Happy Holidays: Looking back…and forward

December 18, 2018 at 9:59 am

As 2018 winds down, it gives us a chance to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and our hopes and goals for the future.

We’ve continued to focus across the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences on providing a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment for all. In the Max Rady College of Medicine, we have for the past several years featured a “Speak Up” button to give learners a pathway to identify (anonymously if desired) any incidents of discrimination, harassment or mistreatment. Other colleges are considering implementing a similar tool to ensure a safe professional learning environment for our students that is free or reprisals. We are also ramping up on anti-racism and equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.

In November, Women in Science, Development, Outreach and Mentorship (WISDOM) was launched with support from the Rady Faculty. Providing opportunities for women academics, researchers and learners in the health sciences to network with, learn from, and mentor one another – and for men to support the organization – is an important step in meeting our equity, diversity and inclusion objectives.

This year also saw us partner with Habitat for Humanity and build our fourth Habitat home. We are the only faculty of health sciences to do so and we are extremely proud of the commitment shown by volunteer student, faculty and staff builders as well as supporters from across the Rady Faculty who helped raise more than $120,000 to give a family of six safe, affordable housing.

As we look forward, I can share that we are in the early planning stages of a Bannatyne campus daycare. This has long been desired by many who work and study on Bannatyne and is a vital element as we look to address the needs of faculty, staff and student parents. It will further enhance our efforts to remove barriers to women to pursue leadership roles and/or advance their careers.

We are also continuing our discussions to bring the College of Nursing to Bannatyne campus. Locating all of the colleges together on one campus will build on the interprofessional collaborative clinical practice and other learner-focused activities already taking place and help us to meet our faculty’s strategic priorities  such as multi-disciplinary research, community engagement and Indigenous achievement.

I want to thank each and every one of you for all you do at the University of Manitoba to create a supportive learning environment for all of our Rady students, for your teaching and research, and for your clinical and community service. As health professionals, many of us fortunate to be able to support and give back to our communities through endeavours as our Habitat Build and the United Way and other charities.

As the Rady Faculty’s Reconciliation Action Plan implementation committee gets to work with Ongomiizwin on implementing the action items across all colleges to address the themes of honouring traditional knowledge systems and practices; safe learning environments and professionalism; student support, mentorship and retention; education across the spectrum; and closing the gap in admissions.

I ask each of you to consider: what is my role in reconciliation in 2019?