Chair's Message: From reflection to action (Sept. 2022)
September always brings a mixed bag of endings (sunshine, sandals, hopefully some downtime) and beginnings (back to school, rain boots, and opportunities for reflection in many faith traditions). On campus, the excitement is palpable this time of year and it is invigorating to see young people with their heavy knapsacks out on a mission.
For me, new energy also comes from watching the progress we are making as a department in key areas that bring concrete results to our trainees, faculty members and patients. In the spring, we embarked on a strategic planning process to consider organizational priorities that will shape our future as a department. After extensive consultation with faculty, staff and learners, clear themes and priorities have emerged. We are excited to unveil the plan next month. Please mark Nov. 3 at 8 a.m. on your calendar for a departmental town hall where we will launch the strategic plan. Register here.
I have had the opportunity to finally do in-person visits to many sites to meet faculty members, learners, and leaders of all kinds. I have been blown away by the dedication of our DFCM community—shout out to the amazing team at North York General Hospital pictured here!
As a department we are committed to advancing health system leadership through our collaboration with Ontario Health-Toronto Region and our newly created Office of Health System Partnership. I’m pleased to share Dr. Noah Ivers is the office’s Scientific Lead, and Dr. Catherine Yu, its Engagement Lead. We continue to recruit leaders into key roles to provide leadership across Toronto, bridging between academia and the health system.
One of the things I have been reflecting on is all I have learned in my first year in this role. Many thanks to all those of you who have signed up for coffee chats, sent me quiet advice, offered to help, and supported my learning in a new and very big job. A special thank you to the members of our Indigenous Leadership Circle who have shown tremendous commitment and patience in helping me, and our department, begin to understand what kinds of concrete things we have to do as a department to help the 24,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Toronto who do not have access to primary care. It seems especially important to point that out having just observed the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day.
Finally, a warm congratulations to the many people who were honoured at our recent DFCM Awards & Celebration Event. If you missed it, hear from Dr. Hasan Sheikh, winner of the Louise Nasmith award, or hear from our newest crop of Associate and Full Professors about why they bothered to apply for academic promotion, and why you should do the same! The many achievements of Team DFCM are too many to name—I hope it is enough to say how proud I am to be a member of this incredible community.