Objectif : reconnaître les individus ou les équipes dont les résultats ont été remarquables alors qu’ils ont dû faire face à des obstacles et à l’inconnu.
Ce sont des versions abrégées des soumissions, dans la langue de soumission.
Dr. Alexandra Bunting, Chief Resident, Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery
Dr. Bunting has taken on the challenges with personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies in the hospital with great enthusiasm. Using 3D printing resources and help from her colleagues (Dr. Andrew Adamczyk and Dr. Marie-Claude Magnan), she created reusable face shields for most residents and staff surgeons at The Ottawa Hospital. These face shields have been approved by Health Canada.
Dr. Bunting also modified and organized orthopaedic surgery teaching and rounds into virtual sessions so that trainees could continue their education. This work included revamping the summer anatomy cadaver lab so it could still happen for both plastic surgery and orthopaedic surgery residents.
She also collaborated with other surgical chiefs,the Department of Surgery, and PARO to get pay for residents who were participating in evening and weekend Operating Rooms due to COVID backlogs. While this process took a few weeks, this is far shorter than the typical months it has taken others.
Overall, instead of complaining about something that is broken as most of us do, she has fixed issues and shared this solution with fellow residents and staff.
Dr. Sarah Funnell, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health
Dr. Austin Zygmunt, Resident, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, School of Epidemiology and Public Health
In March 2020, despite the fact that the team at Ottawa Public Health had already been working around the clock in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Drs. Funnell and Zygmunt provided us – two incoming public health and preventive medicine resident physicians invaluable mentorship and supervision. We felt incredibly welcomed and supported as part of the team.
Being warmly included allowed for us to gain first-hand experience in emergency response and incident management, technical guidance and information management, and communicable disease tracing and surveillance during a global pandemic. Opportunities to be part of public health emergencies such as this one are unique and valuable learning experiences.
We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn from Dr. Zygmunt, Dr. Funnell, and the whole Public Health Medicine Unit (PHMU) team at Ottawa Public Health. We extend our nomination and acknowledgement to our resident physician colleagues in the public health and preventive medicine program at the University of Ottawa, for their unique and necessary contributions to the public health response in Ottawa and surrounding regions.
Dr. Ken Farion, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Emergency Medicine
As a member of CHEO’s executive leadership team, starting in January 2020 Dr. Farion organized and led CHEO’s COVID planning preparedness planning. His knowledge, skills and operational capabilities were quickly recognized by the regional response team and he soon became the regional operational co-lead. He has also been a leader in bringing together multiple community partners to expand testing and assessment services for vulnerable and underserved communities including the development of interdisciplinary and interagency mobile teams. Through this work, he has advanced our capability to detect and prevent cases of COVID-19 in the region.
Dr. Farion has repeatedly demonstrated an outstanding ability to overcome significant hurdles in a very short period of time, with the utmost professionalism and compassion. His leadership stands out as exceptional in regards to the breadth of what he has been able to facilitate and the remarkable proficiency and benevolence with which he has done.
Translation and Revision Office: Romina Cousineau, Tanya Simard and Martine Trudeau
Martine, Tanya and Romina worked around the clock to meet the tremendous demands of translation with short timelines for countless documents during COVID-19, including:
- Communications to be distributed to students the day following weekly Undergraduate COVID-19 Contingency Planning Committee (UCCPC) meetings, as well as communications to faculty and for the web
- Many FAQs and new policies needed to be communicated in very short timeline.
- Significant changes in the curriculum in both preclerkship and clerkship for it to be offered virtually. For example, a significant amount of new material had to be created for the 8 rotations in clerkship during phase 1.
I also wish to highlight this trio’s resiliency during this very stressful time. Not only did they shorten their vacations due to high demands, but they were and are always very professional and cordial even when being bombarded with requests. Extreme pressure has been put on that team but they never gave up.
Dr. Scott Laing, Resident, Clinician Scholar Program, Department of Family Medicine
Dr. Laing’s skill and dedication enabled our primary care team of almost 50 family physicians, allied health care providers and administrators to efficiently and effectively adapt our care to virtual visits.
Dr. Laing had launched his research project the day our clinics closed to all but urgent in-person care. He had spent one year building a tool for our electronic medical record (EMR) system that would automatically populate a stamp with a patient’s most up to date evidence-based preventive health care services covering ten potential manoeuvres. Within the first 48 hours of our pivot to virtual care, Dr. Laing had coded a new stamp for our EMR to help each provider capture crucial new elements for virtual care.
This tool saves Bruyère’s primary care team time and ensures that we perform our duty of informing patients about this new approach to care. It also enables us to bill appropriately for services. There has been external interest in using this tool as well as, and Dr. Laing has offered it for free to interested health care providers. The Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario has published the tool on their website and many clinics have been using it in daily practice.
Dr. Laing is a young leader who is passionate about improving operational efficiency. It is especially remarkable that he developed the virtual consent tool of his own initiative and has offered it for free to all who might benefit.
Dr. Sandy Tse, Assistant Professor, Departments of Pediatrics; Medicine
Associate Medical Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Competency Based Medical Education Lead, Pediatrics; Investigator, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency departments (EDs) around the world experienced a significant decrease in patients seeking emergency care, with the greatest decline in visits for women and children. Globally, delayed presentations of acute illness to pediatric EDs were reported with associated increases in morbidity. Widespread shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) required organizations to seek novel solutions for conservation. These challenges inspired our team, led by Sandy, to develop and evaluate the first Virtual Pediatric ED (V-PED) in Canada. We adapted a secure encrypted video platform used for ambulatory clinic visits to create V-PED.
Since its launch on May 4th, over 1000 children were treated via V-PED. An online checklist completed by the child’s caregiver determines whether V-PED is appropriate or whether the child should be directed to present for an in-person ED visit.
Caregivers have reported high satisfaction with V-PED and many families requested that V-PED continue post-COVID. Using a 0-10 scale, overall satisfaction was rated as excellent in 86.9% of respondents, with none reporting their satisfaction lower than 7.
In conclusion, Dr. Tse helped to lead Canada's first virtual pediatric virtual care for emergency visits, a novel idea that is now being adapted across the country.
Dr. Catherine Brown and Dr. Jennifer LeMessurier, Residents, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, School of Epidemiology and Public Health
As senior residents in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Dr. Catherine Brown and Dr. Jennifer LeMessurier worked hard to lead case and contact management operations at Ottawa Public Health during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. They put in exceptionally long hours while collaborating with nurses, nurse practitioners and health inspectors to care for the people of Ottawa. They developed tools to track consultations and improve communications between teams, developed outbreak definitions, rapidly adopted new technology and advocated for vulnerable populations. Their work had an impact on every aspect of the physician consultation service. Despite the heavy work load, they both took the time to welcome and orient me as I returned from maternity leave. They both took the time to reach out and make sure I was coping well to the high stress environment of a pandemic response.
Dr. Austin Zygmunt, Resident, Public Health and Preventive Medicine Resident, School of Epidemiology and Public Health
As a senior Public Health and Preventive Medicine Resident, Dr. Zygmunt was completing his leadership and management rotation at Ottawa Pubic Health during the peak of the pandemic. He coordinated the physician teams to respond to unprecedented demands. He advocated for, hired and oriented additional staff to support our teams, advocated for new technological solutions, and restructured the workflow to meet ever increasing demands. All the while he was supportive and available to his co-residents and medical students.
Dr. Yipeng Ge and Dr. Tavis Hayes, medical students (now residents), Public Health and Preventive Medicine Resident, School of Epidemiology and Public Health
Dr. Ge and Dr. Hayes are 4th year medical students who had matched to our Public Health and Preventive Medicine residency program when their final year clinical rotations were disrupted by the pandemic. Although not yet residents, they stepped up and worked as research assistants within the pandemic response at Ottawa Public Health. They quickly became essential members of the team. When I arrived at OPH, they oriented me to the teams, workflow and tools (many of which they had developed). They reported to me on the technical team, producing technical documents, website updates and reports at a dizzying speed. Their work was always exceptional and they were always available and open to feedback. They made a huge contribution to the pandemic response within Ottawa Public Health.
The Research Office Team, Faculty of Medicine
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the integral role of the Research Office in operational planning and oversight moved to center-stage. To highlight a few examples of the team’s outstanding work, they:
- operationalized a safe ramp-down of research activity for more than 90 research teams;
- developed the COVID-19 Alliance to ensure operational alignment with affiliated hospitals and research institutes;
- established a Research Derogation process to support ongoing COVID-19 research projects, including baseline operational support for these teams;
- developed Return to Research Planning Committees soliciting input from both Faculty and administrative units;
- orchestrated a progressive and safe return to research for all Faculty research teams
- developed detailed FAQ to support faculty, learners and staff as they return to onsite research.
- were the first team to submit return to research guidelines to the University, which were praised for being ‘clear and cautious without placing undue burden on investigators’ and paved the way for other faculties who built upon the thorough and thoughtful policies.
- following the launch of Phase 1 R2R, took an active role in monitoring the progress of our onsite researchers, demonstrating >90% compliance and paving the way to secure University approval for Phase 1.5 and 2 reopening plans.
- worked behind the scenes to respond to thousands of emails, track hundreds of individual entry cards, and liaise with units across the University and Institutes to ensure the continued growth and success of our outstanding research teams.
Without a doubt, they have performed above and beyond all expectations in response to this unprecedented situation and are well-deserving of this important recognition.
Ottawa Public Health PHPM residents: Dr. Natalia Abraham, Dr. Catherine Brown, Dr. Sarah Erdman, Dr. Yipeng Ge, Dr. Tavis Hayes, Dr. Jennifer LeMessurier, Dr. Dolly Menghan Lin, Dr. Tiffany Locke, Dr. Reed Morrison, Dr. Muhammad Mukarram, Dr. Daniel Myran, Dr. Ellen Claire Rowlands Snyder, Dr. Manu Saraswat, Dr. Nour Shehata, Dr. Jamal Yazdi and Dr. Austin Zygmunt
At Ottawa Public Health (OPH), the Public Health and Preventive Medicine (PHPM) residents have been critical in leading the case and outbreak management team. Residents have:
- created the first line list of cases in Ottawa which led to improved communication and was the main data source for the epidemiology team’s daily reports
- played leadership roles during the numerous institutional outbreaks and community clusters
- developed outbreak definitions used in acute care facilities
- drafted the strategy to guide the regional response in mass surveillance testing of Long-Term Care (LTC) homes
- collaborated with internal and external stakeholders to prepare responses to over 500 individual technical consultations
- create over 50 documents for the public (e.g. public website content, community handouts, etc.), and summarized Ministry of Health guidance on case and contact management.
- been instrumental in OPH’s engagement with physicians and other health care professional during the pandemic.
- written most public health alerts sent to physicians in Ottawa
- provided webinars through the University of Ottawa Office of Continuing Professional Development
- developed an online case management tool
- supported the COVID-19 Ottawa Database (COD) digital solutions team in developing outbreak detection functionality
- assisted in the response to COVID-19 within other rotation sites including the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Public Health Ontario
Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects certain populations due to underlying health and social disparities, PHPM residents were dedicated to addressing the needs of priority populations, for example, by developing a COVID-19 process map for managing cases within the Ottawa shelter system and contributing to an urban Indigenous specific pandemic response plan.
Every resident in our program has gone above and beyond both in terms of supporting and even leading COVID-19 response operations and in supporting each other through unprecedented personal and professional strain. I cannot think of a more deserving group of learners.
The Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) team
The PGME team went above and beyond during the pandemic to carry out the registration of +/-1,200 trainees prior to commencing their training on July 1. Many team members even worked on Canada Day and the two free days that uO employees enjoyed.
It wasn’t without a great sense of teamwork, comradery and pride that we could have addressed the following challenges, among others, in addition to our regular tasks:
- Due to border closures, 18 foreign trainees returned home prior to completing their training, 26 could not enter Canada, and 22 cancelled
- Technical difficulties with our systems/security resulted in an emergency to lift VPN so that PAs (130) and PDs (100) could access information to track mandatory requirements
- Full-day orientation sessions and the PA awards ceremony were adapted to online platforms instead of in-person
- 250 Fleece jackets and BBQ coupons were provided via alternate methods, as were certificates provided to the 375 trainees completing their training
- Negotiated change to PARO/CAHO contract to allow residents to submit call stipend claims late.
- Residents who normally take a spring or summer vacation but were unable to (due to extra shifts, etc.) were given the opportunity to be paid out for vacation days, resulting in additional administrative tasks for PGME
- Due to travel restrictions, 167 electives were cancelled between April and June.
- An inspection was completed under the International Mobility Program to verify uOttawa’s compliance with the conditions imposed under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), specifically as they relate to the Emergencies Act and/or the Quarantine Act
- N95 mask fitting scheduling for +/-300 new trainees
- Tracked 50 residents who were redeployed to other departments (to assist with the front line care).
- 8 accreditation reviews were cancelled during April – June, resuming in an online / virtual format in September.
- CaRMS – major revamp to the entire process.
This illustrates the volume of extra work taken on by the PGME team, who managed their workload in an exceptional manner during an already challenging time in the academic year.
Dr. Roderick Macphee, Dr. Anthea Paul and Dr. Mark Woo, Family Medicine residents, Bruyère Continuing Care
In early April, Bruyère Continuing Care identified its first positive case of COVID-19 in a long-term care (LTC) centre. With a shell of a contact tracing team in place and an awareness of the vulnerability of the patients, a call was put out for assistance from uOttawa medical residents at Bruyère’s Family Health Team for help with contact tracing. Drs. Woo, Macphee and Paul answered the call and went above and beyond to make Bruyère’s contact tracing team a success.
Within the first week, Drs. Woo and Macphee developed a sophisticated visual mind map that allowed the team to chart positive cases of COVID within the hospital and LTC homes and to identify staff or patients who may have been exposed. Their innovative approach to data collection and visualization, along with their astute medical training, set the foundation for an extremely responsive and interactive COVID tracing tool that was developed and improved upon throughout the outbreaks in the LTC homes. Their expertise and data visualizations were used by senior leaders in Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and Occupational Health to make critical decisions, and were reported on to Senior Leadership at Bruyère on multiple occasions.
In tandem, Dr. Paul led a team of nine contact tracers, made up of Bruyère Research Institute researchers, uOttawa medical students and other medical residents, in conducting hundreds of calls to staff who may have been exposed to colleagues and patients who tested positive for COVID-1p. Dr. Paul’s leadership qualities and drive for excellence elevated the team. Combined with the data tracking and visualizations that Dr. Woo and Dr. Macphee were managing, the contact tracing team identified multiple staff who did not know they had been exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient or who were asymptomatic. This prevented further possible transmission of COVID to other patients or staff.
These efforts played a critical role in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19 at Bruyère, and will continue to be used to respond to any future outbreaks that occur.
Nina Lebel, Supervisor of Academic Services in Pre-Clerkship, Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) office
Nina showed tremendous effort, dedication and ability to continue to support all operations in pre-clerkship during COVID-19.
On March 16, all clinical activities and in-person teaching were cancelled. Since the MD Program cannot be paused, the pre-clerkship team had one week to transfer all learning into a virtual delivery system. Nina worked with her team to implement all logistics following decisions made by the Undergraduate COVID-19 Contingency Planning Committee, which met on a weekly basis. There were many challenges along the way, including adapting to virtual tools for the sessions and exams. Different sessions, such as CBL, CMP, and lectures, required different set-up in Teams. Nina experimented and tested these with her team. We had 44 CBL sessions and a total of 200 lectures, labs, tutorials, integrative lectures, etc. that all had to be converted online. We had to implement Questionmark for mid- term and final exams and Nina worked closely with the Evaluation Director and Medtech and received praised for her involvement and contribution.
These major changes required a tremendous number of extra hours for Nina and her team. Nina was a pillar of support during this stressful and discouraging time, including for the 5 employees on the pre-clerkship team who had started between May and July (out of a team of 8). Every day, Nina attended numerous meetings and worked many extra hours. Working closely with over 30 UGME leaders at the start of the pandemic was especially challenging as, things were evolving constantly. UGME leaders have tremendous confidence in Nina and rely on her expertise and problem-solving.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the stress level of the 330 pre-clerkship students was significantly increased. Nina worked closely with class presidents to keep them informed. She took the initiative to select and train students to lead CBL sessions to support faculty members and ensure everything ran smoothly.
Nina certainly deserves to be recognized for all of her achievements during COVID-19 and being a big part of the success of moving to online delivery of the MD Program.
Dre Michelle Anawati, Département de médecine, Directrice de l’externat au volet francophone de l’Université
Dès le début du confinement, Dre Anawati, a pris les dispositions nécessaires pour adapter rapidement l’externat dans le contexte de la COVID-19 en mettant en place la Phase 1 de ce changement profond, et ce, tout en respectant les délais impartis par le programme ainsi que la sécurité des apprenants et des patients. Cette Phase 1 consistait en un remodelage exhaustif de l’horaire pour les étudiants retirés de leurs stages en raison de la pandémie, leur permettant de compléter leurs cours obligatoires à distance, et ce, à raison de trois heures par jour. Cette façon de faire leurs permettrait ainsi d’être prêts à revenir dans les hôpitaux pour compléter leur stage en juillet, tout en respectant les dates butoirs de CARMS et en gardant bien vivant leur sentiment d’engagement envers leurs études.
Le changement rapide vers une classe virtuelle a nécessité l’utilisation de nouveaux outils technologiques et une adaptation des techniques pédagogiques avec, par exemple, l’addition de simulations et de divers cas. En particulier, de modules traitant de la téléconsultation ont dû être ajoutés au programme. Il a aussi été indispensable de modifier les évaluations en se fondant sur une formation mieux ancrée dans l’apprentissage continu et non pas sur une note prédisant la réussite ou l’échec. Ceci ne représentet que quelques-uns des défis rencontrés par Michelle lors de l’élaboration de cette planification.
Dans le but de concrétiser ce programme d’envergure en un temps record, Michelle s’est alliée au volet anglophone avec qui elle a établi une belle collaboration basée sur un travail d’équipe solide. Elle a mis une énergie incroyable dans la réalisation de ce projet, et ce, tout en gardant constamment le bien des étudiants au cœur de ses décisions. C’est donc grâce à son leadership et à sa grande volonté d’agir qu’un retour aussi rapide des étudiants de 3e année au sein des hôpitaux a été rendu possible et leur a permis de n’accumuler aucun retard dans le cursus, n’hypothéquant pas leur chance de poursuivre le programme.
Pour toutes les raisons énumérées, la Dre Michelle Anawati mérite d’être reconnue pour ces efforts dans le cadre du Programme de reconnaissance des efforts déployés durant la COVID-19 de la Faculté de médecine.
Dr. Michel Laflèche, Family Medicine, Emergency Department
Dr. Laflèche is an Emergency Department (ED) physician who stepped up to lead during the pandemic. He came to every meeting, organized one-on-one meetings with physicians and nurses to keep them informed of developments, and worked very closely with Dr. Lizotte, our intensive care unit chief, to establish policies and procedures as rapidly as possible. Dr. Laflèche contacted neighboring hospitals and colleagues in other jurisdictions, including in other provinces, to ensure that we had the most up to date information possible. He became my right hand for the past several months, always with a positive attitude. He even volunteered to work in a COVID unit at another hospital to bring back expertise. He worked with our ED manager to tarp off different zones in the unit for red/green/yellow. He wrote up posters/flow diagrams for the docs and arranged simulations for protected code blues and intubations. Most importantly we worked with our ambulatory care director to bring in respiratory therapists temporarily for the pandemic. With her they came up with medical directives, policies, protocols, and even developed a RACE team. As a result of all this rich learner he has now accepted to become the next chief of the emergency department and I am very pleased to have him on my team!
MedTech – Information Management Services
We often overlook the grassroots teams that continue to produce an exceptional service on a daily basis. MedTech, led by Lyne Charlebois, is one of these teams, having been quick to provide all the tools for staff to work from home and provided academics and students with virtual classrooms within a very short timeline. The IT demands reached new heights during the pandemic, and these were met thanks to the impressive efforts of MedTech.
PPE for HCPs: Maryam Bezzahou, Philip Chkipov, Mehr Jain, Sakib Kazi, Jesse Li, Anahita Malvea, Adam Merlo, Maria Merlano, Gabriela O’Brien, Kelsie Ou, Shankar Sethuraman and Isabel Shamsudeen – Medical students
This group of uOttawa medical students recognized the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage early during the pandemic and was determined to help. They started an initiative, PPE for HCPs, to raise money for purchasing PPE for frontline health care professionals. This endeavour did not come without its challenges, including establishing how they would raise money, finding and purchasing certified PPE during the widespread shortage, and distributing the acquired PPE to HCPs in an equitable manner.
In March, they launched a GoFundMe page to raise money and a Facebook page to raise awareness. They organized over 35 student volunteers to promote the fundraiser and recruited local politicians and social media influencers to spread the word.
They secured CDC-certified PPE from a manufacturer by collaborating with a General Surgery resident at McMaster University who was running his own fundraiser for PPE and had connections with a manufacturer. This allowed them to access a manufacturer that hospitals could not able as the manufacturer was not taking new clients.
As a result of their efforts, this team raised over $15,000 in two weeks! The students also developed a resource sent to other medical schools in Ontario to assist them with their own PPE fundraisers. Medical students in Toronto used the resource and raised over $10,000 towards PPE!
These uOttawa medical students demonstrated their ability to problem-solve, collaborate with other parties, and overcome obstacles to reach their goal of helping health care professionals access much-needed PPE to protect themselves and limit the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. William Cameron and Dr. Michaeline McGuinty
During the initial phase of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, as shutdowns were implemented, Drs. McGuinty and Cameron demonstrated enormous dedication to the continuity and innovation of research. In early April, Drs. McGuinty and Cameron and their team began a project to create a case registry of all SARS-CoV-2 cases in the Ottawa region. A project of this nature would typically require several months of preparation even before Research Ethics Board approval and administrative steps. Working day and night, Drs. McGuinty and Cameron took the project from concept to initiation in a just a few weeks.
With a long-term vision, they ensured that this novel registry included all necessary clinical, epidemiological and laboratory parameters so that it will serve as a state-of-the-art repository for anyone to access it with novel research ideas.
With their incessant thirst to read any published material on SARS-CoV-2, they kept up-to-date on this rapidly evolving topic and educated members of the Department of Medicine through one-on-one consultations, informal discussions and presentations. They created the first treatment algorithms to manage this disease and updated that algorithms when new information became available. Thus, at the Ottawa Hospital, we were able to stay current in treating patients for COVID-19, since the very beginning.
I observed an exhaustive effort on the part of this team to bring the COVID-19 Registry project to life and would like to recognize that effort and its achievement by nominating this team for recognition by the University of Ottawa.
Dr. Marie-Eve Lizotte, Chief Intensive Care Unit, Hawkesbury and District General Hospital
Dr. Lizotte worked around the clock during the initial COVID-19 pandemic to organize our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and to prepare our entire hospital for what was quite unknown at the time. Not only did she spearhead many new policies, protocols and order sets, she also became a personal protective equipment (PPE) champion, supervising and coaching staff on how to don and doff. We even made her a badge for her lab coat that said “PPE police”.
She worked with our plant management team to buy air purifiers, got the windows in the ICU removed, and tested air quality and sound levels to convert our ICU rooms into negative pressure rooms in case these were needed. She rid the entire unit of anything unnecessary and worked with the nursing and administrative staff to ensure no stakeholder was forgotten in the rapid decision making. Dr. Lizotte was a superstar during these stressful times and I certainly would not have gotten through all of this without her.
Farhan Mahmood and Catherine Gnyra, medical students
The University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre (uOSSC) provides essential training to medical learners and healthcare providers (HCPs) working at The Ottawa Hospital. uOSSC staff were working hard to teach learners and HCPs how to provide quality care to patients with COVID-19 and to prevent the spread of the virus. This training includes practicing donning and doffing N95 masks.
To reserve the precious supply of N95 masks for HCPs and hospital staff, two medical students, Farhan Mahmood (MD2023) and Catherine Gnyra (MD2022), took on the initiative of creating mock N95 masks for use in training. They gained the support and advice of student leaders, communicated with a team at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine to learn about the mock N95s they were making, and purchased the supplies needed for at least 500 mock N95s. They assembled a team of more than 10 student volunteers, distributed the supplies, and virtually demonstrated how to create the masks. Without their initiative, real N95 masks would have been used for training, lessening the already deficient amount available for frontline HCPs.
The uOSSC and I are grateful for Farhan and Catherine’s leadership, compassion, collaborative efforts, health advocacy, and productivity.
Dr. Kristin Baetz, Interim Assistant Dean, Research
From the outset of the pandemic, Dr. Baetz has taken a leading role to ensure the safety and success of research teams across the Roger Guindon Hall (RGN) and Peter Morand Crescent (PMC) buildings. She played a critical role in developing and overseeing the implementation of emergency laboratory shut-down plans in early March, ensuring that research teams who needed to continue time-sensitive or COVID-19 research were supported while advocating for rapid ramp-down of non-essential onsite research.
Dr. Baetz was proactive in creating and chairing the Return to Research (R2R) committee, working with researchers and service teams to develop detailed plans to support a progressive return. Focusing on safety, equity and transparency, she developed an investigator-led model through which labs could restart onsite research. She drafted the R2R Guidelines, which provided researchers key information to facilitate their return. These were used as a model for other Faculties across the University, demonstrating our Faculty’s leadership role in the University community.
We have Dr. Baetz to thank for many safety precautions in place. She advocated for PPE, cleaning supplies and specialized COVID-19 training be provided to onsite staff and spent countless hours working with administrative teams to ensure that essential services were in place for a safe and effective return.
At each stage of the R2R, Dr Baetz, in collaboration with the Research Office team, has been in close contact with the research community to provide updates, review plans, provide occupancy limits, answer questions and respond to challenges. She has done so with great care and patience despite the competing demands on her time.
Dr. Baetz has gone above and beyond the call of duty and her leadership and understanding of the research community has made an invaluable impact on our ability to respond to the evolving situation while retaining our enviable position as the University of Ottawa’s most research-intensive faculty.
Kelsea Anstey, Academic Coordinator, Clerkship, Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME)
This transition has been a learning curve for all UGME and coordinators. Within the UGME office I, (and I know others) have received outstanding support from Kelsea!
She is organized, responsive and helpful. She has ensured that coordinators’ concerns are heard and needs for fulfilling our new responsibilities are met.
She goes above and beyond to assist with new processes. Most importantly she does so with a friendly, approachable attitude.
- She is immediately responsive to emails and helps to liaise with UGME and Medtech
- She has helped us with ongoing support of the curriculum drive, one45 and TEAMS
- She understands the workload and provides us support in any way that she can!
All in all, throughout a demanding time of curriculum changes she has really stuck out as an excellent team player.
Jennifer Dale, Manager, Human Resources, and Daphnee O’Hurley-Bland, Human Resources Assistant, Human Resources
It may have been April 1st, but it was no joke. At noon, the Quebec Government announced they were immediately deploying police in the Outaouais region to set-up checkpoints along the border to block non-essential travel between Ottawa and Gatineau to curb the transmission of COVID19.
A significant number of Faculty of Medicine learners, staff and faculty live in Quebec. There was real fear that members of our community would be blocked from crossing the border or would not be able to enter Ottawa the next day for work. Remarkably, within thirty minutes of the announcement, Jennifer and Daphnee sprang into action.
Working with the Research Office, the Health, Safety and Risk Management office, and the Chief Operating Officer, Jennifer and Daphnee compiled a list of all workers who had permission to be on site that week. They quickly generated essential worker letters for all the staff and trainees who were on site that day who lived in Quebec, in order to ensure they could get home that night. They worked well into the night generating letters for all other essential workers who live in Quebec to ensure that all staff had the documentation to cross the Ontario-Quebec border.
As someone who was “in-the-trenches” that day, I know first-hand the panic we were dealing with it. No one knew what was happening that afternoon at the bridges. It was an unprecedented and completely unexpected situation. However, both Jenifer and Daphnee tackled a very high-pressure situation with grace and humor, showing true team work.
The Office of Marketing and Communications, Faculty of Medicine
The Marketing and Communications team has been working very hard since the early days of the pandemic to ensure that we communicate relevant information internally and externally.
On top of managing an already very busy editorial schedule, the team adapted quickly and with all hands on deck to execute ongoing communications during this crisis.
Here are some facets of what the team has accomplished through working together:
- In the early weeks of the pandemic, the comms team worked long hours to keep up with hospital and university changes and to communicate important daily updates so our stakeholders had the information they needed.
- Created web pages for the Faculty, academic programs, the Research Office, and Wellness so that these groups could update their audiences in a timely manner. Professional graphics were created for the web and mass messages.
- Worked closely with downtown communications to alert the media of our researchers receiving COVID-19 rapid research funding from the federal government. This led to a large spike in media attention for our researchers in March and April.
- Since March, produced and disseminated frequent mass internal messages on behalf of the Dean to update and provide resources. We also created a branded "Dean's message" for twitter to allow Dr. Jasmin to give small bits of information and inspiration.
- In March, we put out a COVID-themed edition of MedPoint with a special introduction by the Dean, which included 9 COVID-related stories.
- From March to July, we produced 33 COVID-themed stories for our website and MedPoint, bringing the work of our researchers, clinicians, and students into the public eye. These resulted in numerous media articles and interviews.
- We created a focused social media campaign to help promote our first ever virtual convocation, which included congratulatory videos by professors and inspirational quote cards featuring some of our leading graduates from across our programs.
The academic administration team (AT) of the Department of Emergency Medicine (DEM): Glenda Clapham, Erika Donnelly, Jason Gauthier, Cheryl Geymonat, Ms. Margaret King
Since early March, all departments of the Faculty of Medicine were faced with new roadblocks / unknowns. No area of healthcare was as acutely impacted than EM – the frontline faculty and learners standing at the forefront of the pandemic tsunami. The DEM-AT was prepared and produced significant results through their unwavering dedication over long days and weekends.
Due to heightened foresight and strategic pandemic planning, the DEM-AT was ready to shift to a new business model with a work-from-home (WFM) environment. They maintained two-fold razor-sharp foci:
1. Keep faculty and learners as safe as possible; and
2. Do not allow the pandemic to adversely impact learners.
To keep faculty and learners safe, they responded with tireless nimbleness and unending flexibility to what seemed like daily changes in policy, process, and procedure. DEM-AT ensured a rapid turnaround of >200 faculty and 160 learner N95 mask fit testing and re-fittings. Multiple virtual “Town Hall” information sessions were organized. Continuous Professional Development sessions went into virtual over-drive to ensure that faculty had the skill and knowledge to deal with the most current information. For learners, multiple Q&A sessions were organized and supported.
To ensure that educational needs of DEM learners were not negatively impacted, the DEM-AT showed impressive elasticity to modify and meet needs. Their business model shifted to a virtual one seamlessly, with not one hour of education lost. DEM at uOttawa is reported to be one of the only academic EM centres in Canada to have provided uninterrupted educational endeavours seamlessly despite COVID adversity. Education sessions were held virtually or face-to-face following strict COVID guidelines. Learning objectives and curriculums were altered to accommodate the new formats. Rapid clinical shift scheduling ensured high-yield learning experiences while adjusting for COVID exposures, accommodations, and last-minute policy changes.
Much DEM-AT effort was also put into faculty and learner wellness. They assisted with the organization of virtual events such as trivia nights, yoga, and CrossFit sessions. They presented innovative ideas to recognize learners–a novel “graduation” event and a welcome event for faculty and learners to welcome the 2020-21 academic year.
Much like faculty and learners, the DEM-AT faced unprecedented personal and professional anxiety with pandemic disruption. Despite this, the DEM-AT showed exceptional reliability and support with exceptional achievements in productivity and operations for EM.
Community Mental Health Program, Royal Ottawa Health Care Group
During the Pandemic, the teams of this exceptional program have provided consistent and thoughtful care to their clients in the community. Under the excellent leadership of Dr. Carl Ripley, Dr. Susan Okigbo, Robin Pow, Kate Baker, Anita Bloeman, Nick Downs and Ron Remillard, the two ACT Teams, the Psychiatric Outreach Team, the Flexible ACT Team for adults with IDD, the Step Down from ACT Program, the ACTTDD (Brockville), the Homes for Special Care, Women’s Mental Health, and the Community Treatment Order Office have ensured no gaps in service for clients living with severe and persistent mental illness in the community, including in private homes, domiciliary hostels or group homes, and shelters. Collaboration with primary care providers and community support services has kept many clients safe and well, both mentally and physically. Staff have kept each other safe by attending to safety measures in the office, working from home, and seeing clients for essential visits in the community. Dedicated spaces have been developed to provide essential services, e.g. depot antipsychotic administration. Virtual support groups were set up to provide wellness discussions for front line staff by our psychology colleagues. Some of our nurses have volunteered to work at long-term care homes affected by outbreaks, and their teams have picked up the “slack”. The ingenuity and dedication demonstrated from the management and front line workers has been inspiring.
Charlene Clow, Director, Research Office (Interim)
When Ontario declared its COVID-19 state of emergency in March, the Faculty had to react quickly. It was imperative to immediately address how to safely ramp down research to decrease the number of people on site while mitigating the impact on time-sensitive research. To say that Charlene was instrumental in this process would be an understatement – it simply could not have been accomplished without her!
With close to a hundred wet labs at Roger Guindon Hall (RGN), collecting emergency plans for each lab and developing a COVID-19 derogation process to determine which researchers could remain on site was no small feat. Never before had such a complete and abrupt shut down of research been contemplated. During this first “lock-down” Charlene volunteered heroic hours (8am – 11pm), working to ensure the closing of research was as smooth and as equitable as possible. This gargantuan effort was necessary at every stage of the pandemic progression, each new phase requiring new policies, guidelines and rules. For example, the day the Quebec Premier closed the border between Ottawa and Outaouais, Charlene immediately jumped on board to help identify essential researchers on site who lived in Quebec and to elaborate and issue essential worker letters to allow them to cross the border.
Charlene has been on the frontlines helping to develop and implement the Return to Research (R2R) plan. She worked incessantly for weeks, answering 100s of questions and providing concrete solutions to emerging issues daily, including organizing communications, updating the website, and compiling and maintaining R2R plans for every lab on site.
We cannot emphasize enough that it is in large part through Charlene’s commitment – truly beyond the call of duty–that the Faculty of Medicine was able to again lead the way in terms of how the whole University adapted its research activities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anne-Marie Maheu, Gestionnaire de l’équipe d’Approvisionnements et logistique
Sachant que l’équipe des Approvisionnement et logistique offre des services qui sont indispensables à la continuité des opérations de la communauté de recherche, des départements et des divers bureaux de la Faculté, dès le début de la crise de la COVID-19, Anne-Marie a su faire preuve de leadership. Elle s’est rapidement impliquée avec le Bureau de la recherche pour aider à établir les besoins en équipement de protection personnel. Voyant que les besoins en équipement de protection personnelle (EPP) s’intensifiaient, grâce à son leadership nous avons été l’une des premières facultés, voir la première faculté, à sécuriser et recevoir de l’équipement de protection personnel. Anne-Marie a partagé avec le Central toute la recherche qu’elle et son équipe avaient fait auprès des divers fournisseurs. De plus, afin d’assurer la santé et la sécurité des employés qui devaient assurer la réception de la marchandise, en consultation avec le Bureau de la recherche, elle a rapidement mis en place des procédures à cet effet. Elle a également aider à coordonner la réception de l’équipement de protection personnel offerts par divers donateurs. Tout au long de la crise, Anne-Marie a su mettre à profit son expertise, ses connaissances et son expérience et par ce fait a contribué de façon importante au maintien des opérations et à la continuité de la recherche.
Eric Prendergast, Operations and Logistics Manager of the Procurement and Logistics Services
When the first drastic measures resulting from the pandemic were implemented, Eric, deemed essential and working on-site, immediately took the lead on coordinating space to accommodate quantities of inventory that the Faculty has never before managed. Thousands of boxes were counted, moved, and secured in inventory. Meanwhile, troubleshooting to obtain essential products on back-order and the distribution of essential products for safety and research continuity was seamlessly managed. The support staff on site has been limited but the activities and planning of PPE never stopped, adding pressure to perform and adapt faster.
Despite multiple difficulties, uncertainties, changes of procedure and decisions to be made, Eric showed persistence and focused on ensuring uninterrupted service and support for the research community. He performed several roles simultaneously while showing empathy, encouraging collaboration, supporting team members, ensuring equitable workloads, and maintaining effective communication amongst staff, including those on and off-site.
By this recognition, I wish to show my appreciation and for Eric’s dedication and productivity during these difficult time. Without his loyalty and dedication, the service level and team spirit would have not been the same.
Kimmy Yang, Translational Molecular Medicine (TMM) student
Kimmy is not only an outstanding Translational Molecular Medicine (TMM) student, but also a stellar artist with an extremely devoted work ethic. This is exemplified by her art business "kimmyartxo". Kimmy seized this time of great uncertainty as an opportunity, working tirelessly to establish her business. This included developing and publishing a website (kimmyartxo.com), securing resources, establishing her brand, and building up her stock. Products range from breathtaking original fine art prints, stunning custom orders, and exquisite colle3ction sets which include a variety of unique components.
As of 22 Jul, she has made over 100 sales and garnered over $3,000 USD in profits. Her sales have continued to grow and she continues to expand her artistic horizons by embarking on novel creative projects.
As a dedicated advocate for mental health, she provides mental health information and resources on her website and dedicates part of her profits to the charity Do It For Daron. Kimmy has not only successfully established a business from the ground up in less than 2 months in the midst of a pandemic, but shares the fruits of her labour in her continued efforts to improve the community around her.
Her story is an inspiration for her colleagues and is deserving of recognition by the Faculty, and the University, to which she brings great credit.