Dr. Arlene King Named Ontario's New Medical Officer of Health

Ontario announced the appointment of Dr. Arlene King as the province's new chief medical officer of Health, effective June 15, 2009. Dr. King, an international expert in immunization, infectious diseases and pandemic preparedness, has been director general of the Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Infectious Diseases at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) since December 2007. She has worked in the field of public health since 1992 and has been with PHAC since 1999. She has also held positions in communicable disease control at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and served as a medical officer of health in Burnaby and Vancouver, BC.

Ministry Appoints Healthy Work Environments Champions

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has appointed two Healthy Work Environments (HWE) "champions" who will move forward with the province's goal of making Ontario the "employer of choice" for healthcare professionals.

Rob Devitt is the president and chief executive officer of the Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH). Prior to joining TEGH in 2004, Mr. Devitt was president and chief executive officer of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, where he led the integration and merger of two separate hospitals and secured government approval for the development of a new replacement hospital.

Dr. Heather Laschinger is distinguished university professor and associate director, nursing research at the University of Western Ontario, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences in London, Ontario. In 2007, Dr. Laschinger received the Distinguished University Professor Award, Western's highest recognition for a faculty member, in honour of sustained excellence in teaching, research and service during an outstanding scholarly career at the university. Since 1992, Dr. Laschinger has been principal investigator of a program of research designed to investigate the impact of nursing work environments on nurses' empowerment for professional practice and on their health and well-being.


Ontario Appoints Graham Scott Supervisor for Quinte Healthcare Corporation

Ontario has appointed Graham Scott as supervisor for Quinte Healthcare Corporation (QHC) to address governance and financial issues. Scott, a former deputy minister of health, will draw on his experience to oversee the implementation of recommendations from a 2006 assessment on governance and related matters at QHC. He will also be following up on steps recommended in a 2008 review of a system performance report by Ken Tremblay.


Fraser Health Welcomes New Board Member

Fraser Health is pleased to announce that Arvinder Singh Bubber has been appointed to its board of directors by the Province of British Columbia effective March 21, 2009. Bubber replaces Arthur Tymos, who completed his term of office. Arvinder Bubber spent 15 years working with various levels of government in Canada before relocating to Vancouver in 1991. He was recently appointed the first chancellor for Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is a chartered accountant operating his own practice, A.S. Arvinder & Associates. In his role as a new board member, Bubber will support Fraser Health as it continues to pursue innovative, effective and sustainable strategies to improve the health of the population and the quality of life of the people it serves.


Dr. Anthony Phillips Appointed Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction

Dr. Alain Beaudet, president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), along with CIHR's Governing Council, announced the appointment of Dr. Anthony Phillips as incoming scientific director (SD) of CIHR's Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (CIHR-INMHA). This appointment was effective April 1, 2009.

Dr. Phillips is currently professor of psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC), the founding director of the UBC Institute of Mental Health and a senior investigator with the UBC/Vancouver Coastal Health Brain Research Centre. He holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Western Ontario (London), is a post-doctoral fellow from the California Institute of Technology and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 1986. His areas of research interest include motivation and emotion, learning and memory, drug addiction and mental illness, with a specific emphasis on clinical implications. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Heinz Lehmann Award (2009) of the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the Donald Hebb Award of the Canadian Psychological Association (1995).

Dr. Phillips is a former member of the board of directors and scientific advisory board of Neuroscience Canada and the scientific advisory board of the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research. He is also a councillor of the Society for Neuroscience and the former chair of the CIHR-INMHA Institute Advisory Board (2001-2007)


The Scarborough Hospital New Vice President, Professional Practice and Chief Nursing Executive

Joy Richards has accepted the position of vice president, professional practice and chief nursing executive at The Scarborough Hospital. Richards was previously chief nursing executive at Toronto's Baycrest Centre.


Saskatchewan Board of Health Quality Council New Appointments

Don Hoium, Director of Education for the Regina Public School Division, and Maura Davies, President and CEO of the Saskatoon Health Region, have been appointed to the Board of Saskatchewan's Health Quality Council.

The appointments by the province fill vacancies left by Dan Florizone, who is now deputy minister of health, and John Conway, who has moved out of province.

Hoium has been at the helm of Regina Public Schools since 2007. Before that he was the Division's Superintendent of School Administrative Services. He has extensive experience designing and implementing improvement and accountability programs in education. As an executive director at Saskatchewan Learning, Hoium oversaw the provincial education indicators program and the development of the Continuous Improvement Framework, the sector's accountability system.

Prior to coming to Saskatchewan, Maura Davies was vice president, planning and performance for Capital Health in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds baccalaureate degrees in science and education and a master's degree in health services administration. Davies is a Fellow of the Canadian College of Health Service Executives, a surveyor for Accreditation Canada and a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. She was chosen as one of Canada's Most Powerful Women by the Women's Executive Network of Canada in 2008.


Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital Welcomes New President and CEO

Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital Board of Governors Chair Peter Vankessel announced that the Board has selected Eric Vandewall as the incoming president and CEO. Eric will assume his new role on June 15, 2009.

Vandewall comes from the Trillium Health Centre, which has medical sites in Mississauga and Etobicoke, where he has worked for eight years. He was a senior vice president there and assumed the acting CEO's position from July to December 2008. He grew up in Mississauga and has lived in Burlington for eight years.

Vandewall has spent time in the private sector at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, as director for the outcomes group, commercial operations. He has also served with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as director of the health reform implementation team. He holds a master's degree in public administration/health policy from Queen's University in Kingston.


New President of the Quebec Medical Association

Dr. Jean-François Lajoie was elected president of the Quebec Medical Association (QMA) during activities accompanying the organization's annual meeting. Dr. Lajoie is an internist and clinical professor at Université de Sherbrooke, and his main focus during his two-year mandate will be to highlight the importance of family medicine.


St. Michael's Hospital Appoints
Dr. Robert Howard President and CEO

The Board of St. Michael's Hospital announced the appointment of Dr. Robert Howard as president and chief executive officer, effective April 27, 2009. Jeff Lozon will become transition advisor to the president until June 1.

Dr. Howard has held the position of executive vice president of programs and chief medical officer since 1998. During this time, he has served as acting CEO on numerous occasions and also sees patients one day a week. Prior to his appointment in 1998, Dr. Howard was medical director of the Heart Program (1994-1998) and acting chief for the Cardiology Division (1993-1994). He joined St. Michael's Hospital in 1982 as a staff cardiologist with a special interest in echocardiography. He is an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. In 1989, he became director of the University of Toronto training program in cardiology.


Ontario Health Quality Council Welcomes New Board Chair

Lyn McLeod is the new chair of the Ontario Quality Health Council (OHQC), an independent agency that reports to Ontarians on the quality of their health system and ways to improve it.

McLeod has been a member of the OHQC's Board of Directors since its inception in September 2005. She is also Ontario's representative on the Health Council of Canada. McLeod has served in public office locally and provincially for 33 years. In the Ontario Legislature she served as minister of colleges and universities, minister of natural resources, minister of energy, and leader of the Opposition.


Awards


Manitoba Client Registry Receives Project of the Year Award

The Provincial Client Registry (CR) project was awarded second place in the Project Management Institute (PMI) 2009 Project of the Year Awards on February 10. The awards are handed out annually and recognize Manitoba projects that demonstrate a high level of project-management principles.

The CR is a joint effort of Manitoba eHealth and Manitoba Health and Healthy Living, supported by a consortium of partners including Canada Health Infoway, Sierra Systems, InfoMagnetics Technologies Corporation and EDS (Electronic Data Systems). CR stores and links demographic and selected personal information such as a client's name, address, date of birth and medical record number to identify individuals across healthcare facilities. This initiative is the first health information system project to involve all 11 Manitoba regional health authorities and CancerCare Manitoba.

With the CR in place, there has been a significant reduction of repeated information, with approximately 80,000 duplicate charts having been merged. Identification from the CR will support the ability to link health records from various locations and sources without patients' having to provide personal information at each site where they are treated.


College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba 2009 Professional Nursing Award Winners

Professional Lifetime Achievement Award:
Dr. Wendy Fallis - Mill Bay, BC

Excellence in Professional Nursing Award:
Elizabeth Wrana, RN - Thompson
Elizabeth Rock, RN - Winnipeg
R. Delphine Rundle, RN - Winnipeg
Gayle Elder, RN - Roblin
Lori Embleton, RN - Winnipeg
Dr. Wanda Chernomas, RN - Winnipeg
Lisa Gardewine, RN - Winnipeg
Frances Rosenberg, RN - Winnipeg
Dr. Beverley Temple, RN - Winnipeg
Jeroline Smith, RN - Selkirk
Brenda Stutsky, RN - Lockport
Dr. Ruth Dean, RN - Winnipeg
Cheryl Winger, RN - Brandon
Jannell Plouffe, RN(EP) - Winnipeg

Interdisciplinary Health Care Team Award:

Brandon Regional Health Care Centre, GI Unit Team - Brandon

Best of Alberta's Registered Nurses Celebrated for Excellence

Registered nurses have honoured this year's recipients of the Awards of Nursing Excellence at the Marriott Hotel at River Cree during Awards Gala hosted by the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) and sponsored by TD Insurance Meloche Monnex. One recipient was selected in each of seven categories from the more than 50 nominations submitted by registered nurses.

The recipients include:

Award for Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice:

Allison MacGregor, RN, BN (Calgary, Foothills Primary Care Network) - for advocating for improvements to health delivery to patients with chronic diseases and streamlining the referral process within multiple clinics.

Award for Excellence in Nursing Education:

Joyce Woods-Surrendi, RN, PhD (instructor, undergraduate nursing, Mount Royal College, Calgary) - for responding to changes and innovations in healthcare, particularly related to seniors' health, and incorporating interprofessional education and practice into the nursing curriculum.

Award for Excellence in Nursing Research:

Wendy Austin, RN, PhD (professor and scientist, University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing) - for her passionate advocacy of the role and situation of registered nurses, her research on moral distress and for providing practical suggestions based on research evidence for improvements in nursing practice.

Award of Nursing Excellence in Administration:

Reynold Sookhoo, RN, BN (director of residential services, CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health, Edmonton) - for improving access to mental health services and championing efforts to secure funds that provide distant communities with highly specialized adolescent mental health consultation services.

Lifetime Achievement:

Sandra Hirst, RN, PhD (associate professor, University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing) - for her leading role in the recognition of gerontological nursing as a specialty and for demonstrating a passion for the care of older adults during a career spanning more than 40 years.

Rising Star

Shirley Daniel, RN, BN (chronic disease management, Peter Lougheed Hospital, Calgary) - for having earned, since graduating as an RN in 2008, the trust and respect of colleagues by seeking and integrating new knowledge in chronic disease management and for establishing herself as an RN destined to have a significant impact on the nursing profession in years to come.

Committee's Choice Award:

Jacqueline Simms, RN, MN (program manager, surgical services, Calgary) - for consistently challenging conventional approaches to teaching and learning, for promoting interdisciplinary collaboration among all team members and for approaching all these opportunities with her motto: Always learn, always share and always grow.

Partner in Health:

Margaret Linklater (volunteer, Lacombe Palliative Care Society) - for her work in partnership with registered nurses at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre to provide greater comfort and support to patients in palliative care.


Twenty-Three Community Groups Receive Provincial Wellness Grants

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is continuing to invest in the health and well-being of residents through the Provincial Wellness Grants Program. This year, 23 organizations and groups received a total of $322,000 in funding.

The Honourable Ross Wiseman, minister of health and community services, presented one of those organizations, the St. John's Women's Centre, with a $25,000 wellness grant for Nurturing Health and Wellness, a joint project involving the Namaste Program for Women.

The Wellness Grants Program encourages and supports community groups and organizations to address the priority areas of the Provincial Wellness Plan, which includes healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco control, injury prevention, mental health promotion, environmental health, child and youth development, and health protection.

In total, 113 proposals were submitted. Projects were selected from each of the nine rural secretariat regions to ensure that the program benefits the broadest number of people across the province. The awarded grants range from $3,000 to $30,000, depending on the size and scope of the project. This is the fourth round of grants offered to community groups through the Wellness Grants Program. Since April 2006, the provincial government has allocated nearly $2 million in community wellness grants.

The provincial government invests $3.7 million annually to promote wellness through a number of initiatives such as Healthy Students, Healthy Schools; Tobacco Free Recreation and Sports; and Seniors Fall Prevention.


Patient Safety Champions Recognized With Health Services Research Advancement Award

The Canadian Health Services Research Foundation recently presented the 10th annual Health Services Research Advancement Award to two outstanding individuals with an unwavering commitment to improving patient safety in Canada:

  • Dr. G. Ross Baker, professor in the Department of Health Policy
  • Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto; and
  • Dr. Peter Norton, retired practising family physician and professor of family medicine at the University of Calgary.

Together, Dr. Baker and Dr. Norton have helped to establish patient safety as a critical focus for Canadian healthcare organizations. They are the authors of a ground-breaking 2004 research project entitled The Canadian Adverse Events Study: The incidence of adverse events among hospital patients in Canada, a sentinel study that is frequently cited as a critical focus for Canadian healthcare. Dr. Baker and Dr. Norton are also two of the founders of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute's Safer Healthcare Now! campaign, and both serve on its steering committee and on advisory committees. Beyond Canada, Dr. Baker and Dr. Norton are working to create a research platform to support the patient safety initiatives of the World Health Organization.

As leaders in research knowledge creation and dissemination, Dr. Baker and Dr. Norton continue to advocate for the adoption of academically sound approaches to evaluating the practice of individuals, teams, and organizations lengaged in improving patient care.


York University and University Health Network To Create Joint Nursing Academy

In Toronto, York University and University Health Network (UHN) will partner to create a joint nursing academy, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding on Friday, May 15.

The York University-UHN Nursing Academy aims to enhance health and quality of life by advancing the knowledge and practice of nursing.

"Our objective is to focus on programs of research that will improve quality of care, patient safety, and help patients and families to direct their health care decisions," says the Academy's newly-appointed director, Gail Mitchell, Associate Professor in York's School of Nursing, part of the university's Faculty of Health.

"The Academy will mirror the mission of the School of Nursing at York University by creating a culture of caring that fosters learning and the development of human science-based nursing knowledge, research, and practice," Mitchell says. This also aligns with UHN's mission of exemplary patient care, research, and education.

"This partnership is a dream come true for nurses at UHN. Our nurses highly value opportunities for developing new knowledge, testing innovations and advancing patient-centered practice. These will all be enhanced by the presence of the York-UHN Academy at our Toronto General Hospital site," says Mary Ferguson-Paré, PhD, Vice-President, Professional Affairs & Chief Nurse Executive, UHN.

The Academy will also focus on professional education, jointly delivering York University programs at UHN, including BSc Nursing clinical placements, and its MSc in Nursing, as well as continuing education and professional development initiatives under York's Health Leadership and Learning Network.

Mitchell notes these new programs will be evaluated and possibly provide models for other university-hospital partnerships. "Helping to create an exciting and inspiring place to work is an important aspect of the York-UHN Academy," she says.

The Academy with provide mutual benefits by bringing university faculty and students together with expert practitioners, leaders, and researchers in healthcare settings. It will also offer creative opportunities to harness the power of the arts in research and education.

The Academy will be jointly governed by Harvey Skinner, Dean of York's Faculty of Health, and by Ferguson-Paré.