From the desk of George Kim - An update on Distributed Education Strategic Planning

It’s been nearly eight months since those of us working most closely with the Schulich Medicine Education Program first received copies of the Schulich Distributed Education Strategic Plan, and the Dean shared his video newsletter telling you about the plans that would begin to unfold.

Since that time, a significant amount of planning and preparation has been underway.

Bertha Garcia, vice dean, Education, and John Ruicci, director, Education, have put together an extensive project plan supporting the actions needed to achieve all the Strategic Plan goals. The project plan is utilizing a committee approach to undertake the work. An Implementation Steering Committee, with membership from the Decanal Team, Education and Communications, is overseeing the progress and overall management of the work.

The various committees assigned to the strategic plan goals will be comprised of faculty, staff, students and trainees from London, Windsor and regional areas. They will work together to achieve the goals of the assigned Strategic Plan direction. Each month, the Committee leads a report back to the Strategic Plan Implementation Steering Committee and the School’s leadership on their progress.

It’s gratifying to witness such a thoughtful process unfold in such a positive manner across the School.

With Committee work now in progress, there is news and information that can be shared with you on a regular basis. 

Each month, you will have the opportunity to read about the progress being made on the achievement of the Strategic Plan goals. I will share the information through The Pulse, as well as  through departmental newsletters and on the School’s website. On a quarterly basis, you can also expect to receive a report that provides access to the monthly articles highlighting the exciting work underway. I hope you will find this information helpful and informative.

The past few months have been all about creating a strong foundation for the new Distributed Education Network and determining how we can build brand awareness and enhance communication. Three specific stakeholder committees started their work in earnest, and it’s encouraging to see so much progress being made in such a short time.

A new geographic model has been developed for our distributed region. The model brings together our more than 60 communities into six “clusters”, as they are currently being termed. The regions include Chatham-Kent-Lambton, Elgin-Middlesex, Huron-Perth, Woodstock-Oxford, Essex, and Grey-Bruce. 

When work on the new staffing model was finalized, it was determined that each “cluster” would be led by an academic director. Once Human Resources and leadership approved the job descriptions, the positions were posted, and interviews are now underway. We are most grateful to all our current academic directors who will remain in their positions until the end of December 2014.

As the Committee continues their work, more information will be shared on the timing for implementation in Windsor.

While all of this activity is ongoing, John Ruicci is leading another committee that will be working two of the Strategic Plan goals to review operations and staffing models supporting distributed education.

The specific goals are: “ensure seamless communication throughout a regional DME network of learning sites” and “create models of academic leadership and staff support to drive efficiency and eliminate duplication in DME.”

On the committee, he is joined by Jason Eadie, CPD; Joanne Gibb, Family Medicine; Brenda Hennessey, Distributed Education; Kay Hickey, Faculty and Interhospital Relations; Betty Holme, Human Resources; Jennifer Parraga, Communications; Patricia Potter, Distributed Education; Fred Ross, Family Medicine;  Scott Rumas, PGE; Nicole Sbrocca, Windsor Program; Dale Shelley, Project Management Office; and Matt Wannan, UME.

With nearly 20 objectives, and an aggressive timeline, the Committee is meeting weekly. Once their work is complete, they hope to have developed a “one-stop shopping approach” to the staffing model supporting Schulich Medicine’s distributed education program.

Brand awareness across our distributed region has been an ongoing discussion at our School and with all our partners across Southwestern Ontario for some time. A committee led by Jennifer Parraga has initiated an interactive process that includes representatives from our education programs, faculty from across the region, students, trainees and marketing experts to address this as part of the Strategic Plan. Research is underway and the Committee expects to see a marketing strategy to support brand awareness in December.

None of this work can be done without the tireless support of Maly Bun, who is keeping all the committees organized and on track, in addition to setting up many interviews, meetings and interactive sessions. I am grateful for her commitment. I also want to acknowledge the support of many of the departments across the School who agreed to share these messages through their websites and departmental newsletters. Thank you for supporting this important communication.

I look forward to continuing the conversation with you about the Strategic Plan for our distributed education program in the coming months. If you have questions, please email me.