning and working remotely, our new methods of staying connected will continue for the near future. With our learners, we will continue to update you with communications from your program offices, as well as with virtual meetings including town halls, small group work, and meetings with student and resident leaders. And we continue with online teaching and learning, and meetings, and various virtual administrative meetings, as our college moves forward in its mandate as much as possible apart from our physical facilities at our campuses and sites around the province.

So I offer words of encouragement to everyone at the CoM. Maintain a strong commitment to the necessary processes and approaches we’ve adopted. Use the virtual tools we have at our disposal to stay connected and stay positive and healthy. Help is available to all—our learners, faculty and staff—if you are struggling personally, through our USask resources and within our college, and via your supervisors. Do not hesitate to reach out if you need support.

Finally, on a separate note, I want to congratulate Dr. Melissa Just, who the university named this week our incoming interim provost and vice-president academic. She joined USask as dean of the University Library in February 2017 and has provided exceptional leadership in that role, and brings a strong background with extensive experience in academic and research libraries, including within a medical school, at a variety of major American universities. I am looking forward to working with Melissa in the days ahead.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Stay well.