Friday, May 22, 2020
COVID-19 Update from the Department of Medicine
As of May 22, 2020 in Nova Scotia
positive tests
(899 in Central Zone)
negative tests
currently in hospital (non-ICU)
currently in hospital (ICU)
SHORT Report
This week we continue to focus on getting the system ready to open up again to provide care, education and clinical research. We are moving into a virtual world. We have been seeing patients online, meeting online and the Medical School celebrated their first virtual Convocation on Wednesday. This has been a big adjustment for many, but it has and will offer us many new opportunities.

Our virtual world will be a critical component for keeping staff and patients safe and dealing with COVID successfully in the coming months. I ask for your patience, as this planning is proving to be as complex and time intensive as our early COVID planning. We need to develop a system that will accommodate our clinical and academic work over the next 12 months and still be ready to respond to the changing demands COVID will place on us. Social distancing will require new processes for how we move our patients through time and space on a daily basis. Our schedules and how we interact with patients, learners and each other will be different than what we have been used to, but this is our new normal. I encourage you to reach out to your Division Heads, your Team Leads, your Managers and Directors and me. Make sure you have a voice in how things will look and work.

While COVID activity is low, I also encourage you to explore all of the wellness resources that have come to you through the many updates from the Department, the Faculty of Medicine, the Health Authorities and Doctors Nova Scotia. Our first duty in making this whole process successful is to take care of ourselves.

Keep Well


Christine Short, MD, FRCP(C), FACP
Associate Professor & Head/Chief, Department of Medicine
Dalhousie University/Central Zone, Nova Scotia Health Authority
IMCU flow pathways during COVID
Author: Dr. Christine Short
Updated: May 14, 2020
First vaccine trials
Researchers at Dalhousie to lead trials of COVID 19 vaccine
"The first Canadian clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine will be led by researchers at Dalhousie University, with testing set to begin as early as the next few weeks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Saturday that the Canadian Center for Vaccinology — a centre based at Dalhousie, the IWK Health Centre and Nova Scotia Health Authority — will lead the trials after receiving approval by Health Canada. They are still awaiting ethics board approval, which they hope to receive within a few weeks."

Canadian Center for Vaccinology:
Position opportunity - Simulation Chair
The Department of Medicine is seeking expressions of interest from Faculty for the position of Simulation Chair.

This is a great leadership opportunity for anyone interested in Medical Education or Simulation. The position is a 0.2 FTE, detailed job description is attached.

Position highlights include:

  • Close collaboration opportunity with the Department’s Education Office in Halifax & Saint John to further expand upon the successful simulation curriculum
  • Membership on the Core Internal Medicine Residency Program Committee
  • Chair of the Department’s Simulation Committee
  • Lead for the Core Internal Medicine Bootcamp
  • Lead for the highly successful bi-annual procedure days
  • Lead for the End of Life workshop

Interested faculty are encouraged to forward a letter of interest and their CV by email to:

c/o Dr. Christine Short and Katie Barkhouse, no later than Friday June 5, 2020 for an expected, but flexible start date of July 1, 2020.

For any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Dr. Ian Epstein, Dr. Christine Short or any member of the Education Office.
Position opportunity - Associate Program Director
The Department of Medicine is seeking expressions of interest for the position of Associate Program Director for the Core Internal Medicine Program. This is an excellent leadership opportunity for anyone interested in Medical Education.

This is a 0.2 FTE position. The detailed job description is attached, Highlights include:
  • Close collaboration with the Core IM Education Office to further expand the IM CBD program.
  • Membership on the Core IM Residency Program Committee and the Department’s Internal Medicine Program Directors Committee
  • Chair of the Core IM Competence Committee
  • Lead for the Core IM Royal College examination preparation course
The Associate Program Director will also have the opportunity to work closely with the Program Director, with the potential to take on the Program Director role in the future.

Interested faculty members are encouraged to forward a letter of interest and their CV by email to:

c/o Dr. Christine Short and Katie Barkhouse, no later than Friday June 5, 2020 for an anticipated, but flexible, start date of July 1, 2020.

For any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Dr. Ian Epstein, Dr. Christine Short or any member of the Education Office.
Must use "Generate Automatically" when scheduling Zoom meetings
Do you have meetings booked for Zoom that use your personal meeting ID (PMI)?

If so, you'll need to make changes so that the meeting ID is generated automatically due to privacy reasons.

Effective June 1, 2020, the personal meeting ID feature will be disabled for NSHA meetings.

For more information on how to change scheduled meetings with a PMI, view this PDF from NSHA.
Expanding symptom list for testing
Changes to COVID-19 surveillance symptoms

Effective today, May 22, Nova Scotia is broadening symptom criteria for when people should be tested for COVID-19. Information for the public has been posted online at and

Updated list:
  • Fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion/runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle aches
  • Sneezing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Diarrhea
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Red, purple or blueish lesions, on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause
Visitor restriction exceptions
Beginning May 22, NSHA will allow the following exceptions to visitor restrictions:

Two support people for:
  • people receiving palliative care or medical assistance in dying
  • children admitted to hospital 
  • labour and birth
One support person for:
  • children in outpatient settings
  • patients who need assistance, including but not limited to cancer care, some emergency, outpatient or critical care situations, discharge planning (a healthy person to pick up discharged patients)
  • patients with significant cognitive or physical disabilities who need an essential support person in order to receive care 
Division Head appointments
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Congratulations to Dr. Ali Imran who was recently appointed as interim Division Head of Endocrinology and Metabolism on May 1, 2020.

Dr. Imran received his medical degree from King Edward Medical College in Pakistan in 1987. He has his FRCPC in endocrinology and metabolism and internal medicine. He is cross appointed in obstetrics and gynecology and neurosurgery.
Dr. Imran is an active researcher, full professor and teacher. He has received numerous research grants while focusing on peptides in the brain which has allowed him to work both nationally and internationally.

In 2009 he was awarded an Excellence in Clinical Care Award from Cancer Care Nova Scotia for the creation of the Multidisciplinary Thyroid Oncology Clinic. This clinic provides one-stop care to thyroid cancer patients in Atlantic Canada. This clinic has developed into a nationally recognized program with research links to University of London, ON and University of Alberta.

In 2019, Dr. Imran received the Dr. Harvey Guyda Educator of the Year Award from the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Dr. Imran will take over from Dr. Stephanie Kaiser who is stepping down after serving 10 years for the Division. We would like to acknowledge Dr. Kaiser’s leadership over the last 10 years and thank her for all she has done.
Division of General Internal Medicine

Congratulations to Dr. Nabha Shetty and Dr. Ashley Miller who were appointed as Interim Heads for the Division of General Internal Medicine effective April 1, 2020.

Dr. Nabha Shetty received her MD from the University of Ottawa and did her General Internal Medicine training at Western University London Health Sciences Centre and Dalhousie University. She also has a master of science in Healthcare Quality from Queens University. She received the department of medicine excellence in quality improvement award, in 2019, the department of medicine education award in 2018 and the Division of GIM Elizabeth Mann Resident Awards in 2016. She is currently involved in frailty care through research projects, providing plenaries as well as small group CME sessions, collaboration in PATH, transitional heart failure clinic and the frailty strategy on the MTU.

Dr. Shetty is an Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine and is the chair of the GIM Resident Research Committee. She is the Medical Director of Quality for the Department of Medicine and she is the author of numerous publications. Nabha welcomed her second child in December of 2019.

Dr. Ashley Miller received her MD from the University of Ottawa and did her residency at Memorial University. She also has a diploma in clinical epidemiology and an MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing with distinction from the London School of Economics. She is the co-chair of the Dalhousie Department of Medicine Senior Internist Review Committee, a member of the NS Department of Health and Wellness MyHealthNS Clinical Advisory group and a member of DNS Policy and Health Issues Committee. Dr. Miller is the recipient of a QEII Foundation TRIC Level 1 Grant to study “eConsults to Improve Timely, Equitable, Access to Specialty Care: Examining Feasibility and Relevance to NS”.

Dr. Miller received the Brian Abel-Smith Prize for Best Dissertation, London School of Economics and the Sandra Banner Resident Award for Leadership.

Dr. Miller is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, she is the author of numerous publications and she is an FRCPC. Ashley and her partner Cameron Campbell are happy to be back in Nova Scotia with their families after spending many years away.

We would like to thank Dr. Stephen Workman for his dedication and allowing his GIM group to soar during his leadership as he steps down from this role temporarily.
Staff Changes
  • Lindsay Christian, administrative assistant, moved to the Division of General Internal Medicine from the Division of Cardiology.

  • Jennifer Delaney left the Division of General Internal Medicine as Education Program Administrator and joined the Department of Anesthesia in early April.

  • Samantha Milligan Mader is acting team lead in the Division of Infectious Diseases (effective May 19) during Laura Ring's maternity leave. Samantha comes from the Division of Nephrology.

  • Leah Day is joining the Division of Medical Oncology as the education program administrator. Leah came from the Division of Infectious Diseases. Leah was previously administrative support to the Antimicrobial Stewardship program.

  • Sue West will be starting a 1 year term position in the Division of Hematology on May 25.
Sandra Aucoin, Team Lead, Division of Clinical Dermatology & Cutaneous Science, is retiring at the end of May.

Sandra started with the Department of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology as an administrative assistant in October 2015. She worked with cardiology until April 2016 at which time she moved to the Division of Clinical Dermatology & Cutaneous Science as the Team Leader supporting Dr. Peter Hull. She has remained with this division until her retirement at the end of this month. Sandra is now officially retiring and will be enjoying her time with her husband on their farm in the Valley.
Valerie Weatherby, Administrative Assistant, Division of Medical Oncology, is retiring at the end of May.

Valerie started with Department of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology as an administrative assistant in September 2013. She has remained with this division for the past seven years. Valerie is very much looking forward to leaving behind the city life and settling in the Tatamagouche area where she will be closer to her family.
In case you missed it...
Non-medical masks now recommended for Canadians when physical distancing isn't possible
May 20, 2020

8 minute Global News video features:
  • Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau
  • Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Teresa Tam

3 minute CTV News video highlights:
  • Dr. Robert Strang echos recommendation
  • 50 countries have made it mandatory

Please continue to practice proper hand hygiene and avoid touching your face.
Dal's fall term predominantly online
May 20, 2020

Dalhousie University's President and Vice-Chancellor, Deep Saini, announced on May 20, 2020 that the fall term (2020) will be predominantly online, with limited exceptions based on those programs where extensive experiential learning forms part of the curriculum (i.e. medicine, dentistry, select health professions, agriculture) and these can be provided safely in adherence to health protocols. Full in-person, on-campus courses will not resume before January 2021.
NSHA increasing outpatient services
May 20, 2020

For the immediate timeframe, NSHA is working toward reintroducing some services on May 25 focusing on areas that will not increase the number of inpatients in hospitals such as certain day surgeries, outpatient clinics including diagnostic imaging and laboratory.
Weekly update and grand rounds
Tuesday, May 26
COVID-19 Weekly Update for DoM

8 - 8:15 a.m.

To join, see email invitation from:
DoM Grand Rounds
8:15 - 9 a.m.

Trials and Treatments for COVID-19

Dr. Lisa Barrett
Division of Infectious Diseases

Complete your evaluation:


NSHA / Dr. Lynn Johnston
Uploaded: March 13, 2020
Video: 10 min

NSHA / Dr. Glenn Patriquin
Uploaded: April 3, 2020
Video: 3 min
Websites to reference
Department of Medicine
Employee Health
When you take care of yourself, you take care of others.