Ending the year on a high note
As I start to think about a few days off for the holidays, I am excited and invigorated by the progress we have made in the faculty this past year. It’s been a remarkable year of growth. And importantly, we have made significant gains in all four areas of our strategy: education, research, partnerships, and maintaining a focus on our patients.
For the first time ever, the faculty surpassed the $90 million mark in research revenue. This increase can be attributed to many factors, but most importantly, it is due to the hard work of our investigators in all three schools who, despite a challenging research funding environment, continued to drive towards progress in their activities of scholarship and discovery.
In education, we continue to strive for the development of new programming. Just two weeks ago, Senate approved the development of a fully online Honours Bachelors of Science degree that will be hosted by the Faculty of Health Sciences. This will be an innovative program aimed at individuals who want an educational background to pursue careers in the health professions. It will be based on the CanMEDS competency framework and will be quite unique for an undergraduate education program.
Our School of Rehabilitation Therapy has also seen an incredibly successful launch of its new Master program in Health and Aging. Enrollment has exceeded expectations and this innovative program will be expanding to include an option for a PhD in this discipline starting next year.
Our School of Medicine also recently requested from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada that we be given a green light to commence an accelerated route towards competency-based education. At Queen’s, we will be aiming to transform all of our residency programs to a competency-based education framework starting July 2017 and expect to hear from the Royal College shortly.
Our School of Nursing has taken the lead on their novel program in Healthcare Quality, a partnership with the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. The program has been such an incredible success that the program’s leadership has decided they will now significantly accelerate enrollment to accommodate the tremendous popularity of this new program.
Our focus on partnerships is paying off. As previously mentioned, funding for health research has become increasingly challenging. One manifestation of this challenge has been the need for leverage funding. Just recently, we had a very positive review to a letter of intent of in from Dr. Richard Birtwhistle for an application for funding through the new CIHR program of Strategies on Patient Oriented Research (SPOR). The success at the LOI stage came with an obligation to find $12.5 million of leverage funding! This was an enormous challenge. However, aided significantly by our partnership strategy that we have enacted in the last two years, we were able to come up with the needed dollars. We now have our fingers crossed as we await the decision of this competition.
Finally, I’m pleased to report that we had our inaugural patient and community engagement committee meeting this past week. A group of citizen volunteers from our Clinical Education Centre have agreed to become the nucleus of a new committee that will look at how we might engage our patients, clients, and the community in many of the elements of the functions of our three schools.
These successes have been revitalizing. After a brief rest over the next few weeks with family and friends, I’ll be looking forward to 2016 with excitement. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our students, faculty, and staff, all of whom have been the architects of a tremendously successful 2015. In particular, I would like to single out Ms. Emma Woodman who has served in the role of communications officer for the last ten months. Emma, who was covering a maternity leave for Jen Valberg, will be leaving this week to take a job as a communications officer in the Principal’s Office. We wish her well, and note just how very fortunate we were to have had Emma work in our faculty this past year.
As the holidays approach, I’d like to extend my personal wishes to all of our readers for a wonderful holiday and a happy new year.
If you would like to drop by the Macklem house, I would suggest waiting until January 4th. After that, as always, my door will be open.
All my best for the holiday season,