It is hard to believe that September has come and gone, and admittedly many of the details of the month are blurry for me as there was so much going on including welcoming all of the new members of our AHS community, the beginning of classes, research deadlines, social events, and, believe it or not, the beginning of recruitment activity for next fall. One theme, however, has been top of mind for me throughout September: the invaluable contribution of volunteers to enriching the life and vitality of our AHS community. This year, our student ambassador team has 75 volunteers. This dedicated core group helps with numerous recruitment events and other AHS initiatives throughout the year. Our AHS orientation alone relied on 118 AHS orientation leaders and 4 Federation Orientation Committee members. Many of the other events that filled up September also relied on the contributions of student, staff, and faculty volunteers. I would like to offer a sincere thank you to all who give of their time and talents to support AHS.
In news this month:
- Despite rainy the weather, I was thrilled to see so many new and familiar faces at the AHS corn roast. According to our count, more than 150 members of the AHS community attended event, which has been an annual AHS tradition for over 30 years. Thank you again to the volunteers who made this event possible.
- The Registrar’s Office has launched a new website to document information, processes and communications that may be relevant to staff and faculty. The site, called Registrar’s Resources for Staff and Faculty, includes the INC grade process and INC grade form, mass email communication schedule, and a list of religious dates that may warrant accommodation. Additional resources will continue to be added. The website is accessible from the RO and Quest home pages. Your employee WatIAM user ID and password will give you access to content on the website.
Thank you to those who joined the Teaching Fellows for the first Teaching Fellow Monthy Meet-up. The next event on the topic of Accessibility in Teaching and Learning will be held on Tuesday, October 24th at 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in AHS 1686 (lunch will be served, online invitation to follow). Please visit the Teaching Fellow website for information on this and future events.
- With Craig Janes’ first term as Director of the School of Public Health and Health Systems coming to an end on June 30, 2018, the renomination process is now underway in keeping with UW Policy 40. The Nominating Committee held its first meeting earlier this month and has begun consulting with faculty, staff, students and key stakeholders in SPHHS for feedback.
- Upcoming public lectures to note:
October 3 | Join SPHHS in welcoming John Frank for a Hallman lecture titled: Chronic disease prevention: "upstream" and "downstream" revisited. A panel discussion and reception will follow the talk. Please RSVP in advance.
October 6 | Richard Hughson will present on cardiovascular aging in space as part of the Office of Research lecture series, Research Talks. The lecture will look at how astronauts have become unlikely models for studying aging. Seating is limited, RSVP is requested.
October 26 | CRE-MSD will host Jack Dennerlein for a Hallman lecture titled Demystifying Ergonomics in the Modern Office. Dennerlein will explore how the modern office has progressed considerably over the past 30 years with the adoption of mobile computing technology, and the fundamental needs of today’s workstation layout. RSVP online.
- The AHS Advisory on Health and Well-Being is pleased to announce that their inaugural event will be held on October 24 to coincide with Mental Health Wellness Day on campus. Details of the event will be circulated via email in the next couple of weeks. The committee would also like to remind everyone that as mid-term time approaches and stress levels rise, there are a myriad of services available to students, faculty, and staff. For students, Campus Wellness offers mental health services using an inclusive, connected, and collaborative approach. Waterloo Residences has also set up a great mental health and wellness guide for students to be able to explore the various services on campus. For staff and faculty, there is an Employee Assistance Program that provides various services to support health and wellness. Finally, as the committee shapes its agenda, it will be looking for direction from you. Think about this: If the AHS Advisory Committee on Health and Wellbeing could direct one change over the next year, what do you think that change should be?
- On the topic of mental health, a new study by Mark Ferro linking chronic illness and suicide received significant coverage in the media recently, including a piece by Global TV. His study found that young people between the ages of 15 and 30 living with a chronic illness are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their healthy peers. In addition to adding to our understanding of the complexities of mental health, the findings call attention for the need for health professionals to be proactive in discussing suicidal behaviours with young people during routine clinical assessments, particularly those with a chronic illness.
- Congratulations are extended to Sue Horton on her induction as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Sue is best known for her innovative work on the economics of nutrition interventions in low and middle-income countries. Her presentation at the 2008 Copenhagen Consensus and her book estimating the global cost of scaling up nutrition programs, were influential in prioritizing nutrition in the international policy agenda. She has presented her work in more than 40 countries and served on over a dozen high-level international boards and advisory committees.
- Congratulations are also extended to Richard Wells, who was named a Fellow of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA) at the annual National Council Meeting in Singapore. Richard served as the founding director of the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) at Waterloo for over a decade. His research preventing injuries at work spans 25 years and includes involvement in the development of guidelines and standards.
- Through the Waterloo Awards Committee, the University has developed a prestigious awards website to assist faculty members interested in external awards. The website has a section dedicated to awards in the field of applied health sciences, which may be of particular interest to researchers in the Faculty. If you have questions about these or other external awards, please feel to contact our AHS Awards Committee representatives, Heather Keller or Catherine Maine.
- Lora Giangregorio has been appointed the Schlegel Chair in Mobility and Aging. Lora’s research focuses on how exercise can lower the risk of falls and fractures among older adults, and improve quality of life for individuals living with osteoporosis. More than 80 per cent of all fractures after the age of 50 are the result of osteoporosis, with one in three women and one in five men experiencing an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. As chair, Lora will focus on advancing exercise guidelines for individuals with osteoporosis and enhancing education for health care providers and care partners.
- Last weekend, the Faculty participated in the annual Ontario Universities Fair at the Toronto Convention Centre. I’d like to extend sincere thanks to the 54 staff, faculty, students and alumni who manned our booth over the course of the three days. I attended the fair on Friday and Saturday and was so impressed by the way our volunteers represented the Faculty and engaged with some of the event's 140,000 visitors. By the end of the weekend, we collected contact information from over 1,200 prospective students; giving our marketing and undergraduate recruitment team a wealth of new leads to recruit the best and brightest for our next incoming class.
- In construction news: the exterior doors to the BMH green have been completed. On the second floor, contractors are in the process of installing metal studs and dry wall. The renovations are moving ahead on schedule, and we anticipate the space will be ready for RLS to occupy in December.
James W.E. Rush, PhD
Professor and Dean
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences