A year in review, and an exciting year ahead

Dr. Brian Hodges Executive Vice-President Education, University Health Network

It’s hard to believe it has been three years since we became The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. We have accomplished so much in that time, and yet every day I have conversations with faculty, staff and students about new ways to advance health care scholarship. I can’t imagine a more dynamic work environment, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to play a leadership role.

While we are always looking to the future of the health professions, at this time of year I enjoy looking back at what we have accomplished together.

Last year Michener became a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons accredited provider of Continuing Professional Development, making us the only institute of its kind in the country granted this privilege. Being first is always an honour, but what this really delivers is new opportunities for UHN educators to tap into Michener’s education design expertise and program management strength to support UHN’s physicians. This is exactly how we saw scholarship and clinical practice benefiting from each other with integration.

The Big Ideas Lecture Series delivered four powerful talks and blog posts on provocative topics in 2018, including Design Thinking, Privacy in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Medical Assistance in Dying and the Value of a Basic Science Education. If you weren’t able to attend, I encourage you to view past lectures. Bringing global thought leaders in areas such as medical ethics and education design to you through this series is the first major project of the Research Institute of Healthcare Education, which launches more broadly in 2019.

The development of the 12th floor made significant gains in 2018, and we are very close to awarding a construction contract to get started in the new year. An operational readiness team has led the process to ensure we have all bases covered and are ready to move into the space in January 2020. I am especially happy to announce that we recently received a $1 million gift toward the project, and the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation continues to work hard to attract additional donors.

This academic year we celebrate Michener’s 60th anniversary, which we kicked off in the newly designed St. Patrick Campus lobby in October. The lobby design itself was a significant accomplishment: a commissioned work of art based on the DNA sequence of our founder, Dr. Diana Schatz. It also reminds us daily of the incredible contributions this health care education pioneer made … contributions that play out every day in the superior competency and work ethic of Michener alumni. If you haven’t seen the video tribute to Dr. Schatz, please take a few minutes to have a look.

We also saw some transitions in 2018. Emma Pavlov transitioned out of her temporary role leading the St. Patrick Campus operations team in September, and a number of long-serving staff members and faculty moved along to the next destination on their journeys. It’s always hard to say farewell to Michener employees and faculty, especially when some of them have been with us for 40 years! All the best to the following employees and faculty members who made 2018 their final year with Michener:

Alice Chow – Director, Finance
Gail Rodrigues – Professor, Ultrasound
Don Bartlett – Manager, Clinical Education Relations
Aruna Kolhatkar – Professor, Medical Laboratory Services
Jim Tsourgiannis – Manager, Laboratory Services
Suzanne Allaire – Clinical Placement Coordinator

There were many more accomplishments and passages to note from 2018 of course, across all campuses, and we look forward to featuring them in the Year in Review edition of Michener News early in the new year. Of note, we are in the final edits of the first Michener Institute of Education of UHN Five-Year Strategic Plan. So many of our education leaders have contributed to this project, and I know their bright ideas and commitment to our future success will come through in the final product.

Please accept my best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season and I look forward to continuing our work together in 2019!

Brian Hodges