A Virtual Walk in COVID Times
By Daniel Huang, Sam Sarabia, Ioana Dobre, Co-chairs, Kingston Walk for Arthritis 2021
In 2017, Queen’s Class of 2018 alumna Molly Dushnicky organized the very first Kingston Walk for Arthritis, led by a group of Qmed students and faculty, community leaders, representatives from the Arthritis Society, and local businesses. The fundraiser was a major success, bringing together the Queen’s and Kingston communities, raising much needed funds for the Arthritis Society, and raising awareness for a disease that affects 1 in 6 Canadians.
Since then, successive Qmed classes have taken up the task of organizing the Walk for Arthritis annually. Unfortunately, the 2020 Walk for Arthritis was cancelled, like many similar community events, due to the restrictions put in place across Ontario during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic
Given the importance of this cause, and taking inspiration from examples of successful virtual and socially-distanced fundraising events around the world–which have advanced such varied causes as producing PPE for frontline workers, collecting perishable food items for food banks, and hosting online arts and cultural events to support local artists–this year the organizing committee for the Walk for Arthritis endeavoured to transition to a completely virtual walk, to be held from April 23-25th, 2021.
This was a first for many members of our committee. Such basic tasks as finding participants, contacting local businesses, and reaching out to charitable and patient advocacy organizations needed a complete rethink. Like many other event organizers, we struggled with the basic question of how communities can come together in the middle of a pandemic that has uprooted many lives and restricted our ability to gather in person.
In the midst of these new challenges however, the continued resilience of our local community and the support we have had from classmates and the Queen’s faculty have truly been heartwarming. Though many are struggling, the message we received from local Kingston businesses was also loud and clear: they offered whatever they could and promised to stay connected once this pandemic is over. And, the virtual setting has provided new opportunities. Participants can walk from ‘virtually’ anywhere while maintaining a sense of camaraderie by getting involved with the walk’s virtual events, including raffle contests, and sharing photos and stories of loved ones who have faced this debilitating disease. It has truly become a virtual community.
Hopefully in future years we will return to the beautiful Fort Henry and walk together, in-person, like in years past. Until then, we will gather virtually to support our loved ones who suffer from arthritis and celebrate their strength and courage. As in years past, proceeds from our event will be donated to the Arthritis Society, in support of their efforts to sponsor cutting-edge research and patient advocacy programs to achieve better health outcomes for people affected by arthritis.
We look forward to seeing all of you on April 23-25th, 2021. For more information on how to participate, please visit our registration page at:
And, follow us on social media for your chance to win 1 of 10 gift cards for floatation therapy provided by our main event sponsor, Rejuve-nation Wellness Experts:
Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/PEnEHvs4
Combining medicine & business: CEO for a day
By Andriy Katyukha, Meds 2022
“Maybe you should try Bay Street instead of medical school?” My interviewer’s acerbic tone gave the impression I was not the candidate they were hoping to admit when assessing medical applicants. Fortunately, I was admitted, and as a result of my experiences I am committed to dismantling entrenched attitudes in medicine that stifle progress and positive change.
As I continue through my career, I remain steadfast in my conviction that functioning at the intersection of medicine, business, and policy is crucial to help move the healthcare system forward. As some of my sagacious mentors have pointed out, multi-disciplinary skill building, outside the traditional framework of what is deemed relevant for the practice of medicine, unfortunately is sometimes discouraged. Is it a lack of exposure to other skillsets or is it a profound fear that someone equipped with unique skills may threaten your position? Regardless of the reasoning behind this antiquated view, it falls on you to be introspective, decide what opportunities you will pursue, seek out mentors who inspire you, and work fervently to bring about the change you want to see in your field of work.
For me, this means seeking out opportunities that bolster my interest in strategy, governance, and health leadership, and that is how I found myself participating in the CEOx1Day program. Though I was apprehensive about applying to a competitive program geared towards future leaders in business, I submitted an application anyway. To my pleasant surprise, I was selected by Odgers Berndtson to work with Alex Munter, the President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).
My day started with what now seems like a very prescient discussion with senior medical leaders and Alex—COVID19 preparedness. From there, we departed to meet the rest of the executive team for their weekly Tuesday meeting. While the discussions were incredibly insightful, I am certain that the team would be surprised to hear what resonated with me the most: amidst the business of the day, they all stopped to recognize individual employees, of all seniority levels and positions, who made a meaningful contribution to the organization. This was their ‘kudos’ time, and I got the impression that employee recognition and appreciation is not a concept that is flippantly tossed into quarterly reports, but is the underpinning of the culture at CHEO. This is where I learned my first lesson: when it comes to transformational leadership, senior leaders who focus on results, and shift the emphasis from personal credit to team recognition, make the biggest impact.
Alex and I then connected with the CEOs of the Hospital for Sick Children and Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Centre to discuss their partnership through the Kids Health Alliance, a network that aims to bolster patient and family-centered care in pediatric populations. We then proceeded to Alex’s CEO Information Session where he updated staff members about various projects and organizational achievements. It also served as a platform to once again recognize employees who made a difference at CHEO, and further encourage employees to use their personal insights to make improvements in their respective departments. In my professional life, I have yet to see such an emphasis being placed on promoting grassroots initiatives to fuel an organization’s success and progress. Through this, I learned my second lesson in leadership—empathy. A heightened ability to listen and validate employee experiences not only creates a positive work environment, but also empowers employees to use their experiences to change things for the better, strengthening the company in the process.
My day at CHEO finished off with Dr. Jean-Philippe Vaccani, a brilliant physician leader who serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff at CHEO. After a candid discussion about our careers, goals, and health leadership, I was struck by his encouragement and eagerness to promote discussions that underscore the importance of multi-disciplinary thinking in medicine. Professional mentorship is one of the best ways to give back to others, and just as I have benefited from kind and encouraging mentors, I also hope to make mentorship a priority in my own career.
I urge non-traditional majors and STEM students to embrace opportunities like CEOx1Day to not only learn from incredible leaders, but to also share their own invaluable insights to broaden leaders’ perspectives. Even if you do not see yourself represented in a field, seek out opportunities that allow you to be the catalyst for change.
Later that evening I had the privilege of joining Alex and his partner for dinner, where I not only got to meet his adorable son, but also Lola, the family dog and self-proclaimed “Queen of the House”. It was the perfect setting to further discuss our thoughts on a variety of topics and get to know each other a little better. Through our discussions about the healthcare system, advocacy, policy, and representation, I got an incredible sense that Alex’s successes are rooted in a deep sense of service. While he serves as CEO, to me he serves as a role model who has broken barriers for LGBTQ2S+ individuals, has worked to shatter the ‘glass closet’ that often exists in corporate leadership, and has instilled in me a deep passion to work tirelessly as an advocate and leader in healthcare. This leads me to my final lesson about leadership—service. Rooting your work in service, be it serving people directly or serving a mission that fuels your passion, lays the foundation for the most meaningful impact you can achieve as a leader.
CHEO is an absolutely incredible organization to work for and I applaud the efforts of Alex Munter, the senior leadership team, and most importantly the committed and passionate employees who work day-in and day-out to bolster pediatric care in Ontario. I would like to thank Kristen, Michael, Eric, and the entire team in the Odgers Berndtson Ottawa office for affording me this invaluable opportunity!
For more information about the Odgers Berndtson CEOx1Day program, check out their program site here: https://www.odgersberndtson.com/en-ca/ceox1day/about-the-program
A version of this post was previously published here: https://www.odgersberndtson.com/en-ca/ceox1day/news-media/bay-street-or-medical-school-a-glimpse-inside-a-ceox1day-at-cheo
“Meducators” aim to help healthcare and other essential workers’ children with 1:1 online tutoring
Editor’s Note: Medical students (and many other Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences students) are volunteering their time during the COVID-19 pandemic in a number of different capacities. This is in addition to continuing with course work responsibilities, as much of the UGME curriculum is now being delivered online. This post highlights one of these student-led volunteer initiatives.
By Angie Salomon and Kiera Liblik (Meds 2023)
To hardworking healthcare professionals, and all others providing essential services to our community during COVID-19: WE WANT TO HELP!
Queen’s “Meducators” are a group of Health Sciences students at Queen’s University who want to support the educational success of students of healthcare (and other essential) workers in our community through a free, one-on-one tutor program via on-line video conferencing. Our tutors can provide informal tutoring services for children of all ages and grades (K-12) across core subjects (math, science, English, French). The service may range from simply supporting the student virtually while they complete their homework, to creating full-on lesson plans to aid their learning. If this is of interest to you or your family, please submit a request using the following link: https://forms.gle/k3mdo6cLYZtULmYF6
If you are a Health Sciences student (Medicine, Nursing or Rehabilitation Therapy) who would like to volunteer as a tutor, please sign up here: https://forms.gle/Ly8d2xmXax47iGDM7
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Angie Salomon (email@example.com) or Kiera Liblik (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Multiple avenues to service-learning for UG students
As part of its commitment to promote social responsibility and accountability as core values of its graduates, the Queen’s UGME program works to facilitate, encourage, support and acknowledge students’ service-learning.
While there are multiple definitions of service-learning, the UGME program has defined service learning as a learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection.
The UG Curriculum Committee first made this commitment formally in 2014 and continues to uphold it.
Service-learning is a unique type of volunteer service in its approach, specifically with the structured preparation and reflection requirements. Ideally, preparation involves consultations with community-member stakeholders. Additionally, the UG encourages students to focus on longer-term community engagement such as a term- or year-long commitment to build community relationships.
The UG, under the auspices of the Teaching, Learning, and Integration Committee (TLIC) has developed several avenues to service-learning: group service-learning projects, individual projects and individual activities.
Each SL endeavor must include preparation (including consultations with stakeholders where appropriate), service, and reflection on the service and learning that occurred. The TLIC assigned a minimum range of hours required for service (set at 15-20 hours). The hours threshold was established to ensure sufficiently meaningful engagement while recognizing students’ key responsibilities remain their academic studies.
Upon application and review, the TLIC designates student group activities as service-learning options. Sometimes these are activities designed specifically with recognized service-learning in mind. In other cases, existing student interest groups have designed service-learning options that participants can use to extend a volunteer activity into full service-learning. Some examples of our current approved group service learning projects are SWAM (which provides swimming lessons to children with disabilities), Jr. Medics (first aid workshops for elementary and middle-school students), and Altitude (mentoring for university students interested in a career in healthcare).
Students may also bring forward proposals for individual service-learning projects, typically in cooperation with a community-based agency. These are considered on a case-by-case basis applying the same criteria as for established group projects.
Individuals also have the option to pursue what the TLIC has designated as volunteer-based service learning. This option recognizes that not all community agencies’ needs fit our predominantly-project-based service-learning model.
Such organizations have a streamlined volunteer service system and any project that could be proposed by our medical students could be redundant to the agency’s mandate. The TLIC recognizes that medical students can meet the intended service and learning outcomes from working within these existing, established structures. For agencies that are pre-approved by the UGME, students may complete recognized service learning by following a non-project path.
For this non-project (activity) path, the TLIC has students complete different required preparation (typically research on the cooperating agency and/or the community need that is being met). Examples of approved settings for this type of SL include working at Martha’s Table and Pathways to Education’s tutoring programs. Students can bring forward suggested agency programs for approval for this path.
For any of these SL avenues, students are expected to initiate contact with the organizations themselves, although from time-to-time, the TLIC may work directly with an agency to set up pilot service-learning projects (such as the previous Loving Spoonful project). When these opportunities are available, students are informed through the AS and Class Presidents’ emails.
For more information on recognized service-learning options, feel free to email me at email@example.com
Exceptional Healer Awards nominations now open
New award this year for allied health professionals
Nominations are now open for the fourth iteration of the Exceptional Healer Awards at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). The deadline to submit nominations is Tuesday, December 31, 2019.
The award provides patients, families, staff and health care learners an excellent chance to celebrate health care professionals at KHSC who excel in providing patient- and family-centred care. Launched in 2017 recognizing outstanding physicians, the award was extended in 2019 to include a separate award to recognize nurses at KHSC. For this fourth iteration, a third category has been added for other allied health care professionals.
The award now honours doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals from KHSC’s two hostpial sites who are innovative in their approaches to patient care and who demonstrate exceptional bedside manner, which includes being approachable, empathetic, collaborative and respectful.
Patients, families, staff and health care learners can nominate a health care professional as long as he or she has provided care at the KHSC in the last two years.
Here are the nomination details, as posted on the KHSC site:
If a health care professional at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) has provided you with excellent patient- and family-centred care, now is your chance to nominate that person for an Exceptional Healer Award.
KHSC is encouraging patients to nominate doctors, nurses and allied health professionals (e.g., physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, dietitians) across our Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital sites who are innovative in their approaches to patient care and who demonstrate an exceptional bedside manner, which includes being approachable, empathetic, collaborative and respectful.
Who can nominate?
Patients and family members can nominate a KHSC health care professional who has provided care to them in the last two years. KHSC staff can nominate colleagues on a patient care team.
Who is eligible?
Physician nominees will have a current appointment at KHSC and will have been credentialed at KHSC for at least the past two years. Other health care professional nominees must be KHSC staff members.
What are the criteria?
The nominee creates an excellent patient care experience over and above the norm by exhibiting some or all of the following behaviours:
• Demonstrates compassion as a skillful clinician by displaying personal qualities such as approachability, flexibility and empathy.
• Uses novel or innovative methods in attempting to deliver compassionate care.
• Demonstrates a pattern of listening to and respecting patient and family perspectives and choices.
• Exhibits a value of integrating patients and families into the clinical care model to ensure they are equal, informed participants in their health care.
• Honours the uniqueness of patients and families by incorporating their knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds into the planning and delivery of care.
What is required for the
The nominator must complete a brief nomination form that includes yes-no questions and a short explanation of the candidate’s special qualifications for the award based on the criteria listed above.
Nomination forms are now available online. The deadline to submit nominations is Tuesday, December 31, 2019.
If you have questions about the award or nomination form, please contact the KHSC Leadership & Talent Development Department at 613-544-6666, ext. 8108.
Exceptional Healer Award Past Winners
Dr. Richard Henry – Anesthesiology & Chronic Pain Clinic
Dr. Tom Gonder – Ophthalmology & Retina Specialist
Dr. Shawna Johnston – Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Dr. Maria Velez, Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Nurse Tracey Froess – Cancer Centre
This post was created with information supplied by Susan Bedell, including a KHSC blog post by Anne Rutherford
Cervical Cancer Awareness Week: Fourth annual Pap Party event will take place October 21-24th
By Hayley Hill (Meds 2021), Zoe Hutchison (Meds 2021), Eva Bruketa (Meds 2022)
A unique partnership between Queen’s University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology program and the South East Regional Cancer program out of the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario (CCSEO) is helping to minimize barriers and ensure adequate access for all individuals with a cervix to receive cancer screening. Known as Pap Party, this collaboration offers free pap smear clinics across Southeastern Ontario for any individual with a cervix who may not have access to a primary care provider.
The most recent Cancer System Quality Index notes that only 63.6% of screen-eligible individuals in the South East region are up to date with their cervical cancer screening. As a result of the Pap Party campaign, in 2018 four clinic dates were held and 92 individuals received a pap smear. The highest number of individuals screened since the initiation of the Pap Party in 2015!
This year, the fourth annual Pap Party event will take place October 21-24th, during Cervical Cancer Awareness week. Any person with a cervix aged 21-70 who has not had a pap smear in the last three years is welcome. To increase accessibility to cervical cancer screening, individuals without primary care physicians, with or without a valid health card are encouraged to attend the Pap Party events.
The clinics are run by a team of medical students, and residents and physicians from the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at HSCH in collaboration with the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC). The first Pap Party in 2015 took place in Kingston and has since grown to offer clinics in Bancroft, Napanee, and Tyendinaga as well.
The 2019 Pap Party schedule is below:
- Monday October 21 5:30pm – 7:30pm: HPEPH Bancroft
- Tuesday October 22 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Community Well Being Centre, Tyendinaga, Mohawk Territory
- Wednesday October 23 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Kingston Health Sciences Centre, (KGH site) Kingston
- Thursday October 24 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Kingston Community Health Center, Napanee
Anyone interested in attending a Pap Party is encouraged to book an appointment by contacting Rachel at 1.800.567.5722 extension 7809 or CancerCareSE@KingstonHSC.ca
To further expand Pap Party and combat declining cervical cancer screening rates, we have also reached out to primary care clinics in the Kingston area encouraging them to host their own pap smear clinics during Cervical Cancer Awareness Week. They will also be encouraged to offer the HPV Vaccine. Clinics that register with the FMWC receive a kit that includes a tip sheet, colour poster, news release template, and patient education brochures. To register your clinic and contribute to reducing cervical cancer rates, please visit https://fmwc.ca/events/pap-campaign/.
The FMWC website also has more information for individuals and will help them find a registered clinic nearby.
Thank you taking the time to learn about the Pap Party initiative. Please feel free to contact us if you would like any additional information and please spread information about the Pap Party event to any individuals you feel may benefit from this initiative in your life! We would be grateful and thrilled!
Be a Mentor, Be Inspired by a Mentor
By Dr. Klodiana Kolomitro
Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences’ educators already inspire each other on a daily basis. The Office of Professional Development and Educational Scholarship (OPDES) is excited to launch a formal Faculty Mentorship Network to help nurture this culture of guiding and supporting colleagues.
The Mentorship Network’s purpose is to serve as a reciprocal process for sharing experiences and fostering a trusting environment for career guidance and psychosocial support. Engaged participation in the program will advance the educational development of both Mentees and Mentors.
What is the time commitment? 7 to 10 hours per year
Mentors will participate in an in-person pedagogical café in November, where the Director of Education Development will provide an overview of the program as well as share resources on effective mentorship. Also in November, Mentees will participate in their first educational webinar with a focussed topic to help guide their Mentee-Mentor discussions. Following the initial sessions, mentors and mentees are encouraged to schedule meetings on a monthly basis. Each Mentee-Mentor relationship should be driven by the Mentee and will vary based on the specific needs and strengths of the individuals. The program will wrap-up with a celebration dinner in May. We hope you will consider this opportunity to offer scholarly generosity and nurture collegial engagement.
How can you participate? APPLY online before September30:
OPDES will do their best to match all interested applicants, but cannot guarantee that every Mentor and Mentee will be matched in this first cohort.
For more information on the Faculty Mentorship Network: visit https://healthsci.queensu.ca/mentor or contact:
Klodiana Kolomitro, PhD
Director, Education Development
Office of Professional Development & Educational Scholarship
613-533-6000 x. 77899 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring UGME retreat May 28
The spring UG Education retreat is coming up on May 28 at the Donald Gordon Conference Centre.
Designed primarily for course directors, unit leads, intrinsic role leads and others in educational leadership roles in our Undergraduate Medical Education program, this annual day-long event provides opportunities for information sharing and faculty development in planning for the next academic year.
The morning agenda includes an update from Associate Dean Anthony Sanfilippo as well as sessions on the progress test and quality assurance, accreditation & program evaluation. There will also be brief updates from the Librarian team at Bracken Library about new resources, and from the course team about the Human Structure & Function curriculum renewal.
The afternoon will begin with our guest speaker, Melissa Forgie, MD, FRCPC, MSc, Vice dean, UGME, University of Ottawa. She will speak on Embracing Diversity in Medical Education
Break out sessions will follow, including a working session for pre-clerkship course directors to build or revise assessment plans for next year and a clerkship course directors’ session on continued EPA/CBME implementation.
If you contribute to the Queen’s UGME program, please join us for all or part of the day. To register, use this link: https://queensfhs.wufoo.com/forms/ugme-may-28-retreat-registration/
Climate Change: What is our role?
By Sasha Létourneau with Gabe Lam and the Environmental Advocacy in Medicine group
“When the health effects of tobacco became known, the CMA quickly changed its investments. In times of climate change, health organizations around the world are divesting in fossil fuels.” – Courtney Howard, Emergency Medicine physician and President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
We (Canadians) are addicted to fossil fuels. There. I said it. Isn’t admitting it supposed to be the first step? Much like a smoker with a 20 pack-year history, humans stand on the brink of irreversible damage to that which sustains us, having to make the choice as to whether to quit or continue down a destructive path.
When I first started medical school, I took a history from a man who had been diagnosed with lung cancer after a 50 pack-year history of smoking. I was quite astonished when he admitted he had been shocked by the diagnosis. How is that possible? I thought, thinking back on all the anti-smoking ads I’d grown up with in school, and the terrifying pictures of black lungs and rotted teeth I’d seen on cigarette packages strewn on the sidewalk. How did he somehow ignore all the signs around him? These are questions I hope my children never have to ask my generation about climate change.
Continuing down the fossil fuel-burning track we are on today is easy in that the ramifications of our actions are not yet apparent in most of our everyday lives. Despite the fact that CO2 levels have risen far beyond where they have ever been in the past 400,000 years,1 we are only just starting to experience the effects of climate change. And much like COPD or lung cancer, the threats of climate change most likely to impact Canadians seem just far enough away that they are still only a hazy blur. Yet, like a smoker who is only just starting to experience the first signs of shortness of breath, we too have reached a tipping point and we need to act as soon as possible.
Studies have shown that among the top most important reasons Canadians begin the extremely difficult process of smoking cessation is their concern for their personal health.2,3 If health care professionals so adamantly advocate for smoking cessation to prevent our patients from its long-term health consequences, should we not, for the same reason, also advocate for cessation of fossil fuel dependency? And how do we convince a society (and, quite frankly ourselves) that this issue needs to be addressed now?
We’ve seen a number of recent examples that climate change is starting to threaten human health, including climate-related natural disasters like cyclone Idai which claimed hundreds of lives in Mozambique in March 2019. Touching a bit closer to home, the extreme temperatures of the Quebec heat wave in the summer of 2018 took the lives of more than 90 Canadians. And even closer to Kingston, many of us have watched with horror the footage of the recent flooding in the Ottawa River that has displaced hundreds of Canadians from their homes. I, personally, might even decry the number of lectures Queen’s Medicine students endure on Lyme disease as a direct result of climate change facilitating the spread of this tick-borne infectious disease.4
But most of us fossil-fuel “addicts” are already convinced that we need to begin to transition away from our weighty reliance on fossil fuels. So now comes the hardest part – beginning the process of actually quitting. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report in 2018 telling us that, in order to ensure global temperatures remain below 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels, we need to significantly curb our fossil fuel use by the year 2030 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Why is this 1.5˚C cap so important? While 1.5˚C is still higher than current temperatures, keeping global temperatures at or below this level is humans’ best chance of mitigating further catastrophic events, including land loss from rising ocean levels, extreme heat waves, drought, increased ocean acidity and both land and ocean biodiversity loss. These climate events will inevitably threaten human health, food security, water security, job security, economic growth and physical safety from war and climate disasters.5
Unfortunately, (as far as I know) there is no magical solution and no promise that this transition will be immediate or smooth. And, like a smoker trying to quit, it is probably not realistic for us to quit cold turkey – we still are years away from being in any way independent of fossil fuels. We also need to ensure we enact a just transition for our fellow Canadians currently working in the fossil fuels industry. But if we never start the transition, if we never grasp hold of the “greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century” – tackling climate change – we will never know if we could have succeeded.6
If you’ve reached this point in the article, you may be wondering: what can I, a lowly Queen’s student/faculty/alumnus, contribute to the struggle against climate change? What can one single Canadian do? Luckily, the answer is: a lot! In this article, I’ll present you with a few ways you can start to engage as a climate advocate.
One avenue that our medical student group, Environmental Advocacy in Medicine, has undertaken is working with the Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC) group to ask that Queen’s divest from fossil fuel companies. We are joining them to ask that Queen’s:
- Freeze fossil fuel investment immediately
- Fully divest the Queen’s Endowment and Investment funds by 2025
QBACC needs support from students, faculty and alumni. A mass divestment movement can stigmatize and delegitimize fossil fuel use and the profiting corporations in the court of public opinion, a strategy that has also been crucial in combating smoking culture and destabilizing tobacco companies. The list of organizations calling for divestment is long and growing with new players being added every day, including commitments from the Canadian Medical Association, McGill University, Oxford University, the RockFeller Brothers Fund, the British Medical Association, New York City’s pension fund, the country of Ireland and many more. This movement on Queen’s campus has been growing since the first formal request for divestment of Queen’s funds from fossil fuels was rejected by the Board of Trustees in 2014. A diverse basis of support that includes a broad community of current and future health professionals will be imperative when QBACC approaches the Board of Trustees at their annual meeting in 2020.
If this cause speaks to you, ways you can support it are:
1. Becoming informed about divestment by reading a bit more about their campaign here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17PDgVGUXaLyefEp_IwzD4JZ2OANh0qsh?usp=sharing
2. Signing and/or personalizing a letter to the Board of Trustees stating your support of the divestment campaign at Queen’s University (here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wDYfBT5h005XyudA-ac32fSIEU_Y6QUc)
3. Signing QBACC’s support forms:
- For faculty: https://www.qbacc.org/divestment-petition
- For alumni: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1onGYQBJAiDpPK0r7TbLqf1V0lj_sAWSCEYS_TkQdeMI/viewform?edit_requested=true
If that’s not enough for you or you are still not sure about divestment, here are some other ways you can choose a cause, join an advocacy group and work to have your voice heard:
1. Become informed about climate change by:
- signing up for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment newsletter here, or
- reading CAPE’s Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals here.
2. Or, better yet, join CAPE’s team (if you are a physician) here.
3. Support the Queen’s Environmental Advocacy in Medicine effort to increase climate change education in the curriculum by including information on climate change in your teaching material (contact us for more information at: email@example.com)
4. Talk to your fellow students and colleagues about their thoughts on climate change!
We are that patient with the 20-pack-year history leaving the doctor’s office, having been told the risks of letting the status quo take its course. We stand at the edge of a frightening precipice in human history, where our actions (or inaction) today will determine the world our children and grandchildren get to live in. But like that patient, we are fortunate. We know the importance of taking action and we have a timeline during which to do so. It is now up to us whether we seize the “greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.”6
1. NASA. (2019, May 3). Graphic: The Relentless Rise Of Carbon Dioxide. Climate Change: Vital Signs Of the Planet. Retrieved from: https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/24/graphic-the-relentless-rise-of-carbon-dioxide/
2. Wellman, R. J., O’Loughlin, J., O’Loughlin, E. K., Dugas, E. N., Montreuil, A., & Dutczak, H. (2018). Reasons for quitting smoking in young adult cigarette smokers. Addictive Behaviors, 77, 28-33. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.09.010
3. Kasza, K. A., Hyland, A. J., Borland, R., McNeill, A., Fong, G. T., Carpenter, M. J., . . . Cummings, K. M. (2017). Cross-country comparison of smokers’ reasons for thinking about quitting over time: Findings from the international tobacco control four country survey (ITC-4C), 2002–2015. Tobacco Control, 26(6), 641-648. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2016-053299
4. Brownstein, J. S., Holford, T. R., & Fish, D. (2005). Effect of Climate Change on Lyme Disease Risk in North America. EcoHealth, 2(1), 38–46. doi:10.1007/s10393-004-0139-x
6. Watts, N., MA, Adger, W. N., Prof, Agnolucci, P., PhD, Blackstock, J., PhD, Byass, P., Prof, Cai, W., PhD, . . . Stockholm Resilience Centre. (2015). Health and climate change: Policy responses to protect public health.Lancet, the, 386(10006), 1861-1914. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60854-6
1. Link to “Investing in a Sustainable Future” document prepared by QBACC: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17PDgVGUXaLyefEp_IwzD4JZ2OANh0qsh?usp=sharing
2. Link to letter of support faculty/alumni can edit and send to QBACC: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wDYfBT5h005XyudA-ac32fSIEU_Y6QUc
3. QBACC faculty support form: https://www.qbacc.org/divestment-petition
4. QBACC alumni support form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1onGYQBJAiDpPK0r7TbLqf1V0lj_sAWSCEYS_TkQdeMI/viewform?edit_requested=true
5. Sign-up for CAPE newsletter: https://cape.ca/media/blog/
6. Link to Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals: https://cape.ca/campaigns/climate-health-policy/climate-change-toolkit-for-health-professionals/
7. Sign-up for CAPE membership: https://cape.ca/become-a-member/
If you are a Queen’s UGME student who would like to submit a column for consideration as a guest blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Medical Variety Night 2019 presents: Circadian Rhapsody!
By Charlotte Coleman, Emily Wilkerson, Stephanie Jiang, and Therese Servito, 2019 MVN Co-Directors
Medical Variety Night is an annual variety charity show hosted by the Queen’s University School of Medicine students and faculty.
On April 5th and 6th, 2019, we will be holding the 49th annual Medical Variety night! MVN is a longstanding tradition, with participation from over 200 students as well as faculty members. Acts include musical performances, comedic shorts, and dance productions, such as a 4-act Bollywood dance, an a cappella group, and a touching tribute from the outgoing class of 2019. Drawing an audience of over 500 attendees each year, MVN has consistently been one of the largest events hosted by the Queen’s School of Medicine. The event is frequented by the Queen’s medical community, students from the university, and many Kingston residents.
This year all proceeds go to the Good Minds Program for the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. (For more on Good Minds, check out their website: http://www.mbq-tmt.org/administration-and-services/community-wellbeing/good-minds)
The show will run on April 5th and 6th at Duncan McArthur Hall (511 Union St.), with doors opening at 6:30PM and the show starting at 7:00PM both evenings. Tickets are $15/students, $20/general admission online (medicalvarietynight.wordpress.com), or all tickets $20 cash only at the door. This year promises to be more exciting than ever before! For more information, and to meet our performers, check out our website: medicalvarietynight.wordpress.com
You can follow us on twitter @QmedMVN and attend our FB event:
Thank you so much, and we hope to see you at the show!