A few months ago, many of you enjoyed Homecoming on campus and in London. It was a wonderful weekend during which we celebrated the success of our alumni, shared the achievements of our School and recognized fellow classmates.
For me, the presentation of the Alumni of Distinction Awards stands as one of the most memorable events of the weekend. Through the recognition of Drs. Paul Romanson and Shawn Steele, as well as our other recipients, we had the opportunity to collectively reflect on the values of our School and how our education has helped us to achieve our personal and professional goals.
Those School values – accountability, collaboration and partnership, innovation, diversity, compassionate care, learning experiences which foster academic leadership, critical inquiry and a passion for life-long learning – remain at the forefront for us as we advance the important work we are doing in Schulich Dentistry.
It was three years ago, when we as a group embraced the goal to become one of North America’s top 10 dental schools. While the work hasn’t been easy, it has brought together a very broad range of individuals to critically analyze what such a challenge truly means. The proposed plans of action arising from this effort have been carefully formulated, and with implementation already underway, we are looking forward to continuing that effort.
In addition to all the valuable input we have received from you, our faculty, staff, and students, we have also moved forward with the development of a 10-year strategic plan, constructed a new Simulation Laboratory, student lounge and lab space, operationalized the Dentistry Surgical Care Unit, completed phase one of the digital imaging installation, installed new imaging equipment for Graduate Orthodontics, and made significant progress on the electronic patient records project, which will be complete in fall 2018.
This was all completed while the School was preparing for and underwent a successful accreditation. We are all indebted to Dr. Rick Bohay and his team for accomplishing this.
This hard work is going to continue as we now focus on the substantive issues of curriculum and human resources. At the core of all of this, however, remains our patient population, now numbering more than 23,000 per year, and the truly excellent care that each receives at the hands of our learners who are being taught by incredibly dedicated full- and part-time faculty members.
As the Interim Director of Dentistry, I am very much looking forward to 2018 and the initiatives that are before us. I’m pleased to share with you that Dr. Harvey Goldberg, Professor in Dentistry, is joining the leadership team as the Assistant Director. He and I will work closely with the faculty, staff and students through the implementation of the Strategic Plan. Dr. Goldberg will also assist me in the day-to-day operation of Schulich Dentistry.
We can’t look ahead, however, without taking a few moments to look back in gratitude. And I’d like to recognize Dr. Richard Bohay for his tremendous commitment to the School and his dedication as Acting Director for the past three years. We simply would not have achieved so much without Rick and I am most grateful to him.
I also want to thank all of you for engaging with us on the work of the past few years, for your candour, for your advice, and for your continued commitment to Schulich Dentistry. You can expect to hear from me through vehicles such as this publication, but also through our alumni events taking place throughout the year, town halls specific to Dentistry, announcements and much more. Please know that your ideas and feedback are always appreciated.
In the meantime, I do hope you enjoy this year’s issue of The Bridge. We’ve been able to compile some wonderful stories about students, alumni, and the education and research programs that continue to lead the way at our University and indeed across the country.
Dr. Michael J. Strong, MD, FRCP(C)
Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Distinguished University Professor, Western University