February 2024 | {View as Webpage}

Welcome to the 2024 February edition of the NRC News. This 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].

The Social Pages

The Niagara Regional Campus is committed to the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigenous and social justice in all that we do. To further deepen our understanding of these topics we have purchased some focused reading in these areas that will be available for borrow from the NRC library. Each month we will highlight one of these books, This month and in support of Black History Month we have highlighted, White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo is a New York Times best-selling book that addresses the counterproductive stance white people can take when challenged with assumptions about racism. This book aims to teach the emotions and behavioural responses behind white fragility and how social change is possible through critical examination and meaningful dialogue.

Niagara Regional Campus selected as the new, mandatory Community Hematology Rotation for McMaster PGME Heme program

On December 19, 2023, Dr. Savannah Norman, a hematology fellow with McMaster University joined Dr. Mohammad Refaei for the inaugural 1-month rotation elective, which is split between benign and malignant hematology. Dr. Mary Salib supervised the malignant hematology aspect of the rotation. NRC will be receiving 2-3 PGY3 fellows every year and we hope that our Heme Fellows will enhance our clinical and academic experience in Niagara.

Recipient of the 2023 "Founders Award"

We are pleased to announce Hira Aslam as the recipient of the Founders Award. This award was created by three of NRC's founding faculty, Drs. Robert Josefchak, Maynard Luterman and Bruce Rosenberg, to honour a member of the graduating class who best exemplifies the Founders' ideals of community, scholarship, innovation, and collegiality.

Hira was nominated by multiple members of her class who noted the many ways she positively impacted her colleagues and the Niagara Regional Campus. Hira was a strong advocate for her classmates at central-decision-making tables and a valuable contributor to the NRC Executive Committee.

Dr. George Bibawi Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Dr. George Bibawi Award for Excellence in Teaching was created to honour the tremendous contribution to anesthesia teaching provided by Dr. Bibawi and is awarded annually to a clinical anesthesia teacher at the Niagara Regional Campus who best exemplifies excellence in teaching in anesthesia.

This year, we are pleased to present the award to Dr. Alex Freytag. Over his career at Niagara Health, Dr. Freytag has been a consistent and valuable contributor to the advancement of medical education. His teaching scores are above average and the leadership he provides as the Regional Education Lead for Anesthesia has ensured that students and residents have contributed to have excellence learning opportunities despite many challenges over the past few years. Thank you for creating an outstanding learning and clinical environment and congratulations Dr. Freytag.

Resident Appreciation Week February 5th-9th

The Niagara Health and McMaster teams came together to show appreciation for all the invaluable patient care and dedication residents provide our healthcare system. We are grateful this week and every week for our residents who shine as bright as stars during their hospital shifts, continuous learning and precepting roles.

Annual Retreat, January 26th-27th

This year the Annual Retreat was held at Fallsview Casino where attendees covered themes such as resiliency, change management, burnout, and personal well-being.

A line up of engaging presenters began with keynote speaker, Samra Zafar who discussed the power of incremental changes in accessing medical education. Dr. Joan Chan also presented invaluable tips on optimizing clinical time management and digital resources. Retreat attendees participated in Hartley Jafine's highly effective improv workshops to practice collaboration, comfort with uncertainty and communication skills. Lastly, the highly requested speakers, Dr. Jane Healey and Dr. Paul Healey covered physician financial independence, literacy and management. For more information on how to connect with Dr. Jane and Paul Healey please email [email protected]

Dr. Kyle Evans

Emergency Medicine

Dr. Falana Sheriff


Dr. Daniel Li

Allergy and Immunology

Dr. Shayne Snider

Family Medicine

Dr. Devin Paine

Family Medicine

Dr. Amogh Agrawal


Dr. Si You (Sunny) Sun


Dr. Ramya Kancherla


Dr. Erin Blake

Family Medicine

Dr. Ateeya Vawda

Family Medicine

Dr. Liam Crummey

Family Medicine

Save the Date: Niagara Health Annual Research Day

We are excited to invite you to save the date for, Niagara Health Annual Research Day on Thursday, May 2, 2024, at Daniel J. Patterson Campus, Niagara-on-the-Lake where we will celebrate the contributions of Niagara Health staff and physicians to local, national and international research efforts.

Details on our Keynote Speaker and how to participate in the poster presentation sessions will be forthcoming.

Please hold the date in your calendar.

Department of Family Medicine Award Granted:

Congratulations to Dr. Chadwick, Dr. Larry Chambers and Niagara Regional Campus primary care research team on receiving the DRM Pilot Project Funding award of $5000 for the Social Prescribing for Patients Experiencing Stress project.

Call for Nominations: 2024 Health Professions Educator Award

Nominations are welcome from across the Faculty of Health Sciences. It is expected that nominees will be senior faculty and leaders in their respective programs or departments that have made substantial, sustained contributions to education. This may include contributions to some and not necessarily all the following domains:

·      innovation in clinical / classroom teaching,

·      graduate supervision in health professions education,

·      mentorship of health professional learners and faculty,

·      education program design / innovation, or

·      education scholarship.


Deadline for applications is April 22, 2024 @ 11:59pm

Reach out to Seddiq Weera for more information [email protected]

Education Scholarship Fund

Submissions welcome for two awards of $25 000 each to promote and support (research and innovation) in health sciences education in the Faculty of Health Sciences. All FHS faculty are eligible for funding support. The Principal Investigator (PI) must be an FHS faculty member.

· funding cannot be used to supplement another partially funded project.

·the project should focus on a question or problem relevant to the FHS.

·all projects awarded funding will be announced at the current year Norman Education Research Day

·principal investigator(s) must present outcomes at the subsequent Norman Education Research Day

Deadline for submitting a letter of intent is March 3, 2024 @11:59pm

Reach out to Seddiq Weera for more information [email protected]

Save the Date: Norman Education Research Day

Present your research and scholarly activity in health professions education:

Date: Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

Location: David Braley Health Sciences Centre, 100 Main Street West (downtown Hamilton)

Abstract Submission Details

Inter-Professional Practice Domain Planner

The Professional Competencies Domain Planners are collectively responsible for overseeing the planning and delivery of the Professional Competencies Curriculum Component under the leadership of the Professional Competencies Co-Chairs. The Domain Planners demonstrate a commitment to advance the priorities and principles of the MD Program, including the use of student-engaged learning methods, evidence-informed curriculum practices, and an orientation towards quality improvement.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please direct them to UGME Operations addressed to Dr. Haroon Yousuf and Ms. Debbie Azim Flemming, Professional Competencies Co-Chairs, UGME.

To apply for this role, please email your application to the UGME Operations Coordinator, Suri Wang, at [email protected]

Application Due Date: February 23, 2024

Click here for more details

Anxiety vs. stress: The right definition will lead to better mental health care

Dr. Ryan Chadwick, Jolie Leung, Emily Block, Dr. Larry W. Chambers

Conflating stress and anxiety can have serious implications for patients. New research on "social prescribing" could offer more effective treatment. To learn more, click here.

Classifying Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis According to their Disease Activity Status using Serum Metabolites and Machine Learning

John Koussiouris, Class of C2025

Under the supervision of Dr. Vinod Chandran at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, University Health Network this project focuses on using metabolomics to identify biomarkers associated with psoriatic arthritis. The results of this study found that several inflammatory lipids when combined in classifying models, predicted high disease activity patients from both low and moderate disease activity patients with clinically sufficient sensitivity and specificity. To learn more, click here

UGME COVID Communication:

Health and Safety:



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