Volume 2 | March 2021 | view this email in your browser
Welcome to the March 2021 Edition of the NRC News. This bi-monthly e-newsletter will bring you news and events related to the Niagara Regional Campus. If you have any suggestions or would like to submit an article or event, please contact [email protected].
Campus Update: The Niagara Regional Campus remains closed at Brock University to all students and residents. The NRC staff and leadership team are working virtually and are accessible to answer all questions and concerns via email. For a full list of contacts, please click here.
Dr. Ron Chan Memorial Fund
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Ron Chan on February 21, 2021, at the age of 44. Ron was an incredibly gifted yet humble medical professional. He completed his medical degree at the University of Toronto in 2003. He subsequently trained in Internal Medicine at McMaster University and Gastroenterology at Queen's University. Ron was in active practice at the St. Catharines Site of Niagara Health where he was well respected by his colleagues for his hard work and devotion to his patients.

To honour Ron's passion for academics and medicine, a scholarship has been established. The Dr. Ron Chan Memorial Award will be awarded annually to a student at the Niagara Regional Campus of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, who shows an interest in pursuing a career in psychiatry or mental health.

There have been over 100 donations thus far. A special thank you to everyone who has donated or has plans to donate to the Memorial Fund including Dr. Terry Chan and the Niagara Health Medical Staff Association. We look forward to honoring Dr. Chan's memory for years to come with this award.

As a collective, we will continue to address the barriers and stigma surrounding mental health among physicians. We have included a few important resources below for physicians, learners and staff. We encourage anyone who is struggling or has struggled in the past to reach out for assistance. Being intelligent, compassionate, high functioning and productive does not mean we are not also struggling, challenged or needing support in the work we do.

For more information on the Dr. Ron Chan Memorial Award or to make a donation, please click here
Health Wellness Resources
CMA Wellness Support Line1-800-851-6606
The CMA Wellness Support Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support physicians, residents, medical students and their immediate family. The Wellness Support Line provides immediate, urgent crisis support as well as help with everyday wellness issues. They can also connect you with longer term wellness support.

OMA-MD Chat Sessions - free facilitated sessions to support each other during COVID-19
Feel free to drop in virtually for noon sessions offered for one-hour daily Monday-Friday. All are welcome and you can stay for as long as you want to.
For information on the meeting and to access the link, click here.

CMA Physician Wellness Hub
The CMA Physician Wellness Hub was created to drive change in the culture of medicine and promote health and wellness in the medical profession for the benefit of practitioners, the health care system and all Canadians. To learn more about the resources available in the Physician Wellness Hub, click here.

The Flipside Life (TFSL) Connect Calls
At TFSL they want to help ensure that all Physician Families are connected and supported. TFSL offers FREE confidential virtual Connect Calls every Thursday from 9:00-10:00 PM EST and bi-weekly Wednesdays 8:00-9:00 PM PST. For more information, click here.

Homewood Health
Homewood Health offers a complete suite of services including organizational wellness, employee and family assistance programs, assessments, outpatient and inpatient treatment, recovery management, return to work and family support services customized to meet the needs of individuals and organizations. For more information, click here.

Homeweb is part of your EFAP. You can access Homeweb on your phone, tablet or desktop. Homeweb offers you the ability to create an individual profile, receive personalized content recommendations and access lots of helpful resources. Click here to create your profile.

Wellness Together Canada
Wellness Together Canada was funded by the Government of Canada in response to the unprecedented rise in mental distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wellness Together Canada allows you to choose from a variety of resources to motivate and support your wellness journey. Click here to take the next steps in your journey.
NRC launches "NRC Awesome" to celebrate and recognize the people who contribute to our culture of support and community
We all know that NRC is Awesome! We also have noticed, particularly in the last year, how extraordinarily our staff, faculty and learners have responded in difficult circumstances and when we have made extra requests. We are going to celebrate this kind of awesome in a new way!

We've put together the following form to invite you to share your positive experiences where you have had an experience with an NRC learner, staff member, or a faculty member who has gone above and beyond to help you out, to support you, or to solve a problem with you. All of your stories will be read and celebrated through a hand-written message of thanks to your nominee, a token gift or recognition in our newsletter. We know that these past months have been and continue to be, challenging for everyone. It is important, now more than ever, to take time to celebrate the people that make ourselves a little brighter, who are positive role models, and who contribute to our wellness in a meaningful way. Through this recent adversity, one important aspect of NRC culture has shone through; you are all NRC Awesome!

Please use this form to nominate someone who is NRC Awesome: http://bit.ly/NRCAwesome2021
Help us celebrate all those nominated by
giving virtual high-fives!
  • Stephenson Strobel
  • Amanda Marrone
  • Christina Weber
  • Nagham El-Houssein
  • Iwona Bielska
  • Elliot Grady
  • Nisha Goel
  • Katey Baker
  • Neil Howatt
  • Ellen Robb
  • Mike Milo
  • Josh Rempel
  • Seddiq Weera
  • Amanda Bell
  • Jessica Graham
  • Devon Ainslie
Dr. Ehab Wassif renewed for second term as Pre-Clerkship Coordinator
We are thrilled that Dr. Ehab Wassif has chosen to renew his appointment as the Pre-Clerkship Coordinator for a second term.

In his role as Pre-Clerkship Coordinator, Dr. Wassif has shown exemplary leadership and enriched the planning, implementation and evaluation of the pre-clerkship curriculum.

Congratulations Dr. Wassif!
Dr. Sean Robb appointed as new Learning Director for NRC
We are excited to announce the appointment of Sean Robb as our new Learning Director.

As the Learning Director, Sean will enhance the UGME program philosophy of self-directed learning through PROGRESS (Program of Guided Reflection and Early Student Support). We are excited for Sean's energy and enthusiasm that he will bring to this role.

Congratulations Sean Robb!
Dr. Karen Macmillan renewed for second term as PG Obstetrics & Gynecology Liaison
We are excited to announce that Dr. Karen Macmillan has been renewed for a second term as the PG Obstetrics & Gynecology Liaison effective May 2, 2021.

Dr. Macmillan has advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology in the Niagara Region bridging the gap between the Family Medicine Residency program and the staff in Obstetrics.

Congratulations Dr. Macmillan!
West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Colleague Award - Dr. Anne Aube
Nominated by Dr. Bellaire, Dr. Aube has been an active Family Medical staff member of WLMH since 2009. She provides inpatient care for her own patients as well as supporting the orphan patients at the hospital. Dr. Aube supports the medical community outside of WLMH by providing comprehensive family medical care for patients, teaching medical students, family medicine residents and servicing the local francophone population with bilingual medical care. Dr. Aube was instrumental in expanding the hospitalist program by attracting 12 new family medical physicians.

This past September, when the new WLMH OR department opened, Dr. Aube worked hard to support the surgeons implementing and organizing the WLMH OR-assist call schedule with support from the local family medical community. Within two months, the surgical program was expanded to 11 General Surgeons, Plastics, Orthopedic and Gynecological Surgeons.

Read about the other Hamilton Health Sciences MSA Award winners here.
Mac-CARE Simulation Lead at Halton
Clinical Education Campus (CEC)
February 2021 | Dr. Dorothy Bakker, Assistant Dean, McMaster Community and Rural Education

The Mac-CARE Program would like to announce Dr. Jamie Harshman (C2014) as the Simulation Lead for the Halton Clinical Education Campus (CEC) effective February 15, 2021. Dr. Harshman is a Family Medicine Emergency Medicine Physician who practices at Milton District Hospital. She completed her medical school at the Niagara Regional Campus of McMaster University, her residency at the University of Toronto and her Masters in Higher Education with a focus on Health Professional Education. Dr. Harshman is an Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) who is very involved with teaching. She has been the Milton District Hospital Emergency Department Simulation Lead since July 2019.

Recently, Dr. Harshman was the lead physician in the mock hospital for the multidisciplinary disaster simulations at Durham College/Ontario Tech University. We are very excited to have Dr. Harshman take on this new role.
Creating a Shared Vision of peer support for Niagara's most vulnerable through
research and community
By Devon Ainslie | Photo Credits: Niagara Health
A new program in Niagara is helping individuals experiencing homelessness or home insecurity navigate the emergency department with the help of their peers.

Niagara Homelessness Emergency Liaison and Peer Support, also known as Niagara HELPS, is a program that pairs homeless people presenting to the emergency department with peer support navigators who have lived experience of homelessness.

The program grew from research conducted by Rahat Hossain and his colleagues while attending the Niagara Regional Campus of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. The team at Health & Equity Through Advocacy, Research & Transformation, known as HEART, examined the barriers that the homeless population faced when accessing the healthcare system in the Niagara Region.

To continue reading, click here.
Reflections of Death and Dying
Dr. Ronald Bayne has had a long career as a long-term care physician and is now reaching the end of his life. Dr. Bayne was one of Canada's first Geriatricians and is highly respected for his work on the health of older adults provincially and nationally. Dr. Bayne passed away on February 26 with the help of a medically assisted death at the age of 98.

In his video, Dr. Bayne reflects on death and dying in hopes that this will bring comfort and ease to seniors who may be nearing the end of their lives, their family members. friends and caregivers.
Upcoming Events
McMaster Medical Student Research Day (MMSRD)
** Call for Abstracts**
The McMaster Medical Student Research Day (MMSRD) is a conference celebrating medical student research. The conference will be taking place on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 through a virtual platform.

The conference is an opportunity for medical students to present research findings, receive feedback from expert judges, network with & learn from peers, experienced clinicians, researchers, and win awards for scientific merit.

This year there will be two oral presentation formats: 3 Minute and 7 Minutes.

Abstracts are due Friday, March 26th @ 11:59 PM.
Click here for more information or to submit your abstract.

If you have questions, please contact [email protected]
FHS Women's Symposium
April 28, 2021
Increasingly, we know that women are underrepresented in academia and healthcare settings. The 2021 Women's Symposium will be a venue where we can bring together women and their allies to consider how we might close the gap over time.

Ticket Costs:
To make this program accessible to trainees, we have a special program entitled the "Pay-it-forward" program. We are hoping that faculty members who can afford this event will pay more to offset the cost for the trainee tickets.
  • Faculty "Pay-it-forward" ticket price - $100
  • Junior Faculty ticket price - $50
  • Trainee/Student price - $25

For more information or to register, click here

New Arrivals to the NRC Family
We would like to congratulate Sarah Litke and her husband, Greg on their newest edition, Ellie Mae was born on January 28, 2021. Her big brother, William is very excited for his new sister and loves showing her all his toys and trucks!
Join us in congratulating Dr. Noman Hassan and his wife, Bushra Amjad on the safe arrival of their beautiful daughter, Mehar on February 8, 2021. Dr. Hassan and his family are all doing well!
NRC Staff Changes & Best Wishes
We are excited to announce that Carol DeGiuli has accepted the role of Undergraduate Electives | PA Program and will be supporting Student and Resident Affairs at the Niagara Regional Campus.

Carol, we are so excited to see you flourish in this new position and look forward to seeing you advance the Undergraduate Electives in Niagara. Thank you for the 7 years of support that you have provided to Pre-Clerkship and the Anatomy Lab. All the best in your new role!
We would like to congratulate Amanda Zimmerman on her new role in Hamilton for UGME Electives. We are saddened to see her leave our campus but are excited to see her excel in this new role.

Amanda, we will miss your energy and enthusiasm for advancing electives in Niagara. Your upbeat personality and attention to detail. Thank you for always advocating for our learners, staff and faculty at NRC. All the best in your new role!
Congratulations to Devon Ainslie!
It is with mixed emotions that we say goodbye to Devon Ainslie, our Communications Assistant who has accepted a new position at the Niagara Region, Public Health and Emergency Services Unit.

We are very excited for Devon to excel in her new position and for her bright career ahead. Thank you for providing Communications & Faculty Development support over the past 2.5 years.

All the best in your new role!
All the best Sarah Ohlsson!
We would like to congratulate Sarah Ohlsson, our Senior Education Associate for PGFM who will be returning to the Stonechurch Family Health Centre Clinic in Hamilton in a new position.

Sarah enjoyed her time supporting the Niagara Site and Residents, learned a lot and will apply this to her new role in the clinical environment. We are all excited to see what this new opportunity brings for you and it was a pleasure getting to know you these past few months.

Good luck Sarah and wishing you all the best!
Humans of MacMed - Facebook Group
Humans of MacMed is a platform to share the stories of people in medicine. Every person you interact with, from students to staff to patients, carries with them a unique experience. These narratives in medicine play a crucial role in growth and enlightenment. Sharing these narratives provides the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others, allowing us to remain empathetic, understanding and caring.

This Facebook group is not affiliated with McMaster University, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

For more information, click here: https://www.facebook.com/humansofmacmed/
Incentive for Faculty Scholarly Activities
Recently, NRC in partnership with Niagara Health Medical Affairs received approval for research professional development and teaching credits from the Canadian Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Canadian College of Family Medicine. Faculty members who participate or present at the Quality Improvement Journal Clubs, Research-in-progress Rounds, and Evidence-based Medicine Primer Rounds will receive a certificate of participation.

Furthermore, MacFACTS credits/weighted hours are submitted not only for research teaching and presentations but also for student supervision while working on quality improvement and/or applied health science research project(s).

For more information, please contact Seddiq Weera.
Renewed NRC-Brock partnership in teaching Quality Improvement
NRC has been a close partner and collaborator with Brock University especially the Department of Applied Health Sciences.

A new extension to the partnership is shaping up between Dr. Ekta Khemani, NRC Assistant Research Director and Dr. Madelyn Law, Associate Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning, Brock University. Both have began jointly planning inter-professional Quality Improvement teaching and training sessions that will include NRC students and faculty members.
NRC student engagement in projects
NRC Research documents and updates projects that are led by NRC faculty members and community partners. Information is updated when a new project comes up or students join or drop existing projects, Research productivity (publications, presentations, reports) are documented and periodically updated. This information has been updated and verified through informal follow-ups with students and faculty.

Recently a survey was sent to 21 research supervisors. As soon as results from the survey are available, we will make these results accessible to all faculty, students and pertinent community partners. For questions or suggestions, please contact Seddiq Weera.
Feature of the month
We would like to extend our gratitude to three NRC residents who are currently working with NRC students on research and QI projects:
  • Dr. Liam Beedling (General Surgery)
  • Dr. Nathan How (General Surgery)
  • Dr. Justin Burton (General Surgery)
Family Medicine
Chief Resident for PG Family Medicine: Dr. Leo Liu
We would like to congratulation Dr. Leo Liu, who will be Niagara's new Chief Resident for Family Medicine commencing on July 1, 2021.

What are you looking forward to as the chief resident?

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted our residency experience, and I am a firm believer that the Family Medicine program is only as strong as the connections among its people. As the incoming chief resident, I hope to continue supporting the program social and wellness activities. I am also excited to be joining the education committee, working with site leadership to shape our education through the challenges of this pandemic.

Finally, with the expanding vaccination rollout and my colleagues hard at work, I look forward to seeing this pandemic to its end during my time as the chief resident.
Hard-to-Reach Populations and Administrative Health Data: A Serial Cross-sectional Study and Application of Data to Improve Interventions for People Experiencing Homelessness
Hossain, Rahat (C2018), Dai, Jia Hong (C2021), Jamani, Shaila; Ma, Zechen (C2021), Dvorani, Erind; Burcul, Ivana (C2021), Strobel, Stephenson (Emergency Medicine)
Intervention studies with vulnerable groups in the emergency department (ED) suffer from lower quality and an absence of administrative health data. We used administrative health data to identify and describe people experiencing homelessness who access EDs, characterize patterns of ED use relative to the general population and apply findings to inform the design of a peer support program. We included 1,486,699 ED visits from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2018 through a serial cross-sectional study using administrative health data. To continue reading the article, click here.

Bullous vesicant-type reaction to docetaxel along the venous tract: A case report
Jane Su (C2021 MD Candidate), Laurence Bernard, Sophia Colantonio, Alexander Norgaard, Hal W. Hirte, Lua Eiriksson
Docetaxel is an anti-neoplastic agent commonly used to treat major solid tumors. Common toxicities of docetaxel include neutropenia, alopecia, nausea and vomiting. While docetaxel is typically considered an irritant, we present the case report of a 54-year-old female with high-grade undifferentiated uterine sarcoma who experienced a standard infusion reason during a docetaxel infusion, followed by an atypical, delayed vesicant-type reaction, without a clear extravasation history. To read more about the case, click here.

Taking a Sexual History in the ED Infographic
Monika Bilic (C2021 MD Candidate)
A complete sexual history is important in the investigation of several emergency department presentations. This is often challenging for students, as it can feel intimidating and uncomfortable to breach this topic with patients. Also, the setting of the ED is not inherently conducive to conversations like these, given the lack of established patient-staff rapport and perceived lack of privacy and time. As such, an organized approach with attention to the environment and patient's comfort can help students feel more confident and patients more at ease. Click here to read the full post and view the infographic.
Researcher says pandemic has taken an emotional toll on ICU workers
Dr. Jennifer Tsang (Critical Care) was recently featured in the St. Catharines Standard regarding her research looking at the emotional health of front-line health-care workers across Canada who have been treating patients in intensive care units. "Over 60 per cent of our ICU health-care providers in Canada have some type of psychological or psycho-social distress..." To read the full article, click here.

Vaccination of homeless underway in Niagara
Dr. Karl Stobbe (Family Medicine) and the REACH Niagara team are underway with vaccination clinics for the homeless in Niagara. REACH Niagara (Regional Essential Access to Connected Healthcare) in partnership with Niagara Region Public Health, Niagara North Family Health Team and the Region's homelessness services department. To continue reading the full story, click here.

'A leaking pipeline.' Addressing gender inequities in medical leadership
Dr. Nathasha Dias (C2019) recently wrote an article for HealthyDebate about the multifaceted obstacles women are facing acquiring leadership positions in medicine. "We need to be more intentional with mentorship, with transparency and with pipeline development and understand the specific barriers that women face.." To continue reading, click here.

FAHS Student Association gains momentum despite pandemic challenges
The Brock University, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences recently wrote an article about the new and exciting initiatives happening in the faculty. Recently established was the Brock-McMaster Collaborative Medical School Mentorship Program, through which aspiring medical students receive mentorship from those enrolled at the Niagara Regional Campus. To learn more about this and other initiatives, click here

Response to the human tragedy in care home facilities
Dr. Larry Chambers (HEI) recently published an article in the NOTL Local about the stark reality we are seeing play out in care home facilities across the board. "We should value equipping older people with the opportunity to remain in their homes, rather than relegating them to being passive recipients of 'care." To continue reading, click here.

Another advancement in infant care at Niagara Health
Niagara Health recently published an article about their tiniest patients now receiving enhanced care thanks to new technology in their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). When NICU members at the St. Catharines Site need to consult specialists on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at McMaster Children's Hospital (MCH) in Hamilton, now they can through video. Click here to continue reading.

Unanimous support for VP Faculty of Health Sciences second term
Paul O'Byrne has been reappointed to a second five-year term as vice-president and dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. Read more about his reappointment here.

Niagara Region preparing for COVID-19 Immunization clinic
Niagara Region Public Health is busy preparing for the launch of COVID-19 mass immunization clinics in the coming weeks. The Region announced last week Brock University would host one of 11 clinics across Niagara once the vaccine supply is available. To read the full article, click here.

As isolation nears its dreary end, we need a plan for brain health
Dr. Larry Chambers (HEI) and Madeleine Smith (C2023) wrote an opinion piece via HealthyDebate about the urgency to create a plan for brain health and general well-being. To read the full article, click here.

Dr. Brown: Tools for studying the human brain keep improving
Dr. William Brown (Neurology) wrote an opinion piece for NiagaraNow regarding a timeline for tools that studied the human brain. To read the full article, click here.

McMaster Continuing Education offers a new course in infection prevention and control for caregivers
McMaster Continuing Education has developed and launched a free, self-paced course to teach families and caregivers ways to prevent and control infections. This course is recognized by health-care professionals and associations across Canada, will teach participants best-practice techniques in infection control to use at home and in health-care settings such as hospitals and long-term care homes. For more information, click here

Tracy Bear appointed director of McMaster Indigenous Research Institute
Indigenous scholar and education advocate, Tracy Bear, has been appointed director of the McMaster Indigenous Research Institute (MIRI). Bear, a Nehiyawiskwew (Cree woman) and member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan, will hold joint academic appointments in the Faculties of Social Sciences and Health Sciences. To read more about Tracy Bear and her new appointment, click here.

Partnership brings eye care to Indigenous children in northern Ontario
A partnership between McMaster University and the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA) is improving eye care for Indigenous children in northern Ontario. The Indigenous Children Eye Examination (ICEE) project aims to provide vision screening and eye examinations for all children and youth aged six months to 18 years served by WAHA. and develop a self-sustaining model of ensuring ongoing eye care for the pediatric population there. Learn more about this partnership here.