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Addressing addictions

Study reveals some women with prenatal opioid dependence are not being treated.

A new study by Queen’s University researcher Susan Brogly (Surgery) has revealed that 25 per cent of women suffering from a prenatal opioid dependence were not being treated for their addiction. Using data from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), the study also shows rising numbers of affected mother-infant pairs and associated health care costs.

“The information on health care costs are new for Canada, which goes along with the 16 fold increase in the number of mother-infant pairs affected by opioid dependence over the past decade,” says Dr. Brogly. “That is a striking finding but not new data. A larger concern is the 25 per cent of affected women that did not have an opioid agonist prescription recorded in the Ontario Drug Benefit program database.”

Opioid agonist treatment with methadone or buprenorphine is used to prevent maternal illicit opioid use and withdrawal and to improve prenatal care and pregnancy outcomes.  Methadone is predominately used in pregnant women in Ontario, largely because the form of buprenorphine used in pregnancy is not available in Canada and has to be imported from the United States under a special Health Canada program.  The long delay in getting buprenorphine can result in ongoing drug use, relapse or other complications in the pregnancy.

Many practitioners use methadone (which requires a special license in Ontario) and which may cause more severe withdrawal in the neonate. Buprenorphine, in the form used in pregnancy, can be prescribed by family physicians, obstetricians and other physicians without a special license. 

“This is an important finding because it could indicate barriers and stigma towards specific groups of women accessing care in our socialized healthcare system,” says Dr. Brogly. “More effective programming to prevent opioid dependence and prescription drug misuse is clearly needed and buprenorphine needs to be more readily available for pregnant women.”

In the study, Dr. Brogly revealed the number of infants born to opioid-dependent women in Ontario rose from 46 in 2002 to almost 800 in 2014. In addition rates of preterm birth, birth defects, still birth and infant mortality were higher than those reported for the Ontario newborn population.  All of these complications translate into significant increased costs to the system.

“The next steps are to confirm whether there are barriers to care, to try to tease out which exposures and what period of exposure in gestation causes poor birth outcomes in this population,  to identify longer term outcomes of the mothers and infants, and to prevent substance in young women,” says Dr. Brogly. “These data can be used to argue for more treatment options, including buprenorphine, and drug treatment programs tailored to women and their children. Support should also be given to the mothers and their children beyond the immediate post-partum period to facilitate the growth of healthy families and children.”

The research was conducted in conjunction with Queen’s professors Greg Davies (Obstetrics and Gynaecology)), Adam Newman (Family Medicine), Ana Johnson (Public Health Sciences), Kimberly Dow (Pediatrics) and University of Toronto professor Suzanne Turner (Family Medicine).

It was recently published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada.

ICES is a not-for-profit research institute encompassing a community of research, data and clinical experts, and a secure and accessible array of Ontario's health-related data. There is a branch of ICES located at Queen’s University.

A hip honour

The Tragically Hip recognized by the Canadian Cancer Trials Group for supporting brain cancer research.

  • Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip unveil a plaque honouring the band as Janet Dancey, Director of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, and Lynne Hudson, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, look on. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip unveil a plaque honouring the band as Janet Dancey, Director of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, and Lynne Hudson, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, look on. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, speaks with Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip at Tuesday's event to unveil a plaque honouring the band's efforts to raise funds for cancer research. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, speaks with Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip at Tuesday's event to unveil a plaque honouring the band's efforts to raise funds for cancer research. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Chris O'Callaghan, Senior Investigator, Canadian Cancer Trials Group, talks about some of the research that is being done thanks to support from donors, including The Tragically Hip.  (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Chris O'Callaghan, Senior Investigator, Canadian Cancer Trials Group, talks about some of the research that is being done thanks to support from donors, including The Tragically Hip. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Gord Sinclair of The Tragically Hip speaks during Tuesday's event at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group office, where a plaque was unveiled in honour of the band's fundraising efforts. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Gord Sinclair of The Tragically Hip speaks during Tuesday's event at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group office, where a plaque was unveiled in honour of the band's fundraising efforts. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) recognized Kingston hometown heroes The Tragically Hip for their support of brain cancer research. A commemorative plaque was presented to the band on Tuesday in honour of their support for cancer clinical trials at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG).

CCTG, housed at Queen’s University in Kingston, is supported by a core grant from the Canadian Cancer Society.

Since the announcement last year that The Hip’s frontman Gord Downie has glioblastoma (an aggressive form of brain cancer), many Canadians have shown their support through donations to CCS.

“The Canadian Cancer Society is very grateful to The Tragically Hip and their generous fans for this donation of $400,000 for brain cancer research,” says Lynne Hudson, CCS president and CEO. “Clinical trials offer hope for people with cancer and provide an opportunity for researchers to find better treatments for others in the future. CCS is proud to be able to support clinical trials at CCTG across the country through donations from the public.”

Clinical trials can help patients directly. For example, in collaboration with colleagues in Europe, CCTG conducted a trial to see if a chemotherapy drug called temozolomide along with radiation following surgery for glioblastoma could improve survival. The trial showed positive results, and this combination therapy is what Downie received at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.

Every day about 25 Canadians are diagnosed with some form of brain tumour. Glioblastoma is an aggressive disease and is the most common primary brain cancer in adults. Unfortunately, most adults with a diagnosis of glioblastoma survive only one to two years after diagnosis.

“This is a great example of the Faculty of Health Sciences’ vision in action: to ask questions, seek answers, advance care and inspire change,” says Richard Reznick, Dean of Health Sciences. “Queen’s is proud to serve as host to CCTG’s cutting edge research; it is humbling to have this research happening right in our own backyard.”

“As researchers, our greatest achievement is to see patients with cancer benefit from treatments that were proven effective by the work we do at CCTG,” says Janet Dancey, the group’s director. “Building on past international research successes, CCTG is looking at future clinical trials using promising treatments, including viral therapies and drugs to stimulate the immune system.”

Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society for brain cancer research allow researchers to make real and significant progress against this disease. 

Up against the clock

Graduate students shine in final round of Queen’s 3MT competition.

The pressure was on as 11 graduate students took to the stage in the Dupuis Hall Auditorium to compete in the final round of the Queen’s Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on Thursday, March 30.

Using only one static slide and no props, the students had to present their research to a panel of non-specialist judges.

Neuroscience master's candidate Victoria Donovan delivered a presentation on how the brain responds to trauma. Ms. Donovan won the overall and People's Choice awards and will move on to represent Queen's at the Ontario 3MT.

“Queen’s 3MT is a much-anticipated annual event on campus,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. “Our students put in hours of preparation for their three minutes in front of the judges. The competition helps students hone communication skills – such as making their research accessible and it’s a great way to celebrate the innovative and thought-provoking research our graduate students are conducting across campus.”

A panel of judges, consisting of Principal Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech, communications consultant Robert A Wood, CBC reporter JC Kenny, and Denise Cumming, CEO of the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, graded the competitors on clarity, audience engagement and presentation skills. A long-time supporter of the 3MT competition, CKWS Television host Bill Welychka served as the emcee for the event.

“I have promoted the event on CKWS-TV the past two years and it seems like the coolest thing ever,” said Mr. Welychka. “I love that 3MT combines distilling a complicated subject down to a three minute verbal presentation with dramatic elements, public speaking and engaging the audience. Not an easy undertaking to say the least.”

Victoria Donovan, a master's candidate in neuroscience was named winner and people's choice for her presentation, Lie low, stay alive. Her research is looking at the evolutionary response to traumatic brain injury. Early results provide evidence that high brain shutdown is an evolved reply to trauma – providing clues as to future treatments.

“I've been at Queen's for six and a half years now and have enjoyed every minute of it,” she says. “I’m thrilled to have the chance to represent the university at the provincial championship.”

Ms. Donovan will move on to represent Queen’s at the Ontario 3MT finals on April 12 in Waterloo. The national 3MT winner will be decided through an online vote on videos of the regional champions, conducted on the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies website.

“Competing in the 3MT was one of the highlights of my Masters studies,” says Anastasia Savrova, MSc’17, winner of the 2016 Queen’s 3MT competition. “It was encouraging to hear people were so excited about my research, and this experience has really pushed me to pursue more opportunities where I can get the public more involved in academic research.”

For more information on the Queen’s 3MT competition, or to see video of the finalists' presentations, please visit the website.

Researchers reach out globally

Queen's University researchers awarded $449,000 for Queen Elizabeth Scholars Network for Equity in Maternal Child Health.

Queen's in the World

Four global health researchers at Queen’s University and Kingston General Hospital Research Institute are aiming to change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations, particularly mothers and children.

Co-leaders Heather Aldersey (School of Rehabilitation Therapy), Susan Bartels (Emergency Medicine), Colleen Davison (Public Health Sciences), and Eva Purkey (Family Medicine) have been awarded $449,000 from the Queen Elizabeth II Scholars Program (QES) to establish the Queen Elizabeth Scholars Network for Equity in Maternal and Child Health.

Working together as part of the Queen Elizabeth Scholars Network for Equity in Maternal and Child Health are (l to r): Eva Purkey, Colleen Davison, Heather Aldersey, and Susan Bartels.

“Inequities in maternal and child health outcomes and access exist globally for certain groups, including those impacted by armed conflict, remote populations, displaced people, and people with disabilities. Unfortunately, these groups are rarely prioritized in research or policy,” says Dr. Aldersey.

The QES project is the first initiative of ARCH – a research collaborative for global health equity that is being established by the four researchers. ARCH will leverage their extensive experience working with partners in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Canadian North, looking at the impacts of war, poverty, natural disasters, and preventable diseases on families and communities.

“The network is demonstrative of research that has the potential to have a tangible impact on people’s lives,” says Dr. John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “Importantly, it is also reflective of the fact that many of our scholars are building research capacity for real-world issues in both Canada and abroad.”

The funds will support the research, learning, and advocacy skills of 15 PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, or early career researchers from low- and middle-income countries as well as Canadian trainees in a series of international exchanges. These new scholars will also take part in a common, multi-country study looking at the factors that contribute to maternal and child health inequities.

“We hope to support and inspire global health researchers and to contribute to the evolution of Queen’s as a global health research leader,” says Dr. Davison.

Maternal and child mortality and morbidity is still high in many parts of the world and among particular subgroups, even within Canada. Internationally, it is estimated that six million children die every year before reaching the age of five. The maternal death rate in low- and middle-income countries is still 14 times higher than in developed regions.

“These are preventable outcomes, brought on by such factors as income disparities, lack of access to good quality services, and discrimination based on race, gender, and social class,” says Dr. Bartels.

“Our aim is to equip the next generation of maternal and child health researchers with the skills and knowledge to advocate for these vulnerable populations,” says Dr. Purkey.

The QES is managed through a unique partnership of Universities Canada, the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada, and Canadian universities. The QES is made possible with financial support from International Development Research Centre and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.

All eyes on the Prize

Prize for Excellence in Research recipients to share knowledge with the community.

Grant Hall will play host to some of Queen’s most exciting and innovative researchers as the recipients of the 2016 Prize for Excellence in Research (PER) deliver a series of keynote addresses on Monday, April 3 from 4:30-6:30 p.m in Grant Hall.

The free, public lecture event will see each of the prize recipients present an engaging 10-minute overview of their work. The lectures – delivered with a non-specialist audience in mind – will focus on a wide array of topics, from art history to evolution.

From Top Left, Clockwise: Stephen Vanner (Medicine), Janet Hiebert (Political Studies), James R. Cordy (School of Computing), Myra Hird (School of Environmental Studies), Gauvin Bailey (Art History and Art Conservation), and Virginia Walker (Biology).

“The Prize for Excellence in Research public lectures give members of the Queen’s and Kingston communities the opportunity to learn from researchers who have made unique contributions in a variety of diverse and exciting fields,” says Dr. John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “The six speakers taking part in this year’s lectures are at the leading edge of their respective fields and reflect the strength, depth and breadth of our faculty. I offer my sincerest congratulations to all of this year’s speakers.”

This year’s lecturers are Gauvin Bailey (Art History and Art Conservation), James R. Cordy (School of Computing), Janet Hiebert (Political Studies), Stephen Vanner (Medicine) and Virginia Walker (Biology). In addition, 2015 recipient Myra Hird (School of Environmental Studies) will deliver her lecture along with the 2016 cohort.

The Alfred and Isabel Bader Chair in Southern Baroque Art, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a world-renowned expert in the arts and architecture of early Modern Europe, Latin America and colonial Asia, Dr. Gauvin Bailey’s research examines the art of different regions using multidisciplinary methodologies to pursue the viewpoint of non‐European cultures. He will deliver a presentation titled A Baroque Palace in the Haitian Rainforest.

Dr. James Cordy’s research has led to the development of methods and tools that make the management of today’s large software code bases possible. His work has been used to safely make systematic modifications to large code bases – notably used by Canadian banks to solve the Year 2000 (Y2K) problem – and for identifying trouble spots in other complex programs, such as those behind the development of autonomous vehicles. In his lecture This Means That: Programming by Transformation, Dr. Cordy will dive deeper into the development and management of complex computer programs.

An internationally-celebrated scholar of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Dr. Janet Hiebert is the foremost authority on how bills of rights influence Westminster parliamentary democracy. Her expertise has led to invitations to provide briefs, advice, and expert testimony for governments in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the International Bar Association. Dr. Hiebert will examine the innermost workings of our parliamentary system in her lecture, Can Parliament Protect Rights?

Recognized for his innovative research into the causes of, and treatments for, the pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome, Dr. Stephen Vanner has made a tremendous impact on his field. In his lecture, Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Light and the End of the Tunnel, he will discuss the current state of research in this field, including the work taking place in the Queen’s Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit (GIDRU).

A prolific researcher with an international reputation, Dr. Virginia Walker has contributed more than 150 publications to top science journals in her nearly 40-year academic career. With special expertise in understanding the mechanisms of stress resistance, her research includes the full range of biology from cell and molecular biology, physiology, ecology and evolution, and she has worked on mammals, plants, insects and most recently fish. She will deliver a lecture titled Piecing Together a Cold Quilt.

A Queen's National Scholar and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Dr. Myra Hird is a distinguished interdisciplinary scholar with an international reputation for her multifaceted, collaborative investigations into a variety of research areas, including human influence on the environment. Her lecture, Canada’s Waste Flow and our Global Legacy, examines Canada’s place in the global discussions around waste management, conservation and environmental protection.

The event begins at 4:30 pm. It is free and all are welcome to attend. For more information on the Prize for Excellence in Research Public Lectures, please visit the website.

Running to give back

[Kyla Tozer]
Kyla Tozer has organized the Neuro Half Marathon and 5 Kilometer Race, to be held May 7, to raise funds for the neurosurgery program at Kingston General Hospital. (Supplied Photo)

Running played a key role in Kyla Tozer’s recovery from a brain tumour. Now, things are coming full circle for the Kingston native – she’s giving back to the hospital that helped save her life by launching an ambitious charity run for Kingston General Hospital’s neurosurgery unit.

Before her own surgery, Ms. Tozer describes her life choices as being "reckless." After the surgery that removed a softball-sized tumour from her brain, she continued to inhabit a dark place, despite letting go of most of her careless lifestyle. When a cousin suggested running, she quickly realized its life-changing abilities.

“Every day, every week I would try to go just a little bit further,” she says. “I started to feel like I’m completely in control of this; for once in my life, I control my mind. I can go out and run and I can go any direction as fast as I want, as slow as I want, however long I want – and nothing can stop me. There’s nobody telling me not to do it.”

Ms. Tozer ran on her own for months before she decided to join the Running Room. There, she met a Queen’s student doing her PhD in exercise physiology.

“I was able to totally open up to her about everything and she would explain things to me,” Ms. Tozer says. “It was a big part of my rehabilitation.”

Ms. Tozer traces her symptoms back to when she was 16. She experienced headaches on a daily basis and it got to the point where she could barely tolerate fluorescent lighting.

“I remember saying, ‘If I could just take my eyeball out, I could poke it – I could tell you exactly where it is,’” she says.

After years of chronic headaches and trembling hands, Ms. Tozer got fed up and ‘Googled’ her symptoms (which she doesn’t endorse), only to realize there was a single diagnosis: brain tumor. She instantly contacted her family physician, who booked an MRI. Within 24 hours, she got a call from her doctor saying she had a brain tumor.

Ms. Tozer’s family physician referred her to KGH’s neurosurgery unit, where she met Dr. Ronald Pokrupa and his team. Ms. Tozer describes the care she received at the hospital as nothing short of phenomenal. The team had a ton of patience with her, answering every little question and supporting her in both the lead-up to the surgery and the lengthy recovery.

“Where the tumour was located has a lot to do with intelligence, rational thinking and all of that,” she says. “I was never ever good in high school; my marks were horrible and I had a difficult time staying on task.”

In hindsight, she knows part of the reason why.

Ms. Tozer managed to turn her life around; she has a job, a family of her own and is a student at Queen’s. She’s taking health sciences courses, with hopes of migrating to neuroscience.

She is excited to give back to the hospital that helped her by launching the Neuro Half Marathon and 5 Kilometer Race. Kicking off May 7, all of the proceeds will go directly to KGH and more specifically, the neurosurgery program.

“Neurology and neurosurgery is one of the most underfunded departments in the hospital, and it’s by far one of the most important,” she says.

Ms. Tozer hopes Queen’s students will join the run, adding that many from the Faculty of Health Sciences are involved in the hospital already through clinical placements and residencies.

“Someone who has a brain injury has a really hard time understanding long-term plans; they get stuck in a way and that’s the way it goes,” she says. “It’s kind of the same with students; you get overwhelmed, bombarded with work and you’re just stuck. Not giving up on exercise and any sort of physical activity that’s going to make you feel balanced again – it’s just super important.”

Students who register for the run have a chance to win a year’s supply of pizza from Boston Pizza.

She’s hoping that her run will be around for years to come.

“I think it’s going to be something Kingston really needs – something that will pull everybody together,” she says.

For more information visit the Neuro Half & 5K page on Facebook.

This article was first published on Dr. Richard Reznick’s Dean on Campus blog.

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 Mark 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, April 6. The deadline for submitting information is Tuesday, April 4. 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

 

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