Happy Holidays!

December 22, 2015 at 3:54 pm
Choir on Display

College of Medicine student choir

As 2015 draws to a close, I want to wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and happy holiday season.

It’s been a year of incredible change and growth as the Colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Rehabilitation Sciences have come together as the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS).

We kicked off the year with the FHS Inaugural Symposium “Forging Our Future.” The symposium brought together faculty, staff and students from across the Colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Rehabilitation Sciences with an eye to develop a stronger sense of community and demonstrate how the new faculty will foster creativity and collaboration. It was an inspiring day with many great ideas expressed on we can become more integrated as one faculty.

In April, we partnered with the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) to host the 2015 induction ceremony at the historic Metropolitan Entertainment Centre. More than 450 academic, research and health leaders, as well as students, gathered to celebrate the six new “medical heroes” who were inducted in the CMHF.

In the fall, during Homecoming, the University of Manitoba launched Front and Centre: the Campaign for the University of Manitoba. We have already raised over $365 million of our $500 million goal including $150-M from the Province of Manitoba.

Across Bannatyne campus, many faculty, staff and students demonstrated their holiday spirit over the last month by helping those in need. We held a Christmas Cheer Board fundraising drive across the FHS. This year donations were accepted in specially marked boxes in the FHS Deans’ offices and the College of Nursing donated five hampers.

In the College of Medicine, students spread good cheer through a performance of Christmas carols in the HSC pedway, and through spearheading fundraisers for worthy causes. Two first-year students organized a FHS dodgeball tournament which raised $2,800 that was delivered to Syrian refugees at a refugee camp in Lebanon. Now they are planning for creation of “health packs” to give to newly arrived Syrian refugees to Manitoba and fundraisers to cover the cost of supplies.

Syrian refugees

Syrian refugees

As a Faculty, we have formed a Faculty of Health Sciences working group with representatives from across the colleges to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis in a comprehensive way: through education, service (helping address the integration of refugees into the health care system in partnership with the health regions) and sponsorship of a family. Dr. Alan Katz, director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, is leading the sponsorship fundraising effort to raise $35,000 through a collaboration with the Mennonite Central Committee. MCC will administer the funds raised and help with the settlement process; all contributions will be eligible for income tax receipts from MCC. For more information about contributing, or helping to fund raise, please contact Alan Katz.

Finally, I want to thank you for all for your hard work. Your commitment to the University of Manitoba has ensured another successful and productive year for the Faculty of Health Sciences. We can all take pride in the many accomplishments that have occurred across the Faculty and the milestones we have reached in the last year. Across the FHS we continue to make a positive difference in the lives of students, patients and the greater community through education, outreach and research.

As we approach a new year I hope you will take time to reflect on the things that you are thankful for and to continue to think of those in our community who are less fortunate. As health care practitioners we are in an incredibly privileged position and have wonderful opportunities to serve as leaders in our community. I am always inspired by the generosity of our students, faculty and staff and the efforts they make to reach out to those less fortunate in our community.

Thank you again for all of your contributions to the Faculty of Health Sciences and have a safe holiday season and happy new year!

What is your wish for 2016?