Congratulations – Drs. N. Mookherjee & A. Shah

Congratulations are extended to Dr. Neeloffer Mookerjee and Dr. Ashish Shah!

Dr Neeloffer Mookherjee, PhDSection of Proteomics and Systems Biology received another CIHR Grant:

Project title: Molecular adaptations to allergen exposure: sex-related            differences in asthma.

Grant Competition: CIHR Catalyst Grant: Sex as a Variable in  Biomedical Research.

Total amount for two years: $148,000

Dr. Mookherjee’s Application Ranked # 1 out of 166 applications.

Congratulations Dr. Mookherjee!

 

Dr. Ashish Shah – Section of Cardiology

Dr. Shah received the International Society of Adult Congenital Heart Disease’s (ISACHD) Young Investigator Award for his abstract: “Feasibility and Efficacy Of Negative Pressure Ventilation in The Ambulatory Fontan populatioN- (FONTAN-CMR) – A Pilot Study”.

Additionally he was also appointed honorary faculty at the CRF annual meeting 2018 in Washington DC.

Congratulations Dr. Shah!

 

Is Time Really Money?

Improving the efficiency of what we do is on everybody’s radar these days. Our health care system, our hospitals, and our clinics are no exception. Efficiency stands for doing things right. Doing things right is per se not wrong: nobody can reasonably argue with seeking to eliminate organizational waste in order to deliver health care in a sustainable fashion.

Sustainability, however, pertains to aspects beyond economics and from a provider perspective includes, in my opinion, things that are more difficult to assign a $ value to, such as work place satisfaction and employee engagement. “The only way to do great work, is to love what you do”, as Steve Jobs is quoted having once said. Seeking efficiency by top-down defining the route to the goal in every detail and forcing to fill in yet another form to prove compliance, whether on paper or electronically, adds more often nothing than administrative waste. In fact, it may hinder true productivity of health care delivery to our patients. Too many regulations lead to disengagement of those who do the work, as they become frustrated by feeling forced to just follow the rules (often in front of a computer screen) set by some remote administrative body and no longer being able to focus their energy on what is dear to their heart, e.g. caring for patients. Do those who do the work on the ground not often know best how to reach the goal by adapting their approach to a changing situation/environment? Would it not often be better to clearly define the goal of the organizational unit, not the path to it, and just hold frontline staff accountable for reaching that goal? In many countries, even prototypic hierarchical organizations such as the military have learned their lesson and adopted a goal oriented command model.

Moreover, delivering health care is not a simple assembly line and consists of more than a series of technical processes that are amenable to optimization by engineering. Thus, trying to optimize efficiency in health care delivery using a similar approach to that established for a production plant or an assembly line of cars may defeat its purpose. In fact, it may create new organizational waste – and potentially more than it intends to eliminate. By feeling forced to shut down common sense, providers run the danger of bringing to perfection complying with a “system” and its “administrative processes”, i.e. focus on doing highly efficiently what hinders efficient delivery of care to the patient.

Effectiveness is another fashionable word these days. And efficiency and effectiveness are often and wrongly used interchangeably. Effectiveness, however, stands for doing the right things. We can hardly dispute that health care delivery should be effective. But what is the “right thing” in delivering health care? In a very broad sense, one may say, the right things are to help an individual to stay healthy (prevention) and, if that fails and the individual falls sick, to support the healing process (treatment); sometimes healing (cure) is no longer an option and minimizing suffering (palliation) has to suffice.

Prevention, healing and palliation require content competency with respect to knowledge and technical skills. One may call this the science of Medicine. Effective prevention, healing and palliation, however, go far beyond scientific content aspects and encompass not only interpersonal skills, but even broader domains of human existence. All too often we seem to forget about these. We all have anecdotally witnessed that the best delivery of evidence-based interventions can be futile if a patient has given up fighting. Healing is not fully promoted by efficiently and effectively delivering an evidence-based intervention. Healing encompasses more including promoting the well-being of a sick individual in all his/her dimensions. Only this enables a patient to add his/her part to the healing process and allow making the evidence-based intervention a success. Terms such as Medical Humanities and the Art of Medicine try to address these other dimension of healing. These may include supporting the healing process by healthy food (would you order our hospital food for dinner?), a view of or, even better, spending time in a hospital garden (where have they gone?), exposure to the soothing atmosphere of music or visual art (could you relax on one of our wards?), the company of a caring support person (is there room for them in our patent rooms?), or a comforting chat with a provider (do we have time for that?).

Our hospitals may have become and may continue to become more efficient, but doing efficiently what is not effective, misses the point and is the worst that can happen in an enterprise. Let’s not forget about the other than fiscal dimensions that contribute to effective health care delivery, let’s strengthen the art of medicine and the humanities component of health care.

Recommended reading: God’s Hotel by Victoria Sweet (https://www.amazon.ca/Gods-Hotel-Hospital-Pilgrimage-Medicine/dp/1594486549)

Dr. Peter Nickerson Awarded Medal for Research Excellence

Dr. Peter Nickerson has been awarded the 2018 Kidney Foundation of Canada’s National Medal for Research Excellence.

The award highlights the enduring impact Dr. Nickerson has made to kidney research and the field of transplantation medicine, and acknowledges his record of exceptional accomplishments and contributions at a national and international level.

Dr. Nickerson is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Departments of Internal Medicine (Section of Nephrology) and Immunology, Vice Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, and holds several other senior positions including the Flynn Family Chair in Renal Transplant at the U of M.

“As part of a team of renown transplant researchers at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Nickerson is working to unravel the complex factors that influence the success or rejection of a transplanted donor organ. His research focuses on mechanisms of acute and chronic kidney transplant rejection, immunogenetics, non-invasive diagnostics monitoring immune activation, and health policy and system design.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Peter Nickerson on this well-deserved acknowledgment from the Kidney Foundation of Canada for his record of outstanding accomplishments in the field of renal transplantation.

 

Congratulations

The strength of any department lies in its’ members and their achievements and awards. Congratulations are extended to:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted a patent to Dr. Suresh Mishra’s team in the Section of Endocrinology & Metabolism on novel “preclinical models for obesity and obesity-linked cancer (Mito-Ob)”. These preclinical models are developed using an innovative approach by simultaneously manipulating adipose and immune functions in the body. Consequently, they spontaneously develop obesity and obesity-linked cancer in a well-defined timely manner, and have created new research opportunities. Their various uses include: 1) Discovery and development of new therapeutic targets for obesity and obesity-linked cancer, 2) Various types of intervention studies and 3) Preclinical drug screening.

Dr. Daniel Sitar, Professor  Emeritus Section of Clinical Pharmacology, has been granted an Honorary Life Membership Award by the College of Pharmacy of Manitoba for meritorious service and professional contributions to Pharmacy.

The Aubie Angel Young Investigator Award for Clinical Research Committee selected Dr. Chris Wiebe (Section of Nephrology) as the 2018 recipient of the Aubie Angel Young Investigator Award. The awards ceremony will take place Tuesday, June 12 at 10am in Theatre B in the Basic Medical Sciences Building.

The 2018 Internal Medicine Residents’ Educator of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Aditya Sharma (Section of General Internal Medicine) in recognition of his dedication and teaching excellence.

Congratulations are extended to Dr. Justin Cloutier who was selected by the 2018 Max Rady College of Medicine and Presidents Council Residents Appreciation Reception planning committee as this year’s recipient of the Resident of the Year Award.

The Dale Iwanoczko Award was awarded to Dr. Jeffrey Wheeler in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Core Internal Medicine Residency Program demonstrating commitment, compassion, caring and integrity.

The Internal Medicine Subspecialty Resident Teaching Award, recognizing a subspecialty resident who exemplifies excellence in teaching and supervision, was awarded to Dr. Rachel Fainstein.

 

Hector Ma Award in Research

We are delighted to announce the first recipient of the Hector Ma Award in Research in the Department of Internal Medicine – Dr. Brett Houston from the Section of Hematology for her research project: “Evaluating the use, efficacy and safety of tranexamic acid to reduce red blood cell transfusion in major non-cardiac surgery.”

Dr. Houston is a PGY5 resident,  and is  concurrently completing a PhD in the Department of Pharmacy.  Her ultimate goal is to practice hematology and function as an independent clinician-scientist at the University of Manitoba where she hopes to be engaged in patient oriented, practice-changing research in the fields of hematology, transfusion medicine and blood conservation.

With a generous gift from Dr. Hector T. G. Ma to the University of Manitoba in 2015 – an endowment fund to enhance resident research in Internal Medicine was established.  Dr. Ma, a graduate of the University of Manitoba (M.D./59) is currently the Director and Senior Consultant Radiologist in the Scanning Department at St. Theresa’s Hospital in Hong Kong. In addition, the Department of Internal Medicine provides matching funds to the award.

To be eligible, residents must be: enrolled full time in the Department of Internal Medicine and be in good standing, demonstrated outstanding interest and commitment to research and performing a supervised research project.

Congratulations to Dr. B. Houston on being chosen the inaugural winner of the award.

 

Doctors Manitoba Award Recipients

We are pleased to announce that the following Department of Internal Medicine Faculty members are recipients of the 2018 Doctors Manitoba Awards.

Dr. Amarjit ArnejaDistinguished Service Award – in recognition of service provided to patients and the community which has enhanced the image of the physician through devotion to the highest ideals of the medical profession and in the promotion of the art and science of medicine through teaching, writing and administration.

Dr. John EmbilScholastic Award – for scholarly activity in the health professions.

Dr.  Arneja and Dr. Embil will be recognized at the Friday, May 4, 2018 Doctors Manitoba Awards and Presidential Installation Dinner at the Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg.

Congratulations are extended to Dr. Amarjit Arneja and Dr. John Embil.

On Professionalism and Creativity

Professionalism is an “in” word these days. It stands for more than political correctness. When googling it, one can find “professionalism  is the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well”.  Alistair Cooke (1908-2004), who was a well-known British-American journalist, television personality and broadcaster, is quoted as having said ”a  professional is someone who can deliver his/her best work when he doesn’t feel like it”. The latter, of course, is hard, but, I guess it is what separates the wheat from the  chaff.

Creativity on the other hand can be defined as “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations.”  Creativity is the basis of every innovation and as such is indispensable for sustaining the success of any business in an ever changing environment. This holds particularly true for our Department’s situation in the middle of the ongoing health care reform in our Province.

Creativity is easily mistaken to mean disorganized spontaneity with little or no accountability, and to be incompatible with professionalism which stands for predictability and trust. However, creativity and professionalism, as defined above, do not only go well hand in hand, but, are, in fact, mutually complementing each other. A creative professional finds new solutions to challenges, brings them respectfully forward and acts in a way that always has the greater good in mind. This does not mean having to enter a popularity contest or having to abandon (constructive) criticism, but to be mindful of one’s own (unconscious) biases and always respect a dissenting counterpart.

The best solutions are not owned by a single individual/party, but created through respectful argumentation between engaged – albeit initially dissenting – professionals.  Engagement is key here, our Department needs yours!

Dr Richard Warrington Honoured by Royal College

  • Dr. Richard  Warrington was recently honoured for his  long and continued service to the Royal College. Without volunteers like Richard Warrington – the Royal College could not fulfill their mandate.

When asked about a time while volunteering for the Royal College when he felt that his contribution had made a tangible impact Dr Warrington recalled that “During an oral examination, a candidate became ill. There were apparently no regulations as to what to do, so we sent the candidate to Emergency to be assessed. When the candidate was considered recovered by the ER physician, with the candidate’s permission, we continued the examination successfully.”    He stated that it is important to the College, to the medical profession, to the trainees and to the public  to give back to the medical profession through  work with the Royal College.

Thank you Dr. Warrington for your over 30 years of dedication and service to the Royal College.

 

GRANTS

Project:  “Integrating clinical data systems to improve the capacity, performance, & value of Manitoba’s healthcare system”

Nominated Principal Applicant: Ryan Zarychanski

Principal Applicants: Marshall Pitz, Alan Katz, Josée Lavoie, James Bolton, Lisa Lix, Terry Klassen

Principal Knowledge Users:

Clinicians: Piotr Czaykowski, Alex Singer, Jitender Sareen, Thomas Mutter

Decision-Makers: Deborah Malazdrewicz, Jeanette Edwards

Collaborators: Dan Skwarchuk, Brock Wright, Sri Navaratnam, Frank Krupka

Funding Source: Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR); Operating Grant: SPOR iCT Rewarding Success, Idea Brief

Funds Awarded: $100,000 Duration:  1 Year

 

TRAINEE GRANTS!

Project:  Reducing transfusion whilepreserving Canada’s blood supply: The use and effectiveness of tranexamic acid in     major non-cardiac surgical procedures at high-risk of bleeding

Principal Investigator: Brett Houston (PhD candidate)

Co Applicants from the Department of Internal Medicine: Ryan Zarychanski (Supervisor), Allan Garland

Funding Source: Manitoba Medical Services Foundation (MMSF)

Funds Awarded: $29,613 Duration:  1 Year

 

Project:  Intravenous immune globulin in septic shock: A Canadian national survey

Primary investigators: Murdoch Leeies (MSc Candidate), Ryan Zarychanski (Supervisor), Faisal Siddiqui

Co-applicants from the Department of Internal Medicine: Anand Kumar, Allan Garland, Bojan Paunovic, John Embil

Funding Source:   Anesthesia Oversight Committee Operating Grant. Winnipeg Manitoba.

Funds awarded: $10,000 Duration: 2 years

 

 

GRANTS

Project : Effect of an Exercise Rehabilitation Program on Symptom Burden in Hemodialysis: a Randomized Controlled Study

Principal Investigator:  Clara Bohm

Co-investigators: Todd Duhamel, Mauro Verrelli, Claudio Rigatto, James Zacharias, Jenniefer MacRae (University of Calgary),  Navdeep Tangri

Grant Funding Source: Kidney Foundation of Canada 2018 Biomedical Grant Competiti

Amount: $99,973.                 Time period:  2 years July 2018-June 2020

 

Project:  “Workplace Diesel Exhaust Exposure: Defining a Biosignature to Support Prevention”

Co-Principal Applicants: Neeloffer Mookherjee, Section of Proteomics and Systems Biology – University of Manitoba, and Chris Carlsten, University of British Columbia.

Funding Source:  Research and Workplace Innovation Program (RWIP), Workers Compensation Board Manitoba

Funds Awarded:  $198,400 Duration:  2018 – 2020.