At the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) we are working hard to strengthen and expand our research activity. We strive to highlight the impact and importance of research carried out by our faculty and graduate students and how it supports continuing improvements in the clinical care we provide to our patients and our communities in Toronto, across Canada and around the world.
We are continually strengthening the quality of the educational experiences we provide to our residents and students. We are increasing awareness of the importance of quality improvement in clinical care in family medicine both in Canada and around the world and learning how we can all be effective advocates for innovation in primary care.
We are supporting leadership development opportunities for both junior and senior members of our faculty. We are working to increase equity and diversity opportunities in all that we do. And, we are expanding our contributions to addressing the social determinants of health in Canada and to supporting the global development of family medicine in many countries around the world.
These are just some of the important activities taking place within our department. As your Chair, in order to support your bold and impactful endeavours, I need to be working with you to provide the support you need to do great things and strive for excellence.
At the University of Toronto, our generous donors and philanthropic supporters have been responsible for contributing to many firsts in healthcare delivery, in health and medical research and education. We are fortunate to be based within the most generous philanthropic community in Canada. In our department alone, we receive financial support through strong philanthropic contributions from generous Canadians. The Fidani Chair in Quality Improvement and Innovation in Family Medicine, the Dr. Barnett and Beverley Giblon Professorship in Family and Community Medicine, and the W. Gifford-Jones Chair in Pain Control and Palliative Care are currently held by DFCM faculty to support their important work. We have a target of five more chairs funded directly through the University, as well as seeking philanthropic support for student scholarships, research and education innovations, and our social accountability and global health initiatives.
Several of our family medicine chiefs are working closely with their hospital foundations to create more supported positions in family medicine education and primary care research. Current support for family medicine through our hospital foundations includes the Gordon F. Cheesbrough Research Chair in Family and Community Medicine, the Sydney G. Frankfort Chair in Family Medicine, and the Frigon Blau Chair in Family Medicine.
Public funding is not increasing at a pace required to meet the demand for health and medical research and innovation. Together, we must find alternative ways to continue to expand the programs offered to our students, residents and faculty. We must also continue to support the great work we do in primary health care developments and the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve.
I recently attended a North American Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) meeting with DFCM’s Senior Advancement Officer, Jennifer Drouillard Duce, to explore strategies and partnerships to seek additional philanthropic investments which are essential to our collective success. I am keen to hear from you about what new areas you think we should focus on and your suggestions about possible future philanthropic support from donors, foundations and industry.
I also take this opportunity to encourage you to vote in this year’s Canadian Medical Association election, as we elect the next CMA president from Ontario. Voting is one of the most important tools for change that a democracy has to offer. It provides us with the opportunity to have our say in determining our own future. I encourage you to take the time to read the biographies and platforms of each of the CMA president candidates and then cast your vote.
We know from recent experiences, in other places, about what happens when people don’t take the time to vote. You should have received a unique voting password for this election. If not, you can contact the Canadian Medical Association or visit the CMA website: https://www.cma.ca/En/Pages/election-for-cma-president-elect-nominee-now-underway-in-ontario.aspx. The polls close on March 7, 2018.
Dr. Michael Kidd
Professor and Chair
Department of Family and Community Medicine