September 2023 | {View as Webpage}

Welcome to the Fall 2023 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 Niagara Regional Campus is committed to the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigenous reconciliation and social justice in all that we do. 


To further deepen our understanding of these topics we also have purchased some focused reading in these areas that will be available for borrow from the NRC library and will focus on one of these books each month. This month the focus is on True Reconciliation: How to Be a Force for Change by Jody Wilson-Raybould. This book breaks down true reconciliation into three core practices – Learn, Understand and Act – and outlines how these can be applied by individuals, communities, organizations and governments.

Niagara Health continues on its journey towards improving the quality and safety of care for Indigenous patients. The Indigenous Health Services and Reconciliation Team is working to address systemic barriers and bias that can lead to negative Indigenous patient experiences and engaging with the community about how best to support and care for Indigenous Peoples. The implementation of this team is an important milestone in the ongoing efforts to make NH a more culturally sensitive and inclusive organization. 

Bones and Crows: Film Screening Honouring National Truth and Reconcilation Day

Experience the moving journey of "Bones of Crows," a 2022 film depicting a Cree woman's life from childhood to matriarchy, navigating Canada's residential school system.

Join us on September 29, 2023, for an in-person screening across Hamilton across Hamilton, Niagara, and Waterloo Regional Campuses. This event supports McMaster's Indigenous Health Learning Lodge and offers a chance to connect with local community organizations.

Date and Time: Friday, September 29, 2023, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, screening begins at 10:15AM.


  • Hamilton: Jackson Square Landmark 6 Cinema
  • Niagara: Landmark Cinemas St. Cathartines
  • Waterloo: Landmark Cinemas Waterloo

Tickets: By donation - please bring DIAPERS and MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS for local community agencies. Your attendance matters in honouring Indigenous culture and supporting a crucial cause. 

Reserve Your Ticket

Niagara Health - Indigenous Inclusion Month

September will mark the third annual Indigenous Inclusion Month at Niagara Health. It is a time to come together to recognize the unique heritage, traditions and teachings of Indigenous Peoples, as well as the important and ongoing work with Indigenous partners to build healthy communities.

This year’s theme, Honouring Truth and Reconciliation, will explore the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and histories of Indigenous Peoples. Various activities have been planned throughout the month to help educate, inspire and spark conversations about Indigenous communities, cultures and histories, as well as the importance of a respectful team environment and access to safe health services.

As healthcare professionals, it is our obligation to provide safe, culturally welcoming care for Indigenous Peoples. Opportunities for learning and activities will include:

  • Thursday, Sept. 7: Welland Site smudging event (location to be confirmed), and vendor fair and orange shirts sales in the main lobby.
  • Thursday, Sept. 14: St. Catharines Site smudging event (location to be confirmed), and vendor fair and orange shirts sales in the main lobby.
  • Thursday, Sept. 21: Niagara Falls Site smudging event (location to be confirmed), and vendor fair and orange shirts sales in the main lobby.
  • Thursday, Sept. 21: Information shared about The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Residential School System.
  • Friday, Sept. 29: Observing Orange Shirt Day and National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (Saturday, Sept. 30).

NRC Land Acknowledgement Branding

Medical Production Services have created Land Acknowledgement slides for the Niagara region. Please consider implementing these when giving a presentation on behalf of McMaster University.

To download the assets, you will be required to login to your MacID. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Jennifer Tran at [email protected]

Land Acknowledgement Asset Bank

UGME Welcomes the Class of 2026

In August, the UGME program warmly welcomes the Class of 2026 to our program. Over three weeks, students participated in Introduction to Medicine - a comprehensive orientation comprising information sessions and workshops, which included greetings from our deans, the Indigenous Health Chair, and Diversity and Inclusion Chairs. Students also engaged in professionalism sessions, got acquainted with pre-clerkship and clinical skills, explored communication through improv, delved into student affairs and mistreatment awareness, as well as reviewed effective communicaton strategies.

Amind these sessions, our students enjoyed ample opportunities to connect with each other. They also had the chance to explore each campus within our distributed medical education network through three all-campus Hamilton days, along with dedicated days at NRC and WRC.

Niagara Regional Campus Welcomes 32 Incoming MD Learners!

This year, the 2023 provincial budget included new funding to expand training capacity at McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, to help build a stronger and more resilient. With that includes additional seats to NRC's undergraduate program from 28 to 31. Additionally, in postgraduates we welcomed one Family Medicine seats and one Emergency Medicine seat.

Niagara Regional Campus Welcomes Incoming Residents!

Every year, the beginning of July marks the start of new residents all over Canada and Niagara Regional Campus is pleased to announce the following residents joining the NRC postgraduate programs in Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and General Surgery.

Family Medicine

  • Dr. Ashis Bagchee-Clark, McMaster University
  • Dr. Molly Campbell, University of Ottawa
  • Dr. Josiah Coolen, McMaster University
  • Dr. Jared Dookie, Western University
  • Dr. Sherif El Meniawy, University of Ottawa
  • Dr. Sarah Giacobbo, University of Ottawa
  • Dr. Mario Hanna, McMaster University
  • Dr. Kamil Kozerawski, Ludwik Rydygier Medical College
  • Dr. Alexa Pandolfi, McMaster University
  • Dr. Elliot Polster, McMaster University
  • Dr. Sashen Rajagopaul, University of Queensland

Emergency Medicine

  • Dr. Malcolm Hartman, McMaster University
  • Dr. Nick Ledwez, McMaster University

General Surgery

  • Dr. Stephanie Li, McMaster University

Dr. Bertolo/Sallows Family ALS Fundraiser

It’s that time of year…the Bertolo/Sallows family annual fundraiser to end ALS!

My sister Lisa died of ALS in 2020. We honor her memory by helping families surviving with ALS.  

ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a Nerve disease that takes away the ability to walk, talk and then eventually breathe. We need to raise awareness and money for this disease as it affects 1/ 50,000 Canadians and does not receive any Government funding. All the funds raised are through people like us- which is then used to help ALS patients receive support like walkers, braces, wheelchairs, personal support, beds etc.. Also, the funds help to support research to find better medicines and/or a cure.

Our family is doing another Spartan 5km Race up Blue Mountain in October 2023- over the years we have raised over 10,000 for ALS but we want to reach our goal of $25,000.

Help our family help others.

Click to Donate

Dr. Omkar Parthab

Emergency Medicine

Lisa Tichbrand

Family Medicine - Physiotherapy

Dr. Vernon Clifton


Dr. Yasmin Jajarmi


Dr. Elahn Pogue


Dr. Robert Clayden

Medicine - Hematology

Dr. Emily Landon

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dr. Patrick McGarry

Surgery - Urology

Academic Lead, WLMH

The Niagara Regional Campus is seeking a faculty educator to serve as the Academic Lead, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital. The lead will be a key link between West Lincoln Hospital, the Niagara Regional Campus, as well as HHS. This includes developing, coordinating, and enhancing undergraduate and postgraduate education, research, and quality improvement opportunities at West Lincoln Hospital in keeping with the content needs of the program and the resources of the community.

Interested applicants for this position should submit a cover letter and CV to Melanie Pulling prior to Friday, September 29, 2023. The cover letter should outline experience and skills the applicant would bring to the position and a brief outline of the applicant's vision for their first term in the position. Interviews will be conducted on Thursday, October 5, 2023 in the morning on a virtual platform.

Terms of ReferenceAcademic Lead, WLMH

Director, Resident Affairs

The Niagara Regional Campus is seeking a faculty educator to serve as the Director, Resident Affairs. The Director will act as a first point of contact for residents in distress or difficulty and to support residents with academic, personal or professional difficulties, including those going through remediation and appeals processes amongst many other leadership responsibilities.

Residents are both students of the University and employees of the hospital and as such have access to a wide array of support services such as the Employee Assistance Program through the paymaster hospital; support services offered by the University such as Human Rights and Equity Services; support programs through the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario; as well as support programs through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario; CMPA; and the Office of Resident Affairs. Resident Affairs offers a confidential space for residents to find support and access to community services, offered with an effort to maintain privacy.

Interested applicants for this position should submit a cover letter and CV to Melanie Pulling prior to Friday, October 13 2023. The cover letter should outline experience and skills the applicant would bring to the position and a brief outline of the applicant's vision for their first term in the position. Interviews will be conducted on Friday, October 27, 2023 in the morning on a virtual platform.

Terms of ReferenceDirector, Resident Affairs

Chair, Student Progress

The MD program is seeking a faculty educator to serve as Chair of Student Progress. Reporting to the Associate Dean, the Chair of Student Progress is responsible for the oversight, implementation, and quality improvement of student progress processes in the MD Program. This includes a focus of progress processes on transparency, equity and alignment with program and University policies.

The Chair oversees progress in 3 ways:

  1. Providing structure, support, and committee-based oversight for assessors in identifying, communicating, and addressing provisional satisfactory assessments, prioritizing learner agency, transparency, equity, and asynchronous workflows
  2. Organizing and overseeing committee-based processes for recurrent provisional assessment or unsatisfactory assessment
  3. Implementing progress intervals or 'checkpoints' to ensure committee decision-making around progress and completion of the program


The expected time commitment is approximately 1 day per week throughout the year with an appropriate stipend. This leadership role is attributed 400 hours of indirect academic contribution per year. The appointment is for a three-year term, renewable. Interested applicants should review the complete job description, and apply by September 15, 2023 to Suri Wang. Interviews for the position will be held at the end of the day on October 11, 2023.

Chair, Student Progress JD

Sub-Unit Planner, Gastroenterology

The UGME Program of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine is a fully distributed medical education program that uses problem-based, self-directed, and early patient exposure learning approaches. Medical Foundation (MF) 3 is the third block of the Undergraduate UGME Program at McMaster. It is a 12-week block running from the beginning of January until the end of March of the students’ first year. Content areas include Gastroenterology, Nutrition, Endocrinology and Reproduction.

The UGME Program is seeking a faculty member to oversee the planning, delivery, and evaluation of the Gastroenterology subunit within MF3. The Planner will demonstrate a commitment to advance the core principles of the UGME Program: distributed medical education (DME); problem-based, small group, and other student-engaged learning methods; self-directed learning, including self- and peer-assessment; early patient/clinical exposure; lifelong learning, including use of evidence-informed practice; and a commitment to innovation.

Interested persons should email their curriculum vitae and cover letter to the attention of Dr. Keyna Bracken, Pre-Clerkship Chair, Undergraduate Medical Education, by September 15, 2023 . The email should be sent to the email address of the Operations Coordinator. The cover letter should outline experience and skills the applicant would bring to the position and the applicant’s vision for their first term in the position.

Sub-Unit Planner, Gastroenterology JD

An Opportunity to be an Instructor in the NRC Evidence-Based Medicine Primer Rounds

Interested in being an instructor in one of the eight Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) Primer Rounds held at noon hour on Tuesdays (in person or virtually) during the 2023-2024 academic year. The aim of the sessions is to engage students in interactive learning about the basics of EBM competencies.  


Former Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact Professor David Sackett and his colleagues defined evidence-based practice as “… conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.” Participating students will learn to master the critical steps to practice EBM: 1) construct a question from the clinical environment; 2) search the medical literature to identify the best available evidence; 3) appraise the evidence; 4) integrate the evidence in clinical practice; and 5) evaluate its application. 


The Rounds are eligible as a Horizontal Research Elective. CME credits and MacFacts hours are provided to faculty instructors. 


By participating in the 2023-2024 Rounds, your involvement, for example, could be to set up a Rounds on an EBM topic (Google: “EQUATOR” for EBM topics), to lead one of the Rounds (e.g., “Effectiveness of Treatments”), to participate on the Rounds planning committee, and/or to assist evaluation of learning acquired by participating in the Rounds.  


Please contact Rahim Valani (chair of the EBM Primer Rounds Planning Committee) or Seddiq Weera (NRC Research Coordinator).

More research needed to understand medical students' shift from exclusively clinical to scholarship

Dr. Larry Chambers (Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact), Dr. Amanda Bell (Family Medicine), Seddiq Weera

Medical students are getting more interested in roles outside of clinical work alone. Universities should take note. To read more about this, click here.

Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Postpartum Depression

Kathryn Huh (Class of 2025), Haley Layton, MPH, Calan D. Savoy, MSc, Mark A. Ferro, PhD, Peter J. Bieling, PhD, Amanda Hicks, RN, MPH and Ryan J. Van Lieshout, MD, PhD

Rates of postpartum depression (PPD) increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, further highlighting the need for effective, accessible treatment for PPD. While public health nurses (PHNs) can be trained to help treat PPD, it is not known if they can effectively deliver evidence-based psychotherapies online to those with PPD. This article has been published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, to read more - click here.

Hotel Dieu Shaver Expansion

As part of Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care, the Ontario government is providing a one-time capital grant of up to $2,500,000 to support costs associated with early planning for the proposed Rehabilitation Bed Expansion Project at Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. Catharines. This funding is in addition to $500,000 previously approved in March 2019.

"This key investment in Hotel Dieu Shaver demonstrates the commitment of our government to local health care and hospital infrastructure in Niagara," said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

Read Full Announcement

Niagara Health

Dr. Helen Caetano appointed Interim Chief of Surgery

Niagara Health is pleased to announce that as of September 1, 2023, Dr. Helen Caetano has accepted the role of Interim Chief of Surgery. Dr. Caetano has been an active staff physician at Niagara Health since 2002 and a practicing Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgeon. Dr. Caetano attended medical school at University of Toronto, and completed her residency in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Ottawa.

Many thanks to Dr. Ian Brown for his contributions to enhance patient care, quality improvement and educational opportunities. Dr. Brown lead the surgical group through unprecedented challenges with a focus on collaboration and empathy and his footprint will remain with us for years to come.

Niagara Region Public Health

Niagara Region Public Health is inviting Family Physicians, Family Medicine residents, medical students, and all interested healthcare professionals to come together for this free education opportunity.

Thursday, September 14, 2023 | 5:30 - 8:00PM

Grand Rounds Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the epidemiology of alcohol in Niagara and Ontario
  • Discuss how alcohol use contributes to health risks for various diseases, including cancer and heart disease
  • Describe the changes to Canada's Guidance on Alcohol and Health and clinical implications for practice
  • Discuss opportunities and messages to refer to during patient interactions to address alcohol consumption and its related health risks.

UGME COVID Communication:

Health and Safety:



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