A foundation of pride

Dear Windsor Program Community:

Since our last newsletter a great deal of water has flowed beneath the proverbial bridge. To begin, Schulich Medicine students hosted the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) Annual General Meeting at Windsor’s Waterfront Hotel in late September; this following three attempts to win the bid.

This was the first time the conference was held in a community where a satellite medical campus is located. Roughly 160 delegates from across Canada converged in Windsor for three days in September for education and business meetings.

The CFMS program was very well received by those in attendance.

To quote Yousif Atwan, the Windsor Program student who helped to bring this prestigious event to our community: “The former CFMS Executive (as well as current) were so delighted by our hosting and I can't begin to tell you about the numerous compliments we received as a School.

Some schools even indicated their ambitions for hosting this event in the future and requested our aid with their future bids”.

It is no surprise that Yousif and Han Yan, Medicine Class of 2017, were elected to the CFMS Executive for the 2015-16 year as Ontario Regional Representatives. Well done to the entire student team who planned for and hosted this successful milestone event.

Of course, the CFMS event was followed with long-awaited news from the CACMS/LCME accreditors regarding Schulich Medicine’s report. You will recall that the formal accreditation site visit took place in April 2015 after roughly 18 months of intensive planning and preparation.

If you haven’t heard yet, I’m pleased to share with you that Schulich Medicine’s Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) program received full accreditation status for the next eight years.

News of our status was reported elsewhere but suffice it to say that there were some very positive comments regarding the Windsor Program. For example, we learned that the accreditation team commended the School for a number of strengths including “the integration of the Windsor Program into the overall UME program”; one of five strengths according to the Dean that were noted by the accreditation team.

The other strengths noted were strategic planning; fostering research, intellectual challenge and inquiry; and academic and personal counselling through the School’s Learner Equity & Wellness office.

Knowing that the Windsor Program was so new when the last formal accreditation site visit took place and that we essentially were given a “hall pass” at the time, we should all now be very proud of this milestone.

Accreditation is a team endeavour in the truest sense of the word and for this reason everyone who has ever played a role at the Windsor Program deserves credit for this accomplishment; no contribution has been too insignificant. Faculty, staff, administration, learners and our community colleagues and supporters all share in this wonderful news.

Thank you for your contributions; I think it fair to say that the fine showing by the Windsor Program helped Schulich Medicine to receive its eight-year full accreditation status.

The past few months have also seen some comings and goings and special awards for individuals attached to the Windsor Program.

We bid farewell to Dr. Marlys Koschinsky, as a member of the Windsor Program Governance Committee when she moved to London to become the Scientific and Executive Director for Robarts Research Institute. Fortunately, in her role at Robarts, Dr. Koschinsky will remain a member of the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry family.

We also said good-bye to Jeanne Hickey, our Program Coordinator. Jeanne dates to the earliest days of medical education training in Windsor, prior to there being a Windsor Program. She began in 2004 and has made so many valuable contributions along the way. The Windsor Program has benefited from Jeanne’s grounded, respectful approach to taking care of our learners and faculty. Our loss is Dr. Wassim Saad’s gain, as Jeanne has accepted a position managing operations for him.

At this time, I am also happy to welcome Stephanie Coccimiglio back from maternity leave. She and Kylie Hamilton have worked well on a transition plan so that our learners continue to be well served by the Learner Equity and Wellness Office. I also want to thank Kylie for the great job she did covering for Stephanie. As luck would have it, Kylie will continue to extend her time as a member of our team as we work through Jeanne Hickey’s departure.

During this time, we welcomed Dr. Dhruva Kumar Revanoor, our new Anatomy Demonstrator, who will assist Anna Farias in the Gross Anatomy Lab. Dr. Kumar comes to us from the International American University College of Medicine, St. Lucia, West Indies where he worked in the capacity of Professor of Anatomy and Embryology. Welcome, Dr. Kumar.

Just a couple of weeks ago, it was announced at the Ontario College of Family Physicians gala event in Toronto that Dr. Dale Ziter is this year’s Regional Family Physician of the Year for Ontario - Region 2. What wonderful news, this award is definitely deserved. Congratulations, Dr. Ziter.

Looking ahead to 2016, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry will be culminating its mid-point examination of its 2011-2021 Optimizing Life-long Health Strategic Plan with a retreat in London in February that will be well represented by members of the Windsor Program team.

In May, we anticipate graduating our fifth cohort of physicians who have trained at the Windsor Program. How time flies.

As we reflect on 2015 as it draws to a conclusion, it has been a very good year for the Schulich Medicine - Windsor Program and the Windsor Program extended family.

With the proximity of the holiday season, please accept my warmest wishes to you and your family for a safe and special time.

Gerry Cooper EdD,
Associate Dean, Windsor Program