I hope everyone enjoyed the recent long weekend, and are keeping stress levels low as we approach the busy end of term season. A few updates and notes for this month:

  • Thank you to everyone who donated cans for CanBuild 2016. AHS collected 1800 cans—the most of any Faculty. These donations will work to help stave off hunger in Waterloo Region, an issue that still affects 1 in 20 people in our community. I’d especially like to congratulate our build team, led by Bernice Ma, who did an outstanding job constructing three “cangaroos,” one for each of our three units.

AHS Cangaroos team posing as kangaroos with can structure.

  • Applications are now being accepted for the Staff International Experience Fund (SIEF). This opportunity, through Waterloo International, enables university staff to take part in an international experience that will broaden professional perspectives on a global scale by traveling and engaging in collaborative work with a partner institution of choice. To learn more about the program, register for the SIEF workshop at the staff conference on April 7 and/or attend the brown bag lunch information session on April 14. Applications are due May 16.
  • The AHS HeForShe campaign remains extremely active. Working groups are organizing several new initiatives including a reading group, gender equity awareness workshops for orientation leaders and faculty, and a lecture series highlighting the accomplishments of women of AHS. The group is also working to launch a new web page to enhance communication and provide a resource for individuals looking to get involved. The next AHS HeForShe meeting is April 29 from 12-1:30 in BMH 3119. Light refreshments will be provided. 
  • I’m thrilled to share that a School of Public Health and Health Systems student won the country’s top co-op award. The Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) named Rachel McDonald Co-op Student of the Year for her impressive work-term as a clinical research assistant with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. While at Sunnybrook, Rachel coordinated the rapid response radiotherapy program, which provides palliative radiation treatment to patients with advanced cancer, and published work on the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy for non-spine bone metastases in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. In addition to the national award, Rachel also won with the top prize in the province, the Education at Work Ontario (EWO) Co-op Student of the Year Award. Congratulations are also extended to Abhirup Chatterjee, another SPHHS student, who received an honourable mention in Waterloo’s 2015 Co-op Student of the Year program.
  • On April 8, the Faculty will welcome Dr. Leon Geffen, MBChB, FCFP(SA), for a Hallman lecture. Dr. Geffen is a family physician in Cape Town, South Africa, and senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Cape Town. His lecture will explore how Agewell, an innovative project using a psychosocial peer support model, can improve well-being of older persons living in disadvantaged communities. The lecture begins at 11 a.m. in the Sun Life Auditorium.
  • Earlier this month 22 emerging social entrepreneurs presented in a closed boardroom pitch competition at the 2016 Big Ideas Challenge for People and the Planet. Co-founded by Recreation and Leisure Studies Professor Karla Boluk, the competition awarded five competitors with fellowship prizes consisting of free accommodation at St. Paul’s GreenHouse from May to August 2016. Winners will also receive access to training, mentorship and $15,000 in start-up funding. Tina Chan a Health Studies student in AHS walked away with a fellowship, as well as Zied Etleb, a science student and winner of AHS’ Hack4Health in September 2015.  

Winners and judges of Big Ideas competition.

Left to right: Jim Rush, Nayani Rajamohan (Saakshi Innovations), Jordan Moat (Branch Manager, Libro Credit Union), Tania Del Matto (GreenHouse Director), Sharita Henry (SUNSHINE), Tina Chan (PASS Kit), Zied Etleb (Curiato), Karla Boluk (Assistant Professor, Faculty of AHS), Jessie Maggard (Business Development Manager, Ontario Centres of Excellence). Missing: Nikhil Jagga (HeadHealth).

  • Under chair John Hirdes, interRAI will host its first world conference from April 11-14. Held at the Westin Harbour Castle, the conference will bring together researchers, policy makers and practitioners from around the globe who use the interRAI system of instruments in care. Several AHS staff have been involved in the planning of this milestone event.
  • Each year, Applied Health Sciences partners with Waterloo’s Faculty of Science and The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame to host a Discovery Day in Health Sciences. The event aims to give grade 11 students an opportunity to explore a variety of career options in medicine and the health sciences. On April 12, the Faculty will welcome kinesiology alumnus and Canada’s Army Surgeon, Colonel Jim Kile, back to campus as the keynote speaker for this event.
  • The AHS expansion building has come a long way from last month. The lecture hall staging is complete, radiators are now heating the building, and contractors are working on installing the elevators. A reminder that in order to connect the AHS expansion to our existing building, there will be an electrical shutdown on Saturday, April 30. The hot water will also be affected and will run cold between the hours 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Two storey AHS expansion building reception area under construction.

Interior view of the building’s reception area

  • Finally, with support from the Network for Aging Research, graduate students in AHS are organizing a Symposium On Aging Research (SOAR). Scheduled for May 6, the one-day forum is opportunity for graduate students to network across disciplines and professions, initiate trans-departmental collaborations, and engage in integrative conversations on aging research. A tentative schedule is available online for interested attendees.

Jim Rush.Wishing everyone a productive end of term,


James W.E. Rush, PhD
Professor and Dean 
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences