MEDICI Centre helps to put Schulich Medicine & Dentistry on the global policy stage


When Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s Centre for Medical Evidence, Decision Integrity & Clinical Impact (MEDICI) was first established in 2011, Dr. Davy Cheng, MEDICI medical director, and Dr. Janet Martin, MEDICI director, envisioned it becoming a leading centre responsible for answering high priority health care questions on a local, national and international scale.

Five years later, this vision has come to fruition. The MEDICI Centre has produced cutting edge research studies, developed and altered best health care practices, and collaborated with leading health care organizations around the world.

Jointly supported by Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care and Lawson Health Research Institute, the MEDICI Centre incorporated the High Impact Technology Evaluation Centre (HiTEC), a hospital- and evidence-based health technology assessment unit; the Evidence-Based Perioperative Clinical Outcomes Research Group (EPiCOR), which supports research synthesis and clinical research; and Know4Go, a framework led by Dr. Martin that supports policy makers when deciding whether projects should be a “go” or a “no go”, and if more research is required.

“The Centre’s key mandates include practice and policy, education, and research, and aims to create change on a local, provincial, national and international level,” Dr. Cheng said.
This work led Dr. Cheng and Dr. Martin to participate in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (GIEESC) 10th anniversary meeting, in Geneva, Switzerland.

While attending, Drs. Cheng and Martin, alongside many key non-governmental organizations and member states of WHO, helped to champion for the successful resolution WHA68.15, entitled “Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage”, which was passed at the 68th World Health Assembly in 2015.

In doing so, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry created an impact on a global scale.

“It is quite a prestigious opportunity to be invited, as not many universities or centres are able to take part in these discussions,” Dr. Cheng explained. “When there is consultation about anesthesia and perioperative medicine related to outcomes, data or policy, we will now be at the table.”

During their visit, Drs. Cheng and Martin also presented the MEDICI-led WHO Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosis, Triage, and Management of Patients Presenting for Surgery in the Context of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Other Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers, which provides evidence-based recommendations for the safe provision of anesthesia and surgical services.

Another priority of the MEDICI Centre and the Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine is to invite leading health care professionals to the School to give presentations for students, trainees and faculty members at the School, and sometimes the general public.

On February 17, they welcomed Dr. Meena Cherian, former lead of the WHO Emergency and Essential Surgery Care Program. During her visit, Dr. Cherian, led citywide grand rounds and gave a lecture to students in the Master of Public Health Program. Her discussions focused on access to surgical care in the context of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa, as well as strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anesthesia as a component of universal health coverage.

“Dr. Cherian had been to London before, and was quite impressed with our Centre,” Dr. Cheng said. “Her recent visit was a terrific way to strengthen the relationship between MEDICI and WHO, and helped to continue to put the School on the map regarding our strategic planning in knowledge translation, policies, patient outcomes and public health.”

This ongoing relationship and collaboration with WHO has provided opportunity for the MEDICI Centre and Schulich Medicine & Dentistry to achieve the global impact they set out to have, as this collaboration is one of the highest pinnacles for internationalization work.

“WHO is as large of a health organization as it gets, and Schulich Medicine & Dentistry is now dealing with that high level of internationalization,” Dr. Cheng explained. “With this international platform, we will be able to affect knowledge translation, policy development, and patient impact, which all lead back to the School’s strategic plan.”

To learn more about the MEDICI Centre and its current projects, please visit the MEDICI Centre web page.