I would like to thank all those who attended and helped make our 50th anniversary launch a success. We had a tremendous turn out for both events, with more than 120 faculty, staff, students and alumni at the opening celebration and 225 people at the Anne McLellan public lecture. It was wonderful to see so many new and familiar faces in the crowd. Pictures from the day along with the new 50th video have been posted to our official Facebook page. To keep the momentum of the launch going, I encourage you to consider participating in our design charrette, a legacy project to rejuvenate the courtyard between our buildings. The process will be a dynamic opportunity to share ideas and create a space that is both attractive and functional for many years to come.

In news this month:

  • Congratulations are extended to Paul Stolee who is project lead on a $2.6M grant from the Canadian Frailty Network. The study team will work in partnership with nine primary care teams in three provinces to implement tools for risk screening, care coordination, and patient engagement in decision-making. Other AHS investigators include George Heckman, Jacobi Elliott, Samantha Meyer and Justine Giosa.
  • In another grant from the Canadian Frailty Network, John Hirdes, George Heckman and Heather Keller received funding to implement the standardized interRAI Acute Care Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment instrument in 10 Canadian hospitals. They will also work with other Canadian partners on a cluster randomized trial of targeted advance care planning in nursing homes.
  • I am delighted to welcome Karry Kwan as the newest addition to the AHS advancement team. Karry joined us in the alumni advancement officer position on May 1. She brings with her a decade of experience in partnership development and stakeholder engagement, including two years as the alumni advancement manager for the College of Physical & Engineering Science at the University of Guelph. She holds an honours BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York. Please join me in welcoming Karry to AHS.
  • In August, the Department of Kinesiology will host an alumni Q&A panel as part of their annual Capstone Colloquium for graduate students. This event gives current students the chance to explore career options and network with established professionals. If you have connections to Kinesiology alumni who may be suitable for this career-focused panel, please forward your suggestions to Karry Kwan.
  • As mentioned in a Faculty-wide email last week, repairs are underway in the vestibule area and doors off the south foyer of BMH. The project is part of campus maintenance to repair salt erosion to the base of the double doors. Some noise is expected as the existing structure is dismantled. Temporary walls have been constructed for safety purposes. 
  • Congratulations to Mark Oremus, Suzanne Tyas, Colleen Maxwell and Jane Law on receiving a CIHR Catalyst Grant to analyze baseline data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. The funding will allow them to look at relationships between social support, depression symptoms, and cognition in a Canada-wide sample of persons aged 45 to 85 years. Mark is also the recipient of a CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grant for the upcoming Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics Biennial Conference in Banff. As president of the Society, Mark will bring a strong SPHHS presence to the conference. Several of our students are scheduled to give poster or oral presentations, and the School will host a booth for the duration of the conference.
  • A reminder that spring convocation will be held on June 13 at 10 a.m. in the PAS. In addition to several notable awards and honours set to be bestowed, the ceremony marks the first graduating students of the Master of Health Evaluation program. Please join me in attending the ceremony to celebrate our students and award recipients:

John Frank – Honorary Doctor of Laws

Laurie Hoffman-Goetz – Distinguished Professor Emerita

Bill McIlroy – Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision

Emma Heimbecker  Highest Academic Standing (KIN)

Natalie Verschueren  Highest Academic Standing (RLS)

Syed Mahamad  AHS Alumni Gold Medal & Highest Academic Standing (SPHHS)

All graduating students, as well as faculty members and staff, are invited to attend our pre-convocation reception in the Expansion Building foyer beginning at 8:30 a.m.

  • Recipients of this year’s AHS alumni awards have been selected. Dr. Patrick A. Brill-Edwards (BSc '79, KIN) will receive the Alumni Achievement Award for his significant contributions to the development of the Gardasil vaccine. Shelley Martin (BA '15, RLS), founder of Arts Abound, will be recognized with the Young Alumni Award. Arts Abound offers a range of programming for children and youth regardless of their special needs or abilities. Both awards will be announced at the June convocation ceremony.
  • Earlier this month, Premier Kathleen Wynne visited the AHS Expansion Building as part of a government budget announcement related to pharmacare (see picture below). After speaking students, Premier Wynne toured our facilities and watched a variety of lab demonstrations. The announcement provided an excellent opportunity to not only showcase our new space, but also the important work conducted under our roof each day.

Premier Kathleenn Wynne in AHS

  • On June 26, the Network for Aging Research will host their 2017 Spring Symposium, Engagement in Innovation. The event will feature a keynote address by Olive Byranton, an 80 year old PhD student at the University of PEI. Her research uses photovoice to understand the challenges faced by women over the age of 85 living alone in rural PEI. Olive already holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from UPEI for her work as a seniors’ advocate. Individuals interested in attending can register online by June 16. Prior to the event, please fill in this survey to provide input on areas of aging research that may require more focus.

Jim Rush.

Wishing you all a productive month ahead,


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

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