From the desk of George Kim – Building on our momentum

It’s exciting to see the momentum build on the initial work for the DEN Strategic Plan. The Committees continue to meet regularly and action is being taken on a variety of fronts.

Strong response was received to the postings for the new academic directors, and we are looking forward to interviews with the candidates that have been set over the next two weeks. Once the positions have been filled, we will be able to share the news of the new academic directors and the areas they represent.

More work is being undertaken on the operations side of the house. This committee, chaired by John Ruicci, has met every week since September and they have completed 10 of their 16 identified tasks. Specifically, they have been able to identify the core functions to be provided by the future academic directors of each cluster, and the level of staff support each academic director will require.

They have also identified all staff-supported activities currently being delivered by the Windsor Program, Family Medicine and the former SWOMEN program in support of medical students, residents and faculty and communities across Southwestern Ontario.

With that work complete they were able to identify the staff-supported service offerings that could be centralized with the DEN office to deliver a more seamless delivery model for learners and faculty. Not every function will be centralized because of accreditation standard requirements for clinical departments such as Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Psychiatry, and Clinical Neurological Sciences to name a few.

Research to support future development in brand awareness in the distributed region and a communication strategy to support the distributed education network is continuing.

Information gathering interviews have been held with undergraduate students, faculty members and residents to learn more about their communication needs and opinions around the School’s and Western University’s brand. More interviews have been planned to ensure there is a connection with hospital leaders and medical chiefs of staff from across the region. Once the interviews are complete a full report with research findings will be presented to the Committee.

Based on feedback we have received from our Chair/Chiefs, a special meeting has been scheduled for the DEN Implementation Steering Committee to provide an update on the work of the Strategic Plan. This meeting, scheduled for December 11, 2014, is open to all clinical Chair/Chiefs and will feature updates from Committee members, as well as Dr. Michael J. Strong.

I’ll have more news in December on progress being made on the Strategic Plan. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the DEN Strategic Plan, the committees and their work, I am always available through email at