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How old is too old to become a mother?

On Friday, Globe and Mail reporter Kelly Grant discussed the Québec Government’s recent proposition to limit In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to women over age 42.1 Since 2010, Québec has been the only province, and one of the few jurisdictions worldwide, to fund IVF. Not only are they proposing to end IVF funding, the Québec government is proposing to fine doctors who facilitate IVF for older women. This would restrict access to IVF for women over age 42, even if they want to self-fund, and even if they want to avail themselves of the use of eggs from younger donors.

Celebrating Giving Tuesday

This year, I was introduced to the idea of Giving Tuesday. It’s a simple idea, one that is timed to fall four days after Black Friday, and it captures what I’d venture to say is the real ‘spirit’ of the season. Calling it the ‘opening day of the giving season’ (whereas Black Friday opens the ‘shopping season’), Giving Tuesday calls itself a global movement of individuals and organizations that believe that everyone whether a large or small donor has a role in helping solve challenges at a local and global level.1

New funding will transform military & veteran health research

Monday was an extraordinary day at the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) Forum in Toronto, and not just because we had a sold-out crowd of over 500 delegates. To open the day’s events, Minister Ambrose and Michael Burns announced that Health Canada and the True Patriot Love Foundation would each commit $5M to in funding to the institute. To end the day, Kelly Williams from General Dynamics announced that the company would be donating a further $500,000.

NCIC Lung Cancer Trial: Largest in FHS History

I am thrilled to announce that the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) has developed and will lead an international clinical trial of a new class of cancer drug aimed at curing lung cancer in patients who have had surgery and chemotherapy for disease confined to the lung. This research contract with AstraZeneca is the largest in the history of the Faculty of Health Sciences. Our ongoing efforts in the NCIC CTG serve to reinforce our FHS industry engagement strategy, which strives to fortify existing relationships with industry and to promote and develop new ones.

Mental health medication doubles risk of heart attack

For years, researchers have looked at mental illness and the possible link to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have established links between depression, anxiety and psychotic disorders and a heightened risk of coronary heart disease. In 2013, a study published in Circulation widened the scope to include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, neurotic disorder, personality disorders and substance-use disorders.1

Ideology or Pathology

This week we mourn the deaths of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo (left) and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent (right). These two senseless deaths have gripped the country and provoked a national sense of sadness and alarm. In particular, the death of Cpl. Cirillo, gunned down while he was standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa has sparked concern that Canada was under attack from an Islamist extremist organization. Indeed, the tragedy has been labelled a terrorist attack by some.1

Bob Stone: A friend and mentor returns for homecoming 2014

I always look forward to homecoming weekend, and the opportunity to meet alumni and hear their stories. At this year’s homecoming, we hosted Faculty of Health Sciences alumni going all the way back to 1954!

It was a special joy this year to be welcoming one of my favourite teachers, Dr. Robert Stone, who has been a friend and mentor for many years. When Bob and his wife Mary came back to Kingston this weekend, Cheryl and I had the chance to spend some time with them, and attend the Tricolour Guard dinner together.

Canadian Medical Hall of Fame to induct Dr. Duncan Sinclair

As dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, I have the good fortune of meeting many remarkable people. Dr. Duncan Sinclair is one of those remarkable people who I am proud to know. And so, it is my pleasure to announce that this past week, Duncan was named a 2015 inductee to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame1. Duncan will be formally inducted at ceremony in Winnipeg on April 23, 2015.

High-Value Care: An essential concept in residency education

In both Canada and the US, controlling rising health care costs are considered national priorities. The genesis of these rising costs is multi-factorial, and includes important issues such as the aging demographic, increases in the use of costly technologies, the increasingly expensive cost of in-patient hospital care, and the costs of drugs. There is a consensus that many of the expenditures emanating from the ordering of tests may not be warranted.

From Blogging to Tweeting to Facebook

There is nothing like a millenary milestone in social media to bring about reflection on just what purpose your hundreds of 140-character tweets have served. After reaching 1,000 followers on Twitter a few weeks ago, I got to thinking about how we use social media in the health care field, and why it is so pertinent today.

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