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Health Sciences

Custom program developed for Health Science leaders

Health Sciences Leadership Series

A program designed to improve the leadership capabilities and communication skills of Health Sciences faculty members.

Visit the Faculty of Health Sciences website to register.

By Mark Kerr, Senior Communications Officer

Health Sciences faculty members spend years training for their roles as educators, researchers and scholars. In many cases, though, there aren'™t the same opportunities to develop specific skills required for their administrative and managerial duties.

The Office of Faculty Development in the Faculty of Health Sciences aims to change that by collaborating with the Human Resources Department on a new management development program. The Health Sciences Leadership Series will launch this September with the first cohort of 30 participants completing six full-day sessions throughout 2014-15.

"This program is modelled after one that myself and a number of other faculty had the opportunity to take several years ago," says Tony Sanfilippo, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education, Faculty of Health Sciences. "In retrospect, the content has proven to be highly relevant and practical. The Health Sciences Leadership Series will be invaluable to any faculty members charged with administrative responsibilities or curricular development."

Human Resources designed the program specifically for Health Sciences faculty members. The material will cover challenges, situations and conflicts they will encounter in their day-to-day work. Dr. Sanfilippo says participants will gain a deeper understanding of their leadership capabilities, expand their communication skills, enhance their project management skills, and improve their ability to build relationships both within and outside their department.

The Health Sciences Leadership Series will be invaluable to any faculty members charged with administrative responsibilities or curricular development.

Tony Sanfilippo, Associate Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences.

With the Health Sciences Leadership Series, Queen's Human Resources Department continues to expand its leadership development programming. The department has offered a similar program for non-academic managers since 2009.

"œWe are excited to partner with the Faculty of Health Sciences to extend this valuable leadership training to their faculty members," says Al Orth, Associate Vice-Principal, Human Resources. "We are hopeful that the positive outcomes of this series will result in opportunities to work with other faculties on similar programs in the future."

The series has the added benefit of meeting the accreditation criteria for two professional organizations. It is an accredited group learning activity for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The program also meets the accreditation criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Online registration is now open with the first session slated to take place Sept. 16. More information is available on the Faculty of Health Sciences website or by contacting Shannon Hill, Learning Development Specialist, Human Resources, at ext. 74175.
 

TRC report brings communities together to change course

  • Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with lecturer Nathan Brinklow during Tuesday's event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with lecturer Nathan Brinklow during Tuesday's event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Principal Daniel Woolf holds up a copy of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report during Tuesday's event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Principal Daniel Woolf holds up a copy of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report during Tuesday's event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Marlene Brant Castellano, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Council at Queen's University, and Queen's Native Student Association President Lauren Winkler comment on the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Marlene Brant Castellano, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Council at Queen's University, and Queen's Native Student Association President Lauren Winkler comment on the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Co-Chairs Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Mark Green, Professor (Civil Engineering), welcome guests to the event held at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Co-Chairs Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Mark Green, Professor (Civil Engineering), welcome guests to the event held at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Four Directions Women Singers – from left, Laura Maracle, Vanessa McCourt, and Melanie Howard – sing an Anishinaabe honour song during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Four Directions Women Singers – from left, Laura Maracle, Vanessa McCourt, and Melanie Howard – sing an Anishinaabe honour song during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with Laurel Claus-Johnson of the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with Laurel Claus-Johnson of the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

At a special reception Tuesday night to mark the unveiling of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Task Force final report and recommendations, Principal Daniel Woolf told the crowd of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and local Indigenous community members that, “Today, our communities come together to change course.”

“By taking steps to ensure that Indigenous histories are shared, by recognizing that we can all benefit from Indigenous knowledge, and by creating culturally validating learning environments, we can begin to reduce barriers to education and create a more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse university,” said Principal Woolf.

The special event, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and the TRC report represent a significant milestone for Queen’s and the local Indigenous communities, signalling a broad and sustained effort to build and improve relations, and to effect meaningful institutional change. The recommendations in the report span everything from hiring practices and programming, to research, community outreach, and the creation of Indigenous cultural spaces on campus. (More detailed list of recommendations below.)

Principal Woolf reiterated his commitment to fulfilling the recommendations in the task force’s final report, and to illustrate that commitment, he announced that the university will be creating an Office of Indigenous Initiatives in the coming months – an announcement met by a loud round of applause from the audience.

“This is just one of the task force’s many recommendations that I am committed to implementing across campus, and because I believe that we are stronger together, I welcome the rest of the Queen’s community to join me in that commitment,” he said.

Principal Woolf also stated his commitment to the TRC recommendations in a special Senate meeting on March 7, where he acknowledged “Queen’s own history as an institution that participated in a colonial tradition that caused great harm to Indigenous People.”

‘We are making history’

Bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, Tuesday’s event was hosted by TRC Task Force co-chairs Mark Green and Jill Scott and showcased the importance of ceremony – with a traditional Mohawk opening presented by lecturer Nathan Brinklow, presentations by Elder Marlene Brant Castellano and student Lauren Winkler, an Anishinaabe Honour Song performed by the Four Directions Women Singers, and to end the evening, a Haudenosaunee Round Dance, led by performers from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, that brought guests together in a huge circle, hands linked.

“Ceremony reminds us that what we do today is important, impacting the relationships and responsibilities that we carry forward, and woven into our memory as a community,” said Dr. Brant Castellano, a member of the task force, Queen’s alumna, and pioneer and champion of Indigenous rights and education.

“We are making history,” Dr. Brant continued. “In creating the task force, Queen’s has stepped up to ask of itself: What can we do to advance reconciliation? … The task force has brought together voices from the Queen’s community saying: We can do this. We have a responsibility to do this. The report is presented to the principal, who speaks on behalf of the university. In this ceremony, all who are present become witnesses to Queen’s acknowledgement of past errors and commitment to walk together with Indigenous Peoples and others of good mind to restore and maintain a relationship of peace, friendship, and respect.”

“I would like to thank you all here today because by being here, you are showing me that you acknowledge the truths of our past, that you stand in support of these recommendations, and that you will make a commitment to seeing the recommendations through"
​~ Lauren Winkler

Lauren Winkler, student and president of the Queen’s Native Student Association, as well as deputy commissioner of Indigenous affairs for the Alma Mater Society and member of the TRC Task Force, spoke about the experiences of Indigenous students and the challenges and racist encounters they face on Queen’s campus.

"Our education system has failed and is failing to educate our students at the cost of Indigenous students. The university recognizes this – it’s one of the truths in our truth and reconciliation process," said Ms. Winkler, who went on to thank Principal Woolf for his acknowledgements of the history of mistreatment of the Indigenous community and Queen’s role in perpetuating the mistreatment.

"I would like to thank you all here today because by being here, you are showing me that you acknowledge the truths of our past, that you stand in support of these recommendations, and that you will make a commitment to seeing the recommendations through," said Ms. Winkler.

The TRC Task Force’s final report, which includes reproductions of artwork included in the Indigenous art collection at the Agnes, outlines recommendations and timelines for implementation – in particular, the formation of an implementation team that will work with faculties, schools, and shared service units to expedite recommendations. The task force asks for five-year plans from the faculties, schools, and other units to be completed by fall 2017.


Technology and the elderly

International expert Samir Sinha explores how the gadgets of today and tomorrow may help us age well.

Dr. Samir Sinha is coming to Queen's Friday, March 31 to speak on technology and the elderly. - Photo courtesy Marl Nowaczynski  

The Queen’s University School of Rehabilitation Therapy is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a speaker series. Elder care expert and Rhodes Scholar Samir Sinha presents his lecture The Potential Promise, Pitfalls and Peril of Mobile Technologies in Enabling Care for Our Ageing Population as the second event in the series.

With an ever growing interest around the potential for driverless cars, mobile technologies and general technology in our lives, Dr. Sinha’s lecture will explore some of the promising aspects that futurists tell us technology will deliver society and whether we can count on technology to hold the answers to finding better ways to care for the aging population.

In 2014, Dr. Sinha gave the Duncan Sinclair Lecture in Health Policy titled Canada's Coming of Age: How Ready Are We to Meet the Needs of Our Aging Population? Watch the video

He also examines what some of the early perils and pitfalls have taught us how much we don’t know and still need to know in supporting our ageing population.

“The answer to our everyday problems is increasingly receiving the response – ‘there’s an app for that!’ although we are quickly learning that the success of mobile technologies needs to start with understanding why and who we are designing them for,” says Dr. Sinha.

 “Dr. Sinha’s lecture will be of great interest to those engaged in a broad range of fields including health care delivery, administration, and policy development,” says Marcia Finlayson, director, School of Rehabilitation Therapy. “Celebration of the School’s 50th Anniversary has been a catalyst to bring voices such as Dr. Sinha’s to campus – this enables our school to contribute to the Queen’s and the broader Kingston communities in a unique and meaningful way.”

Dr. Sinha is the Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health System and the University Health Network in Toronto and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  He started his undergraduate studies in life sciences at Queen’s.

He is an international expert in the care of older adults and has consulted and advised governments and health care organizations around the world. Dr. Sinha is also the architect of the Government of Ontario’s Seniors Strategy. In 2014, Maclean’s proclaimed him to be one of Canada’s 50 most influential people and its most compelling voice for the elderly.

The seminar takes place Friday, March 31 at 4 pm in the Donald Gordon Centre, 421 Union Street. For more information visit the website.

Med student eager to advance Aboriginal initiatives

[Steve Tresierra]
STeve Tresierra is one of three student representatives on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force. Getting involved in the task force, he says, has provided him with an opportunity to assist in the ongoing reconciliation process. (University Communications)

On March 21, the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force will present its final report with recommendations to the university community. The historical milestone will be marked with an event that day at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 5:30-7 pm. Leading up to and following the event, the Gazette is featuring profiles of Indigenous members of the TRC Task Force. Today, the focus is on Steve Tresierra, a second-year medical student and one of the task force's three student representatives.

Steve Tresierra is working to promote Aboriginal awareness and support for Aboriginal students at Queen’s. Being one of three student representatives on the university’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force has provided him with another opportunity to assist in the ongoing reconciliation process.

Currently in his second year at the School of Medicine, Mr. Tresierra first arrived at Queen’s for his undergraduate studies and played on the men’s varsity hockey team. However, after his second year of undergrad he transferred to UBC-Okanagan to be closer to the Whispering Pines Band and to re-establish his connection to his Indigenous heritage and the land. Mr. Tresierra returned to Queen’s after earning his Bachelor of Science.

“When I came back to Queen’s I wanted to be more involved with the Aboriginal community in Kingston and its surrounding area, so I signed up for various projects like the TRC Task Force,” he says. “The TRC Task Force seemed like a great way to help the university build on its existing Aboriginal programs and initiatives. I was already involved in many of the Aboriginal initiatives developed by the School of Medicine and wanted to know what was happening across campus.”

During his first year of medical school, he was appointed Local Officer of Indigenous Health for the Global Health Committee, providing him the opportunity to promote Aboriginal and Indigenous health in the curriculum. Mr. Tresierra was also part of a team that developed an online learning module, which focuses on the history and culture of Indigenous peoples. The module educates medical students using fictional stories of Indigenous patients they might have to treat while at the same time providing a better understanding of colonial impact, residential schools, and the effects of intergenerational trauma. First-year students also received cultural safety training facilitated by the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre.

Access is another area of interest for Mr. Tresierra, who played an instrumental role in developing a mentorship program that supports for Aboriginal students through the application process.

“One of the things I did as the local officer along with another colleague, was we created a mentorship program that was designed for Aboriginal students who had applied to the Queen’s School of Medicine and had received an interview,” he says. “If they wanted to participate in the program, they would contact us and we would connect them with a current medical student so they could ask questions about the interviews, how to prepare and what to expect at Queen’s.”

As a member of the TRC Task Force, he wanted to build upon the foundation that has already been created at the university. The impact, he is sure, will be felt at the university and beyond.

 

 

Current issue of For the Record

For the Record provides postings of appointment, committee, grant, award, PhD examination, and other notices set out by collective agreements and university policies and processes. It is the university’s primary vehicle for sharing this information with our community.

The next issue of For the Record will be published Thursday, March 30. The deadline for submitting information is Tuesday, March 28. For the Record is published bi-weekly throughout the academic year and monthly during the summer.

Submit For the Record information for posting to Senior Communications Officer Wanda Praamsma

Committees

Selection Committee – Head, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences

Michael Adams’ first term as head, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences will end on June 30, 2017 and Dr. Adams has indicated that he is willing to be considered for reappointment. In accordance with the terms of the Collective Agreement between Queen’s University and the Queen’s University Faculty Association, an abridged selection committee has been established to provide advice to the provost and vice-principal (academic) of Queen’s University on the reappointment of Dr. Adams and the present state and future prospects of the department. The membership of the committee includes:

  • Bruce Banfield, Professor, Department of Biomedical & Molecular Sciences (elected member)
  • Nancy Martin, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical & Molecular Sciences (elected member)
  • Thomas Massey, Professor, Department of Biomedical & Molecular Sciences (elected member)
  • James Reynolds, Professor, Department of Biomedical & Molecular Sciences (elected member)
  • Louise Winn, Professor, Department of Biomedical & Molecular Sciences (elected member)
  • Helene Ouellette-Kuntz, Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences (selected by Dean)
  • Michael Kawaja (chair), Associate Dean Academic, School of Medicine
  • Andrea Sealy (Secretary), Senior Staffing Officer, Faculty of Health Sciences

Faculty, staff, students, and other members of the university and health sciences communities are invited to submit comments on the present state and future prospects of the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences and the degree of support for the reappointment of Dr. Adams as head. Submissions are to be sent by Wednesday, March 29, 2017 to the chair either in writing c/o Andrea Sealy, 18 Barrie St., Macklem House, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ont., K7L 3N6 or electronically to andrea.sealy@queensu.ca. Responses will remain confidential and will be shared only with the members of the committee; anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Human Resources

Successful Candidates

Job Title: Projects and Contracts Specialist
Department: Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research
Competition: 2016-428/2016-R037
Successful Candidate: Heather MacArthur (Industry Partnerships and Innovation Park)

Job Title: Business Relationship Manager
Department: Smith School of Business, Business Career Centre
Competition: 2016-404C
Successful Candidate: Rishi Behari

Job Title: Electrician (CUPE Local 229)
Department: Physical Plant Services
Competition: 2016-418 A,B
Successful Candidate: Harvey Jr. Bradley and Marc Compeau

Job Title: Administrative Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: Civil Engineering
Competition: 2017-004
Successful Candidate: Heather Hill

Job Title: Communications Coordinator (USW Local 2010)
Department: Faculty of Health Sciences
Competition: 2017-010
Successful Candidate: Emma Woodman (University Communications)

Job Title: Undergraduate Program Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: Medicine
Competition: 2017-017
Successful Candidate: Elaine Carroll (Medicine)

Job Title: Faculty Resource Administrator, Office of the Dean
Department: Smith School of Business
Competition: 2017-043
Successful Candidate: Kevin Bissonette (Smith School of Business)

Job Title: Administrative Assistant to the Dean
Department: Faculty of Health Sciences
Competition: 2016-434
Successful Candidate: Kimberly Leahy

Job Title: Assistant, Alumni and Student Engagement (USW Local 2010)
Department: Alumni Relations and Annual Giving
Competition: 2017-002
Successful Candidate: Jennifer Johnson

Job Title: Coordinator, Advancement Communications and Events (USW Local 2010)
Department: Athletics and Recreation - Advancement
Competition: 2016-450
Successful Candidate: Colleen McGuire

Job Title: Assistant Dean of Students
Department: Faculty of Law
Competition: 2017-034
Successful Candidate: Heather Ann Cole

Job Title: Superintendent (USW Local 2010)
Department: Housing and Ancillary Services
Competition: 2017-027
Successful Candidate: Mark Heighington

Job Title: Administration Manager
Department: School of Nursing
Competition: 2017-019
Successful Candidate: Allison Mackey (Registrar)

Job Title: Web Developer (USW Local 2010)
Department: Education Technology Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences
Competition: 2016-364
Successful Candidate: Mafdy Bebawe

Job Title: Graphic Designer (USW Local 2010)
Department: Faculty of Health Sciences
Competition: 2017-026
Successful Candidate: Joe Pelow (Medical Technology Unit)

Job Title: Senior Web Developer (USW Local 2010)
Department: Educational Technology Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences
Competition: 2016-363
Successful Candidate: Itamar Tzapok

Job Title: Human Resources and Staffing Assistant
Department: Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
Competition: 2016-375
Successful Candidate: Julia Higginson

Job Title: Research Assistant
Department: Emergency Medicine
Competition: 2017-016/2017-R002
Successful Candidate: Yvette Chirinian (Biology)

Job Title: Program Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: Smith School of Business, Centre for Social Impact
Competition: 2017-001
Successful Candidate: Meghan Wilmott

Job Title: Administrative Secretary (USW Local 2010)
Department: Psychiatry (Division of Developmental Disabilities)
Competition: 2017-038
Successful Candidate: Arlene Healey (Psychiatry)

Job Title: Senior Communications Officer, Executive Communications
Department: University Communications
Competition: 2017-078
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

 

Expanding online offerings

Queen’s University has received approximately $1.2 million in funding from eCampusOntario to develop or redesign seven online programs through the New Program Development grant program.

eCampusOntario, which represents Ontario’s 45 colleges and universities, put out a call for proposals in July 2016 and received 174 submissions. A total of 61 submissions received funding totaling more than $21 million.

Of the seven successful proposals from Queen’s six were submitted by the Faculty of Arts and Science and one was submitted by the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The successful proposals cover a broad range of subjects including entrepreneurship and innovation, health leadership, and undergraduate research.

“Queen’s has a proven track record in securing funding to support the development of online learning,” John Pierce, Acting Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), says. “In this round alone, over 10 per cent of the 61 successful proposals were from Queen’s. Our successes are a direct result of the expertise and engagement that our faculty and staff bring to the development of these innovative, well-designed courses. Collectively, we remain committed to facilitating a transformative online learning experience for our students, and these new projects will contribute to that.”

Queen’s already has more than 160 courses available online, as well as five full degree programs. More information about online offerings is available on Queen’s online learning hub.

Ontario’s shared online course funding program was created to promote the development of online courses at universities and colleges and to give students greater flexibility as they pursue their degrees. 

The Queen’s online programs receiving grants from eCampusOntario are:

Doctor of Science - Rehabilitation and Health Leadership
Grant:
$182,594
Project will work to develop the new Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation and Health Leadership (DSc RHL) plus four courses within this program. The DSc (RHL) is a professional doctorate that will produce ‘leader scholars.’

Queen's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Certificate (QEIC)
Grant:
$363,835
Project is to develop a new fully online certificate program in innovation and entrepreneurship to be launched in Fall 2018. This will be a uniquely collaborative academic initiative that brings together participants from nine Queen’s faculties, schools, departments and service units to develop, design and deliver the program.

Master of Earth and Energy Resources Leadership
Grant:
$151,317
Project will develop three courses for the new online Master of Earth and Energy Resources Leadership (MEERL) to be launched in January 2017. MEERL is a part-time, course-based, graduate program introduced by the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering at Queen’s that: 1) Capitalizes on Queen’s widely recognized strengths in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Faculty of Law, the Smith School of Business, the School of Policy Studies and the Department of Economics; 2) Works with industry to deliver courses that take an interdisciplinary approach focused on resource-related decision-making; Can be leveraged by those working in natural resources, policy, and regulation.

Certificate in Employment Relations (CEMPR)
Grant:
$262,956
Project will redesign a certificate program in employment relations for fully online delivery, to be launched in Summer 2018. Project brings together two universities and participants from several Queen’s Faculties, Schools, Departments and Programs to develop, design and deliver the program.

Global Action and Engagement Certificate (GAEC)
Grant:
$212,517
Project will develop a new, fully online undergraduate Global Action and Engagement Certificate (GAEC), and three core courses, to launch in Fall 2018. The fully online delivery model will make this innovative program: 1) Accessible to learners across Ontario and Canada; 2) An ideal way to earn a recognized credential that demonstrates cross-cultural competencies, intellectual creativity, collaborative problem solving skills; 3) The standard for proficiencies to work/volunteer in complex global settings.

Certificate in Advanced Research Skills
Grant:
$187,298
Project will develop a new, fully online certificate program in advanced research skills, to be launched in Fall 2017. The fully online delivery model will make this innovative program accessible to learners from all disciplines in Ontario and across Canada. To our knowledge, it is the first interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research skills certificate. This ground breaking course will: 1) Recognize the ability of the learner to construct her or his own learning; 2) Create opportunities for self-directed learning; 3) Be aligned with the pedagogical approach of inquiry-based learning.

French for Professionals Certificate
Grant:
$214,047
Project is to develop a new fully online undergraduate certificate in French for Professionals to be launched in Fall 2018. In Canada, new graduates, professionals and other job-seekers who can communicate effectively in French as a Second Language (FSL) are more likely to be successfully employed in bilingual workplaces (Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, 2016). Goal of this new certificate program is to enable learners of French as a Second Language to develop and enhance language skills to work in bilingual professional environments such as health care, government, law and other industries.

Focusing on frailty

Queen’s based Canadian Frailty Network receives renewal funding of $23.9 million.

  • John Muscedere, Scientific Director and CEO, Canadian Frailty Network, talks about the work by the internationally-recognized research network that is focused on improving health care for an aging population. (University Communications)
    John Muscedere, Scientific Director and CEO, Canadian Frailty Network, talks about the work by the internationally-recognized research network that is focused on improving health care for an aging population. (University Communications)
  • Taking part in Friday's funding announcement were, from left: Richard Reznick, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences; Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands; Bettina Hamelin, Vice-President of Research Partnerships, NSERC; John Muscedere, Scientific Director and CEO, Canadian Frailty Network; Russell Williams, Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Frailty Network; and John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Taking part in Friday's funding announcement were, from left: Richard Reznick, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences; Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands; Bettina Hamelin, Vice-President of Research Partnerships, NSERC; John Muscedere, Scientific Director and CEO, Canadian Frailty Network; Russell Williams, Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Frailty Network; and John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Bettina Hamelin, Vice-President of Research Partnerships, NSERC, speaks during Friday's announcement of $23.9 million in renewal funding Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) from the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. (University Communications)
    Bettina Hamelin, Vice-President of Research Partnerships, NSERC, speaks during Friday's announcement of $23.9 million in renewal funding Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) from the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. (University Communications)

An internationally-recognized research network focused on improving health care for an aging population has received renewal funding from the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. Launched as an NCE in May 2012, Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) will receive $23.9 million in renewal funding for the next five years, matched by $30 million in contributions from 150 partners

Hosted by Queen’s, CFN is a national initiative to improve the care of older Canadians living with frailty. Its goals are to increase frailty recognition and assessment, support new research and engage frail older people and their caregivers to improve decision making, and mobilize evidence to transform health and social care to meet the needs of the aging population.

“This Queen’s-led Networks of Centres of Excellence demonstrates the importance of the research at Queen’s and is evidence of how knowledge-mobilization can be done effectively and lead to a measurable impact,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University.

For its second term, CFN has prioritized standardizing how frailty is identified and measured in various care settings, continuing to increase evidence on frailty to aid decision making, and mobilizing knowledge to catalyze change in care. Canada is a leader in frailty research but, despite this, the Canadian health care system has lagged behind other jurisdictions in applying what is known about frailty.

“Implementing standardized ways to identify and measure frailty will support comparisons between jurisdictions and identify variations in care, outcomes and healthcare resource utilization,” says John Muscedere, Scientific Director and CEO, CFN. “This can increase value from healthcare resources by avoiding under use and overuse of care. Informed by evidence, our goal is the right care, delivered in the right setting, as determined by older frail individuals with their families and caregivers.”

Over the past five years, CFN has had a number of successful outcomes:

  • Pilot study of in-bed cycling as a rehabilitation intervention for older frail patients in the ICU has led to full study.
  • A national partnership with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and Mount Sinai Hospital implemented elder-friendly models of care in 17 Canadian hospitals and an international hospital, and further collaboration is planned for Term 2.
  • A study testing ICU screening for frailty has been rolled out across Alberta.
  • ICU patients in Alberta are now screened for frailty. Promising feasibility study result has led to volunteer patient navigators for frail rural dwelling seniors being tested across Canada.
  • Testing by home care teams in the province of Quebec examined how a training program for doctors and interprofessional teams can improve the experience of the frail elderly and their families and caregivers in confronting the decision to stay at home or move to a care facility.
  • CFN’s Interdisciplinary Program is the only one in Canada targeting frailty, and nearly 550 young scholars, students and trainees have developed enhanced specialized skills and knowledge to provide the best evidence-based care.

“The unique challenges posed by frailty require a shift in Canadian health policy and planning on a national level,” says Russell Williams, Chair, Board of Directors, CFN. Canada needs frailty assessment standards implemented across care settings; better frailty training for caregivers and healthcare professionals; and funding models to address the needs of older adults living with frailty.”

For more information, visit the website.

Online opportunities

New funding supports virtual simulations for nursing students.

Queen’s nursing professors Marian Luctkar-Flude and Deborah Tregunno are part of a research team that has earned a $100,000 grant from eCampus Ontario to investigate the cost effectiveness of using computer simulation in nursing education.

The funding is going to create online virtual simulations which will better prepare students for hands-on work once they enter the simulation laboratory at Queen’s. A number of scenarios will be developed to teach students the best way to approach a variety of nursing situations.

“Virtual reality is really an emerging field and this funding is enabling our students to be leaders in that area,” says Dr. Luctkar-Flude. ““The project is also a real highlight in the collaborative process between institutions.”

Dr. Luctkar-Flude is a Canadian leader in nursing education using simulation, and was one of the first in Canada to bring simulation training and interprofessional education together. She recently became the first Canadian to earn the Excellence in Research Award from the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning.

 “Having students training in the lab is expensive so these online learning modules will better prepare them to work efficiently while in the lab,” explains Dr. Luctkar-Flude. “The project will help drive the innovation of online learning in Ontario.”

The project is being led by Dr. Jane Tyerman (Trent University), and Dr. Luctkar-Flude and Dr.  Tregunno from Queen’s School of Nursing are the co-principal investigators. Dr. Rylan Egan, Director of the Office of Health Sciences Education at Queen’s is a co-investigator. Other institutions involved include Nipissing University, the University of Ottawa and York University.

The grant and the research collaboration between the nursing programs involved builds upon the partnerships and research opportunities that were created from a 2013-2014 Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Productivity and Innovation Fund grant, led by Dr. Tregunno. The grant saw more than $5 million awarded to 13 universities and four college partners to create simulation scenarios to support fourth-year nursing students’ transition to practice.

A new approach to allergies

Study reveals using synthetic peptides could be a better solution for grass allergy sufferers.

A new approach to treating grass allergies offers potential as a shorter and more effective alternative to traditional allergy shots, according to a recent study led by Queen’s researcher Dr. Anne Ellis (Medicine, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences).

“For many Canadians, the misery of grass allergy season can be lessened through allergen immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots,” says Dr. Ellis. “But this well-known treatment not only involves the discomfort of weekly needles for  four to six months, followed by monthly injections for up to five years after, it also carries a not insignificant risk of severe reactions, including anaphylaxis. This new approach could change all of that.”

One of the largest ever conducted on this allergen, the Phase II clinical trial looked at the effectiveness and safety of a grass peptide-based immunotherapy, compared to a placebo, in 226 study participants.

This revolutionary study is the first-ever completed Phase II study using synthetic peptides to treat grass allergies. Unlike traditional grass allergy injections – which use all of the proteins from grass – the peptide therapy works through a different mechanism, using tiny bits of specific proteins to target the most important immune cells.

“It’s a new way of giving immunotherapy that bypasses the indirect route of traditional treatment and goes right to the most important effector cells” says Dr. Ellis, who also works as a clinician scientist at the Kingston General Hospital Research Institute. “The theory is that the proteins used in this kind of therapy are so small, they avoid anaphylaxis.”

Participants were treated with either the peptides or a placebo four months before grass season. After just eight injections – given every two weeks over the course of 14 weeks in total – they were exposed to grass pollen in the Environmental Exposure Unit (EEU) at Kingston General Hospital. The EEU is a state-of-the-art controlled environmental exposure facility that enables up to 140 participants to be tested at the same time. 

Dr. Ellis’ study revealed participants who received the peptide treatment showed a significant reduction in allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and runny nose upon exposure to grass pollen, while avoiding serious reactions such as anaphylaxis.

The study also showed that this treatment could be delivered over a shorter period of time – one dose every two weeks over 14 weeks, compared to the nearly year-round frequency of traditional allergy shots. Interestingly, a higher dose of the peptide treatment, delivered over four-week intervals, was no more effective than the lower dose given biweekly.

“We saw the same thing in studies using synthetic peptides for allergies to cats and dust mites,” says Dr. Ellis. “It’s clear that immunotherapy using these peptides is different – it causes a bit of a rethink about how the immune system works.”

Dr. Ellis’s study was published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. It was also highlighted in the “Latest Research” section of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

A family affair

Queen’s Family Health Team a leader in patient care for the past 10 years.

For the past 10 years, the Department of Family Medicine’s Queen’s Family Health Team (QFHT) has taken a leadership role in providing health care in a timely and efficient manner to its patients. The team offers a collaboration of physicians, resident physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, a dietitian, a pharmacist, various clerks and other forms of administrative support – all working together to provide patient-centred care.

By offering such a wide range of health services, department head Glenn Brown says they are giving their patients the best care possible.

Enjoying the 10th anniversary celebrations are (l to r): Glenn Brown, Head, Department of Family Medicine; Ruth Wilson; Diane Cross, QFHT Clinic Manager; Walter Rosser; and Karen Hall Barber, QFHT physician lead.

“I truly believe in this model,” says Dr. Brown, who will soon be stepping down as department head after two five-year terms. “Queen’s University has taken a leadership role in developing the family health team model and our patients are benefitting. Our patients want a relationship with the members of our team and we are providing that.”

The department got its start in 1965. At the time, it was located in a five-room family care unit based at Kingston General Hospital. It was in 1971 that the department became an academic unit at Queen’s. In 1975, the Family Medicine Centre, on Hotel Dieu Hospital property at 220 Bagot Street, opened with a number of health professionals from various specialties, representing an approach to family medicine that would later be known as a family health team.

“We have moved far beyond the days when doctors worked in silos; they now work in professional groups,” says Dr. Brown, who uses care of diabetic patients as an example.

“Our nurse practitioners, dietitian and pharmacist work, with the physicians, nurses and other staff, to provide a collaborative approach to the care of our diabetic patient population. All members of our team are able to utilize our electronic medical records system, which ensures there is good communication among everyone involved and no duplication.”

To ensure patients are getting full support, the QFHT is always expanding and improving its services. “We have a number of different baby programs, weight-management and healthy-eating programs, and pain-management clinics, just to name a few,” says Karen Hall Barber, QFHT lead physician. “These programs allow us to focus on prevention and identify issues before they get bigger.”

With all of the positive, there is some negative.

“The government has lost some faith that the model is working, but politicians are also aware data is limited in regards to patient satisfaction. All the studies available are showing family health teams are working,” says Dr. Hall Barber. “Part of the issue is the inequality of services available from family health teams. They aren’t all the same and that can lead to dissatisfaction.”

Dr. Brown agrees and says the Queen’s model can lead others to success.

“We need to make sure all citizens have access to the services because part of the issue is the equality of services. We are trying to help by expanding our own services to show this model can work. And it does work.”

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