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ViewPoint: Crowd-sourcing nearby heroes

Back in 2009, San Francisco Fire Chief Richard Price was having lunch out with colleagues when he heard the familiar sound of a fire engine approaching. To his surprise, a truck from his own station pulled up outside the restaurant, and he soon discovered that the firefighters had been dispatched to a cardiac arrest just next door. As a veteran first responder, Price knew the statistics – for every minute that passed before CPR was started, the probability of survival decreased by up to 10 per cent. Realizing in that moment that he’d missed the opportunity to help, Price set out to develop a tool that could harness the power of ready and able bystanders to help save more lives.  The outcome of his efforts is an incredible mobile phone app called PulsePoint.

[Dr. Steven Brooks]
Dr. Steven Brooks displays the PulsePoint app on his own mobile device.

Ever since I became an ER physician, I’ve been interested in resuscitation and bystander intervention. These two things are inextricably linked simply because we depend on the public to take us through the critical steps in the “chain of survival” – early recognition, an early 911 call, early CPR, and early defibrillation. For years, we have been pouring resources into the community to teach people CPR and purchase AEDs, but when the time comes, all of that effort and all of those resources just don’t seem to connect. We really only have seconds or minutes to get it right, and yet if something is out of a bystander’s line of sight, the whole process can fail. As soon as I heard about PulsePoint, I knew it had the ability to change all of that, and I became set on bringing it to Canada.

The idea is simple. When someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, a phone call to 911 is made and the location of the victim is provided to the operator. While simultaneously dispatching EMS teams, the 911 operator sends out a PulsePoint alert. Anyone who is within 500 metres of the victim and has PulsePoint installed on their phone will be alerted with the exact location of the cardiac arrest. The PulsePoint users can then rush to help the victim before EMS teams arrive. Additionally, PulsePoint shows bystanders the exact location of nearby AEDs.

Due to the complex organization that is required to set up PulsePoint in a community, the app isn’t available everywhere just yet. However, thanks to a grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and a lot of hard work from a number of key partners, I am thrilled to announce that PulsePoint is now ready for use in Kingston. While PulsePoint is used successfully all over the United States, Kingston will be the first Canadian city to pilot the app.

Here at Queen’s University, there are thousands of students, faculty, and staff with up-to-date CPR training. As a community, we have the opportunity to change the cardiac arrest statistics in our city and save more lives. If you are interested in learning more about PulsePoint, I encourage you to come out to the Queen’s launch of the app where we will showcase how it works first hand. We are hosting it on April 7 in the ARC main gym from 1:30-2 pm. In the meantime, you can follow the key steps outlined below to get PulsePoint up and running on your phone.


LIVES LIVED: A pioneer in cardiology and a gifted teacher

John O. “Jack” Parker made a positive difference in Canadian medicine and cardiology. His contributions to cardiovascular medicine and to Queen’s University are internationally recognized and will long be remembered.

[Dr. Jack Parker]
Dr. Jack Parker

A prize-winning medical graduate of Queen’s in 1954, Jack undertook further training at Queen’s and then spent a two-year research fellowship in the cardiopulmonary laboratory of the Nobel laureate Andre Cournand. Thereafter, Jack received a McLaughlin travelling fellowship that permitted him to complete a final year of training in Paris and London at the National Heart Hospital.

He returned to Queen’s University as he was appointed Assistant Professor of Cardiology in 1962 and he rapidly rose through the academic ranks becoming the Chair of the Queen’s Division of Cardiology (1972-1988). Ultimately Jack’s leadership had national and international impact. He served as President of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (1986-1988) and then became a Trustee of the American College of Cardiology (1988-1993).

Jack pioneered coronary angiography in Canada in the early 1960s after visiting the laboratory of Mason Sones at the Cleveland Clinic, where it was first developed. Invasive cardiology was then in its infancy and Jack soon began a series of elegant studies of the pathophysiology of angina pectoris and coronary artery disease that garnered international recognition after they were published in the premier cardiac journal Circulation. This work was followed by thematic studies exploring the most common therapy for angina at the time, namely nitroglycerin and its various formulations; these then guided physicians towards a better approach to nitrate use.

His investigative work led to international recognition and invitations to not only lecture around the world but also numerous requests from other investigators to visit Queen’s and establish new collaborations.

An inspired and energetic clinician scientist, Jack was one of the few Canadians to be honoured by election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He achieved this in recognition of his pioneering work in coronary angiography and physiology.

An accomplished, skilled and insightful physician Dr. Parker had a large clinical practice. His ward rounds were memorable for their inspired blend of clinical care, learning, and probing of unsolved clinical issues. House staff under his watch were expected to dress and behave professionally and were promptly excused if his exacting standards were unmet.

He was a gifted teacher who taught generations of medical students and young doctors the principles of cardiovascular medicine. Dr. Parker’s influence on a host of cardiovascular trainees is legendary.  His enthusiasm, work ethic, curiosity, clarity of thought, impatience for change, and willingness to push the envelope in the search for new knowledge created an exciting laboratory in which to work and explore clinically relevant questions.

In return for their hard work his trainees received generous guidance and career support that paid lasting dividends. Many of his trainees went on to academic positions in Canada and around the world after being transfected with the “Parker gene” for clinical investigation.

It was my privilege to serve as his trainee between 1967-1969 and later as his colleague at Queen’s between 1972-1984.

In an era when the “triple threat” is thought to have disappeared, John Parker represented what was rare but possible… if you were talented, dedicated, tenacious and curious. His career accomplishments brought honor to himself and to Queen’s. 

Paul Armstrong is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Alberta and Director of the Canadian VIGOUR Centre. He is Director of TORCH  a Strategic Training Program Initiative in cardiovascular research.

AMS exec plans next chapter

When they officially assume their roles on May 1st, the incoming Alma Mater Society (AMS) executive team want to focus on modest, incremental changes rather than big-ticket items. The team, comprised of Kanivanan Chinniah (Artsci’15) as President, Catherine Wright (Artsci’15) as Vice-President (University Affairs) and Kyle Beaudry (Com’15) as Vice-President (Operations), want to refine the services the AMS already offers, rather than overhauling or creating any new ones.

The incoming AMS executive team is (l-r) Kanivanan Chinniah, Catherine Wright and Kyle Beaudry. (Photo supplied)

“The AMS is in a place now where we’ve benefitted from wells that we didn’t dig ourselves. Our predecessors have done a lot of work and we want to build on that work with small, practical changes,” says Mr. Chinniah. “Our term is 366 days, but it’s only one chapter in a broader book.”

Mr. Beaudry, who oversees AMS corporate services like the Publishing and Copy Centre and Queen’s Pub, outlined some of the changes the team hopes to bring into effect. Along with a customer satisfaction audit to improve service at all AMS outlets, they also have specific changes in mind for the campus café, Common Ground.

“We want to address the lack of seating at CoGro. We’ve heard from students that the lines are long and that they can’t find seats,” he says. “We want to restructure the seating to allow for more people, so that students can more easily find space to have a coffee and a snack.”

Speaking to some of the broader plans they want to work with the university to implement, Ms. Wright says the executive team plans to advocate for the creation of a student health and wellness centre in the Physical Education Centre and wants to see an experiential learning credit created for students.

“The credit would allow students to take courses outside of their faculty or program, but wouldn’t affect their grade point average. A credit like that would encourage students to diversify the learning experience they have here at Queen’s,” Ms. Wright says.

Before elaborating on their plans, however, the team wants to make sure they’ve allowed the student body to have their say.

“We’re committed to the consultative process and want to make sure we’re engaged in informed advocacy. We want to do that by meeting with students in focus groups, using surveys and by holding town halls,” says Ms. Wright. “When we’re at the decision-making table, we want to make sure the opinions we’re bringing are what students want.” 

Current issue of For the Record


Faculty of Health Sciences

Matthew T. Simpson, Assistant Professor, Family Medicine – March 1, 2015

Human Resources

Successful candidates

Job Title: Project Coordinator, Competency-Based Medical Education (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Postgraduate Medical Education, Faculty of Health Sciences 
Competition: 2015-023 
Successful Candidate: Jennifer Railer (QEDC General Admin)

Job Title: Research Accounting Administrator (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Financial Services 
Competition: 2015-034 
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Research Coordinator 
Department: Medicine 
Competition: 2015-R007 
Successful Candidate: Cathy Ferri

Job Title: Research Associate 
Department: Medicine 
Competition: 2015-R002 
Successful Candidate: Kristin MacLeod

Job Title: Program Associate (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Chemical Engineering 
Competition: 2015-026 
Successful Candidate: Ethan Katz

Job Title: Research Technician 
Department: Cancer Biology & Genetics 
Competition: 2015-R006 
Successful Candidate: Ashley Huck


Nominations invited for grad student supervision award

The School of Graduate Studies invites nominations of faculty members for consideration for the 2015 Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision. 

The purpose of this award is to recognize those outstanding supervisors who demonstrate excellence in advising, monitoring and mentoring their graduate students. Two awards will be presented at the fall 2015 convocation: one in the social sciences and humanities, and one in life sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

Award nomination forms and guidelines are available from the Office of the Dean, School of Graduate Studies (deansgsr@queensu.ca) or at www.queensu.ca/sgs. Nomination packages should be submitted to the Dean, School of Graduate Studies, Queen’s University, Gordon Hall 425, 74 Union Street, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6 by 4 pm on Thursday, May 28.

Nominations now accepted for Distinguished Service Award

Queen’s faculty, staff and retirees are invited to nominate candidates for a Queen’s Distinguished Service Award. Inaugurated by the University Council in 1974, this award recognizes individuals who have made the university a better place through their extraordinary contributions. Recipients become honorary life members of the council.

Recent changes to the University Council bylaws now allow Queen’s employees and retirees to nominate recipients, who will be recognized at the University Council annual dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7.   

The guidelines, the nomination form and additional information are available online.

Please submit nominations to the University Council executive committee, care of the University Secretariat, by Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 4 pm

Please contact the University Secretariat at ucouncil@queensu.ca or 613-533-6095 if you have questions about the Distinguished Service Award or the nomination process. 

New tool deepens pledge to equity, diversity

A new online interactive tool is available to assist deans and department heads as they assess equity and diversity in their areas and set targets for improvement.

“Queen’s is committed to providing students with a high-quality education that prepares them for an increasingly diverse society and globally integrated world,” says Michael Blennerhassett, chair of the Senate Educational Equity Committee (SEEC). “Fulfilling that commitment to our students requires equity and diversity in our workplaces and classrooms.

“The Diversity and Equity Assessment and Planning Tool (DEAP) provides a practical, entirely online resource for evaluating, on a cyclical basis, our progress in this area,” he adds.

Queen’s is committed to providing students with a high-quality education that prepares them for an increasingly diverse society and globally integrated world. Fulfilling that commitment to our students requires equity and diversity in our workplaces and classrooms.

Michael Blennerhassett, Chair, Senate Educational Equity Committee

The Equity Office developed DEAP in collaboration with SEEC and in consultation with a variety of campus stakeholders. The Equity Office is already supporting the implementation of the tool in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Medicine.

“Within the faculty our aim is to have a workforce that reflects the diversity of the Canadian population,” says Dayna Smith, Manager, Human Resources, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “The DEAP is a well-designed and practical tool that will help focus our efforts.”

The self-audit tool allows faculties and their departments or divisions to:

  • Understand the demographic profile of their staff, faculty and students.
  • Assess progress on promoting equity and diversity.
  • Reflect on areas that require improvement.
  • Develop an action plan and timeline for improvements.

The DEAP tool involves three main steps. First, participants complete the self-assessment survey that includes a series of questions related to 12 indicators of inclusion. Those questions evaluate the ways in which diversity and equity are present across the organization, and suggest potential goals to increase this further.

The tool generates a report card summarizing the results of the survey. Participants then set goals based on their areas of priority. Finally, participants complete a summary report highlighting key equity objectives and areas of focus as well as an implementation plan. Over time, this will indicate both current status and document progress towards high standards of equity and inclusivity.

Equity Office advisors are available for guidance and support throughout the process. Contact equity@queensu.ca  

FIT TIPS: Simple ways to 'Get Your 150'

With the aim of helping faculty, staff and students "Get Your 150" (minutes of recommended exercise a week) to improve health and wellness, the Gazette and Athletics and Recreation will be offering Fit Tips each week.

Here are 10 quick ways you can work toward getting "Get Your 150":

1. Every time you check Facebook do arm stretches

2. Take advantage of the free exercise classes at the ARC - look for the RED classes on the Fitness Plus Schedule here

3. When waiting in line anywhere, do calf raises

4. When bending down to get something, hold the squat for 30 seconds before grabbing it

5. Download a meditation app on your phone and spend 10 minutes a day de-stressing

6. Do 10 lunges with your backpack before you leave the house

7. Research healthy options before going out to eat at a restaurant

8. Go to the open swim in the ARC before class, and reward yourself with a warm shower after

9. Go for a hike with friends, or find a local bike trail to enjoy on a nice day

10. Find physically active alternatives to typical hangout sessions with friends

Bringing in the bystanders

Queen’s is launching two new initiatives to help tackle sexual assault on campus.

Bringing in the Bystander, a new pilot program at Queen’s, is aiming to empower the community to stop sexual assault before it happens.

The University of New Hampshire developed and trademarked Bringing in the Bystander. The program encourages bystanders to intervene safely and effectively in cases where sexual assault may be occurring or where there may be a risk of sexual violence.

Universities across Canada have since been implementing the program on their campuses and Queen’s has begun training the first people who will, in turn, train others on campus.

“We’re very excited to launch this evidence-based awareness-raising and skill-building program alongside other important strategies to help prevent incidents of sexual assaults on campus,” says Arig al Shaibah, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs (Student Life and Learning) and Chair of SAPRWG.

Members of SAPRWG have been trained to deliver the Bringing in the Bystander program. As this is a train-the-trainer model, a team of students will be selected to receive the trainer and deliver the program to peers across campus.

Bringing in the Bystander helps community members:

  • Identify behaviours in a continuum of violence.
  • Develop empathy for those who have experienced violence.
  • Learn safe and appropriate intervention skills.
  • Commit to intervene before, during and after an incident of sexual abuse, relationship violence or stalking.

“This training is highly interactive and, instead of focusing strictly on the roles of perpetrator and victim, Bringing in the Bystander uses a community of responsibility approach,” says Dr. al Shaibah. “It teaches bystanders how to safely intervene in instances where an incident may be occurring or where there may be risk.”

"This training is highly interactive and, instead of focusing strictly on the roles of perpetrator and victim, Bringing in the Bystander uses a community of responsibility approach."

- Dr. Arig al Shaibah

This isn’t the first or only initiative Queen’s has or will run to target sexual violence on campus. For example, the Red Flag Campaign is run annually to help students identify “red flags” for violence in their friends’ relationships and encourage them to intervene. The 2015 Red Flag Campaign ran from March 23-27 in a series of posters in the Student Lounge in the Athletics and Recreation Centre, along with a number of miniature red flags on fitness equipment. Follow this link for more information on the Red Flag Campaign.

In addition to campus campaigns, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group (SAPRWG) has distributed online surveys to solicit feedback from members of the Queen’s community on the campus environment as it relates to sexual violence.

Results of the campus climate survey will inform the design and enhancement of new and existing sexual assault prevention resources at Queen’s.

Follow these links for more information on SAPRWG and Bringing in the Bystander. To take the campus climate survey, please follow this link

Queen's hosts Lieutenant Governor

  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Principal Daniel Woolf introduces Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell to Queen’s University.

Campus played host to Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, on April 1 when she visited the university to deliver a public lecture and take part in a roundtable discussion.  

Her Honour’s lecture, titled “Ideas that Matter: Conversations with Ontarians,” reflected her desire to meet and speak with the province’s citizens about what goals and themes she should prioritize for her tenure.

“I want to learn about what issues concern Ontarians, what they’re interested in, what they’re doing and what stories they want me to tell,” she says. “If we’re going to promote Ontario in the world, I need to know what people are already doing and a university setting is a great place to have that conversation.”

At her lecture she recounted the responsibilities of the Lieutenant Governor and spoke about some of the experiences she’s had with the Queen’s community. After telling of her meeting with the Queen’s Model Parliament in Ottawa, she praised the work that Dr. John Smol (Biology) has done to articulate the effects of climate change and shared the story of her investing Professor Emeritus Dr. James Low (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) to the Order of Canada. When Dr. Low was too sick to attend the Order’s official ceremony in Ottawa, Her Honour visited his house in Kingston to present him with his medal, skyping in friends and family for the impromptu event. 

Though she spoke about many of the accomplishments that Ontarians have to be proud of, she also devoted attention to the challenges that are facing the province. She says that among the hurdles facing the province are the task of managing the fragility of the environment, ensuring economic prosperity and fostering a fair, inclusive and cohesive civil society.

“We’re living in an interconnected and interdependent world now and if we don’t know how to live in, work in and trade in that world, we’re going to get left behind,” she says.

To better hear what’s on the minds of Ontario citizens, Her Honour also took part in a roundtable discussion with a group of administrators, academics, students and alumni. The group shared with her the work being done on campus to foster innovation and interdisciplinary problem-solving.

Though Her Honour has only been in her position for six months, she said she’s seeing clear lines between the matter that the people of Ontario care most about and that she wants to use her position to affect positive change.

“As Lieutenant Governor, I have a platform that allows me to shine a light on the big issues that our society has, things that require bringing people together for conversations on issues that transcend politics,” she says. “My position is a totally apolitical one, so I make sure to ask every group I meet with, ‘what do you think I should be working on?’“ 

Her Honour’s lecture was the most recent installment of the Principal’s Forum, a public lecture series sponsored by Principal Daniel Woolf. Previous speakers in the Principal’s Forum have included the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Tricia Marwick and His Excellency the Governor General, the Rt. Hon. David Johnston.

“We were honoured to host Lieutenant Governor Dowdeswell and to hear her address,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “I look forward to working with her during her time in office.” 

Queen's remembers Carley Allison

Members of the Queen’s community are remembering first-year student Carley Allison, whose brave fight against throat cancer ended on March 31. She lived in Watts Hall on campus.

[Carley Allison]
Carley Allison

Ms. Allison captured the public’s attention in March 2013 after she posted a video to YouTube of her singing a One Direction song while breathing through a breathing tube. She went to sing the national anthem twice at Toronto Maple Leaf hockey games and appear at several cancer fundraising events in Toronto.

Through her blog and music, Ms. Allison was able to share her journey and raise awareness and money for the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto where she received treatment.

Ms. Allison was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour outside her trachea in February 2013. She underwent tracheal surgery and chemotherapy treatments that helped push the cancer into remission.

In August 2014, a few days before she arrived on Queen’s campus, she was diagnosed with clear cell sarcoma in her lungs. She continued to take courses online after she returned to Toronto for treatments.

Flags on campus are lowered in memory of Ms. Allison.

Anyone in need of support is encouraged to contact Health, Counselling and Disability Services at 613-533-6000 ext.78264 and/or University Chaplain Kate Johnson at 613-533-2186. After hours, students are encouraged to contact Campus Security at 613-533-6080 or the Good2Talk post-secondary student helpline at 866-925-5454.

The gift is in the giving back

[Campaign Co-Chairs]
Donald and Joan McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering Professor Tim Bryant, Executive Director Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment Stuart Pinchin and Emeritus Professor Carlos Prado (Philosophy) are three of the five co-chairs for the Campus Community Appeal.

Each co-chair of Queen’s Campus Community Appeal has a distinctive reason for helping lead the university’s annual fundraising campaign. What unites all five volunteers is a common desire to “give back” to the university.

Previously, we asked Terrie Easter Sheen (Gender Studies) and Martha Whitehead (University Librarian) to share what motivates them as volunteers, as well as their personal reasons for giving. Today the remaining three co-chairs – Donald and Joan McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering Professor Tim Bryant, Executive Director Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment Stuart Pinchin and Emeritus Professor Carlos Prado (Philosophy) – respond to the same questions.

What drew you to this volunteer position as Co-Chair for the Campus Community Appeal?

Tim Bryant:  Ever since being a student here in the 1970s, I’ve wanted to give back. Now that I’m better able to help financially, that’s one way I can contribute – and giving my time is another. I think both are important to do.

Stuart Pinchin:  When I was working in the corporate world, I always had a strong desire to be involved in the community and give back. The same is true now that I’m at Queen’s.

Carlos Prado:  I wanted to do more than simply donate funds. This seemed a good way to contribute a little more.

What project(s) do you support with your gifts to Queen’s?  

TB:  As a bursary recipient myself, I know the difference student assistance can make; so that’s one of my support areas. The other is very close to my heart: new facilities for Mechanical and Materials Engineering that will help launch our department into the future.

SP:  Our class gift many years ago established the Arts ’78 Bursary, after a classmate lost everything in an apartment fire. That’s what I continue to support.

CP:  I support the Prado Thesis Prize in Philosophy, and my wife and I support the Prado Chamber Music Prize in the School of Music.

What would you say to someone who was considering a gift to Queen’s?

TB:  I would encourage them to reflect on the impact of their support 40 or 50 years down the road. Helping to provide a nurturing, stimulating environment for today’s exceptional students has the potential to make a real difference to Canada and the world. Everything we can do to support the Queen’s community is an investment in the future.

SP: Looking around our campus, you can see so many people giving back – beyond their day-to-day work – in so many ways. Whether a financial gift, or by volunteering their time and energy and knowledge, it has such positive reverberations for both Queen’s and the broader community.

CP:  First I would tell them that every dollar counts, and not to be shy, as some are, of making small donations. Second – and this is my special preference – I would recommend that they donate in ways that help students directly, as with achievement prizes. Lastly I would mention that donating time and/or money produces a good feeling of participation: one which is hugely bolstered when a student calls to thank you for your donation!

Every year, in November and March, current and retired staff and faculty members volunteer their time and leadership to encourage their colleagues’ participation in the Campus Community Appeal. The appeal has a direct impact across campus, supporting programs and initiatives that enrich the teaching and learning environment. Gifts may be designated to almost any area of need: from student assistance to mental health and wellness, faculty programs, the library, archives, community outreach and more.


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