NOSM / TBRHSC / TBRHRI Associate Scientist awarded national Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience

Dr. Brianne Wood, Associate Scientist at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) / Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI), has been awarded the Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience by the Health Research Foundation of Innovative Medicines Canada. Dr. Wood was selected by the foundation’s committee of leading Canadian life sciences experts to receive $450,000 over three years.

As an Associate Scientist in Social Accountability and Learning Health Systems, Dr. Wood’s research aims to improve health care in Northern Ontario by building a system that reflects the health needs of communities. She will investigate how communities and health systems can better generate knowledge and understanding to help inform policy both in times of emergency and for the future of health system improvement.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity this fellowship provides, and for the trust the foundation places in me to advance my research. My vision is to improve health and health care in Northern, rural, and remote communities. Partnerships, shared strategies and resources between education, research, health services and communities are essential to create meaningful impact. This fellowship will enable me to better prepare underserved health systems to meet the needs of their health workforce and the communities they serve,” says Dr. Wood.

Her research comes at a critical time, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight ongoing health-care inequities in Northern Ontario. Rural and remote communities in the region face health workforce shortages, burnout, fewer resources, and more complex population health issues compared to the rest of Ontario. The Fellowship will examine the resilience of Northern Ontario’s health system—specifically to strengthen the system’s capacity to adapt to crisis, emergencies and change—while maintaining and improving health care service.

“Through initiatives such as the Fellowship in Health Systems Resilience, our industry makes valuable contributions to public policy and helps Canadians prepare and be equipped to face our next public health crisis. I believe that Dr. Wood and her work will help Canada curb the impact of future pandemics and other health threats, especially in vulnerable communities,” says Pamela Fralick, President, Innovative Medicines Canada.

About the NOSM Centre for Social Accountability
The Centre for Social Accountability (CFSA) is the first of its kind in Canada. It is a model for multidisciplinary, community-led, and community-prioritised health and public health multidisciplinary research. The NOSM CFSA is advancing social accountability research globally and locally by working and collaborating with diverse stakeholders in the broad areas of health professional education, health system transformation, health human resources, social and population health, and social determinants of health. The Centre is home to two research networks, NORTHH and MERLIN, which focus on building capacity and providing tools for change.

About the Northern Ontario School of Medicine
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is an award-winning socially accountable medical school renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research. With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and advocacy for health equity, NOSM relies on the commitment and expertise of the peoples and communities of Northern Ontario to educate health-care professionals to practise in Indigenous, Francophone, rural, remote, and underserved communities. NOSM’s graduates, faculty, learners, and staff are changemakers who lead health-system transformation in Northern Ontario. The School is a recipient of the Charles Boelen International Social Accountability Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and the prestigious ASPIRE award, which recognize international excellence in social accountability and medical education.

About the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
TBRHSC is a state-of-the-art, 375 bed, acute care facility serving the health care needs of people living in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. The organization is focused on providing patient and family centred care in an academic learning environment. To fulfill its teaching and research strategic goals, the TBRHSC supported (in 2007-08) the creation of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI) as a not-for-profit and independent research corporation. TBRHRI is the research arm of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, a leader in Patient and Family Centred Care and a research and teaching hospital proudly affiliated with Lakehead University, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Confederation College.

For further information, please contact:

Kim Latimer
Communications and External Relations
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Phone: 807-621-4303
Email: klatimer@nosm.ca

Marcello Bernardo
Communications and Engagement
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Phone: 807-684-6011
Email: bernarma@tbh.net

Health Research Speaker Series: Research Support Services at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute

Join us (virtually) for the first presentation in our Health Research Speaker Series on Thursday, November 25th (3:00 pm – 4:00 pm), featuring Rabail Siddiqui, Research Development Coordinator at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute.

Title: Research Support Services at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute
Date: Thursday, November 25, 2021
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Online event via Webex

Meeting link: https://bit.ly/HRSS-November-25
Meeting number (access code): 2343 229 3461
Meeting password: RS25
Alternatively, you may join the session by phone:
+1-647-484-1598 (long distance fees may apply)
Access code: 2343 229 3461

About the speaker:

Rabail Siddiqui has over five years of experience in research, ranging from basic sciences, to clinical and translational research. She has worked for the Orthopaedic Research Program at TBRHRI for the last three years and has been covering the position of Research Development Coordinator since May 2021. Rabail obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology and her Master of Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology from Lakehead University. She recently completed a Master of Health Sciences (MHSc) in Translational Research from the University of Toronto.

HRSS – Research Support Services at the TBRHRI – Rabail Siddiqui – November 25 2021

 

NOSM, TBRHSC and TBRHRI collaborate on the appointment of a joint Associate Scientist focused on social accountability and health education systems

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), in partnership with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI) and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), announce Dr. Brianne Wood as the inaugural joint Social Accountability and Learning Health Systems Associate Scientist for a two-year term.

Dr. Wood will focus on the development, implementation, and evaluation of learning health systems research in Northern Ontario and support the integration of educational and health systems research. She will assist in the development of data infrastructure, evaluation processes and strategies that support health system education and foster sustainable research collaborations. This new role will be situated within the research mandate of the Centre for Social Accountability at NOSM and the Academic mandate at TBRHSC.

With a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa, Dr. Wood specializes in integrated knowledge translation and person-centered cancer screening. While completing her PhD, Dr. Wood worked as a health system epidemiologist in Northern Ontario. Her experience includes health equity impact assessments, health system performance measurement, and primary health care capacity.

As Associate Scientist, Dr. Wood will support primary health care research, quality improvement, and capacity-building in Northern Ontario and serve as the Director of NORTHH (the NOSM Research Toward Health Hub—a practice-based research network for primary health-care providers) also within NOSM’s Centre for Social Accountability. Aligned with TBRHSC’s aim to provide the highest quality of care, Dr. Wood’s work will help ensure patient and population needs guide continuous improvement initiatives, education and research.

“Brianne Wood is an established, well-respected academic leader who specializes in both health systems research and health professions education research in Northern Ontario. A key strength is her in-depth knowledge of socially accountable research best practices,” says Dr. Erin Cameron, Academic Director of the Centre for Social Accountability at NOSM. “The aim of her new role is to guide applicable, socially accountable, community relevant health research efforts that will inform research, education, and health service delivery.”

NOSM’s new Centre for Social Accountability (CFSA) is the only one of its kind in Canada. The Centre will result in improved health of Northern Ontarians while extending beyond NOSM’s commitment to being socially accountable in our education and research programs and advocating for health equity. The CFSA’s integrated approach in the areas of policy leadership and advocacy; research and innovation; education; and community impact will produce a deeper and broader understanding on a range of issues affecting population health outcomes inside and outside the medical system. In this way, the Centre’s social accountability research defines and strengthens the School, making NOSM and its partners more effective in the achievement of this critical mission.



About the Northern Ontario School of Medicine

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is an award-winning socially accountable medical school renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research. With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and advocacy for health equity, NOSM relies on the commitment and expertise of the peoples and communities of Northern Ontario to educate health-care professionals to practise in Indigenous, Francophone, rural, remote and underserved communities. NOSM’s graduates, faculty, learners and staff are changemakers who lead health-system transformation in Northern Ontario. The School is a recipient of the Charles Boelen International Social Accountability Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and the prestigious ASPIRE award, which recognizes international excellence in social accountability and medical education.

About the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC)

TBRHSC is a state-of-the-art, 375 bed, acute care facility serving the health care needs of people living in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. The organization is focused on providing patient and family centred care in an academic learning environment. To fulfill its teaching and research strategic goals, the TBRHSC supported (in 2007-08) the creation of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI) as a not-for-profit and independent research corporation. TBRHRI is the research arm of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, a leader in Patient and Family Centred Care and a research and teaching hospital proudly affiliated with Lakehead University, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Confederation College.

About the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI)

TBRHRI seeks to lead research to improve the health outcome of the people of Northwestern Ontario and beyond. In partnership, the TBRHRI and TBRHSC are advancing the academic research mandate and strengthening our collective role as a leader in health innovation. Both NOSM and TBRHRI/TBRHSC are strongly committed to equity and diversity within our community, while simultaneously developing an inclusive work environment that reflects the diversity of the broader populations that we serve.

Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute Appoints Two New Board Members

Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, June 24th.

Board of Directors Chair Dr. Andrew Dean and Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, President and CEO of TBRHRI, welcomed Dr. Erin Cameron and Jocelyn Bel as new Board Directors serving 3-year terms. They will join Dr. Dean as well as James Peotto, Dr. Sheldon Tobe, Dr. Pam Wakewich, Andrew Ross, John Dixon, and Peter Bishop who are continuing with the Board.

“Our team is expanding the fields of research and breakthroughs in some amazing fields,” said Dr. Andrew Dean. “From detecting neurodegenerative diseases at the earliest of stages, advancements in mammography for those with breast cancer to smart home-based monitoring systems for patients – the research being conducted in Thunder Bay is ground-breaking and game changing.”

The meeting also say Dr. Pamela Wakewich elected as Vice-Chair as well as Chair of the Science & Research Committee, and James Peotto as Treasurer.

“The research taking place in Thunder Bay is not only going to help the lives of patients and families in our region, but on a global scale,” said Dr. Crocker Ellacott. “Our team is recognized internationally for their innovation, intelligence and dedication to science and medicine. Great things are happening in Northwestern Ontario.”

Dr. Crocker Ellacott will continue to serve as an ex-officio Director along with Dr. David Marsh, Associate Dean, Research, Innovation & International Relations, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Kelly Meservia-Collins, Executive Vice President, Research, Quality & Academics, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and Tim Larocque, Director, Applied Research & Innovation, Confederation College.

The Health Research Institute’s Annual Report was also released and highlights some of the successes of the 2020/2021 fiscal year. To read it, please visit http://tbrhri.ca/2020-2021AnnualReport/.

Help Bring Discovery to Life By Joining Our Board

The Board of Directors invites interested Northwestern Ontario residents to consider serving as members of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute Board of Directors. Successful candidates will be expected to participate actively for a three year term.

As a skills-based Board, we are seeking to fill 2 vacancies with interested volunteers who:

  • are willing to promote our Vision of “Bringing Discovery to Life”, our Strategic Directions as well as our role as the research arm of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre;
  • commit to advocating for our Mission to be an international leader in health technology research and other strategic health innovation, that improves the health of the people of Northwestern Ontario and beyond;
  • demonstrate teamwork, community leadership, multicultural awareness, financial acumen and are representative of the population in this region;
  • can commit the time necessary to be productive Board members.

Applicants with understanding of population health or clinical research are encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates should forward a resume and letter of interest by Friday, March 19th, 2021 to:

Chair, Board of Directors c/o Lisa Niccoli
Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute
980 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 6V4

niccolil@tbh.net

www.tbrhri.ca

Message from Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott

It is an honor and privilege for me to lead and serve our Hospital and Health Research Institute as your new President and CEO.  As we begin our journey together, I look forward to reconnecting with you, our dedicated staff, Professional staff, Scientists, Patient Family Advisors and Volunteers.

In this role, I am here to work with you to build the future of health care.  My arrival as President & CEO coincides with the development of our next Strategic Plan, which will provide a roadmap for how we will meet the ever changing health challenges we face. The development of this plan will require extensive engagement with people in our organization, community and region.

As we face unprecedented challenge and change in health, there are tremendous opportunities to grow, innovate, integrate, advance and evolve our organization  – to advance research, learning and overall health care design and delivery. The Ontario health system is transforming and we have a unique opportunity to be key leaders.  Together with our partners, we can capitalize on this opportunity to shape a new system of care.

Moving forward, I recognize our strong history and commitment to Patient and Family Centred Care.  Through this philosophy, I will work to further inspire and grow our culture founded in trust, respect, compassion, and hope as key foundational elements to a healthy work environment.  Bringing joy and meaning to work while investing in our talented and engaged workforce to lead research, innovation and revolutionize care are critical to excellence in Patient and Family Centred Care.

Finally, as we continue to advance the COVID-19 response in our community and region, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for your commitment and dedication to keep our community safe. I am truly inspired by the way staff, Professional staff and Volunteers have risen to this challenge – with flexibility, resilience, courage – and a caring heart. Thank you for your enormous contributions.

A sincere thank you for choosing to work, practice, learn or volunteer here at our Hospital and Health Research Institute. I look forward to continuing the journey together to make us the best organizations at which to work, innovate in, research, learn and most critically, receive leading edge health care.

I am proud to say that I am part of the Hospital and Health Research Institute team.

Together, we will shape the future of health for our community and region.

 

Farewell Message from Jean Bartkowiak

I write to you today with so many emotions. Pride. Nostalgia. A heavy heart. But mostly, I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude.

On November 20, 2020, I will officially retire as a senior health care leader and as President and CEO of our Hospital and CEO of the Health Research Institute. It seems like yesterday that I arrived in Thunder Bay, excited to take on a new challenge to lead one of the newest academic health sciences centres in Ontario and its blossoming health research institute. That moment was the culmination of a wonderful career and the crowning of a journey of a lifetime; it provided me with the opportunity to attract and mentor an outstanding group of senior leaders and to work alongside so many skilled and dedicated health care professionals and support staff. I take this opportunity to share the following reflections with the community I served for the last five years.

I’m very proud of our many accomplishments together these past 5 years. These include:

  • the development and expansion of several regional clinical programs that foster safe, quality, specialized care closer to home;
  • successfully advocating with the Ministry of Health for additional base funding allocation given our impressive performance as compared to our peers;
  • opening Transitional Care Units at Hogarth Riverview Manor to provide a more adequate care setting for our Alternate Level of Care patients;
  • organizational restructuring that brought, among other innovations, the creation of a Senior Director, Indigenous Collaboration position to engage and partner with Indigenous leaders and communities to have a better grasp of their health priorities, or the creation of a Patient Flow department that allowed us to improve significantly our performance for wait times of admitted patients in Emergency and our average length of stay;
  • the integration of the Northwest Health Alliance that allowed for the creation of a regional senior leadership role to support integration and transformation and the creation of a Regional Chief Information Officer role, to support the renewal of all Northwest Ontario hospitals health information system;
  • actively engaging in “smart health” research; and
  • an accreditation with distinction award from Accreditation Canada.

These are only a small fraction of our accomplishments. They were only possible thanks to your guidance as a cohesive Board, and to the dedication, expertise and will of our staff to imagine and try new avenues to deal with the challenges our Hospital and Health Research Institute must tackle every day. Without all of you, none of this would have been possible.

Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, as your new President & CEO will now lead you through the development of a new strategic plan and health system transformation. Her health system leadership experience, as well as her many accomplishments such as championing Patient and Family Centred Care, will be invaluable to the Hospital and the Institute. Furthermore, Rhonda brings specific knowledge of and passion for Northwestern Ontario that make her the ideal person to inspire and guide ongoing innovation in health research at our Hospital and Health Research Institute.

Rhonda inherits an extremely talented and knowledgeable senior leadership team and a dedicated Board. Our skilled and knowledgeable senior leaders provide strategic guidance to achieve safe quality care experiences and outcomes for patients and their care partners. Under their combined leadership and expertise, I am confident that our Hospital and Health Research Institute clinical, academic and scientific mission will evolve and thrive.

This will be an emotional transition, but I am looking forward to the next phase of my life. This is the first time I do not have a clear sense of what the future holds for me, but I look forward to spending time with my loved ones, here in Thunder Bay and in Québec.

Until we meet again.


Je vous écris aujourd’hui avec tant d’émotions: fierté, nostalgie, le coeur gros. Mais surtout, je ressens un immense sentiment de gratitude.

Le 20 novembre 2020, je prendrai officiellement ma retraite en tant que cadre supérieur du système de santé canadien et comme président directeur général de notre hôpital et directeur général de l’institut de recherche. Je me sens comme si j’étais arrivé hier à Thunder Bay, enthousiaste à l’idée de relever un nouveau défi en dirigeant l’un des plus récents centres universitaires en sciences de la santé en Ontario et son institut de recherche en plein essor. Ce moment a été le point culminant d’une merveilleuse carrière et le couronnement d’une vie consacrée à cette vocation; ça m’a permis d’attirer et de guider un groupe exceptionnel de hauts dirigeants et de travailler aux côtés de tant de professionnels de la santé et de personnel de soutien si compétents et dévoués. Je profite de cette occasion pour partager les réflexions suivantes avec la communauté que j’ai servie pendant les cinq dernières années.

Je suis très fier des nombreuses réalisations que nous avons accomplies ces cinq dernières années, dont notamment:

  • le développement et l’expansion de plusieurs programmes cliniques régionaux qui supportent l’offre de soins spécialisés plus sûrs et de qualité localement;
  • la représentation efficace auprès du ministère de la santé pour l’octroi d’un financement de base supplémentaire, compte tenu de nos performances impressionnantes comparativement à nos pairs;
  • l’ouverture d’unités de soins de transition au manoir Hogarth Riverview afin d’offrir un milieu de vie plus adéquat à nos patients requérant un autre niveau de soins;
  • une réorganisation qui a entraîné, entre autres innovations, la création d’un poste de directeur principal de la collaboration avec les autochtones, afin de s’engager et de s’associer avec les dirigeants et les communautés autochtones pour mieux comprendre leurs priorités en matière de soins de santé, ou la création d’un service de navigation des soins aux patients qui nous a permis d’améliorer considérablement nos performances en matière de temps d’attente des patients admis aux urgences et de durée moyenne de séjour hospitalier :
  • l’intégration de la Northwest Health Alliance qui a permis la création d’un poste de direction régionale pour soutenir l’intégration et la transformation, et la création d’un rôle de chef régional des systèmes et technologie de l’information, pour soutenir la modernisation du système d’information de la santé de tous les hôpitaux du nord-ouest de l’Ontario;
  • le développement accéléré de la recherche sur l’ »intelligence artificielle en santé” ; et
  • l’octroi d’une cote d’agrément avec distinction de la part d’Agrément Canada.

Ce ne sont là qu’une petite partie de nos réalisations. Elles ont été rendues possibles grâce au soutien d’un conseils d’administration cohésif, ainsi qu’au dévouement, à l’expertise et à la volonté de notre personnel d’imaginer et d’essayer de nouvelles façons de relever les défis auxquels notre hôpital et notre institut de recherche doivent faire face quotidiennement. Sans leur appui, rien de tout cela n’aurait pu se réaliser.

Dr Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, en tant que nouvelle présidente-directrice générale, guidera désormais les destinés de l’hôpital et de son institut de recherche dans l’élaboration d’un nouveau plan stratégique et dans la transformation à venir du système de santé. Son expérience et son expertise en matière de direction du système de santé, ainsi que ses nombreuses réalisations, telles que la défense des soins centrés sur le patient et la famille, seront d’une valeur inestimable pour l’hôpital et l’institut. De plus, Rhonda apporte des connaissances spécifiques et une passion pour le nord-ouest de l’Ontario qui font d’elle la personne idéale pour inspirer et guider l’innovation continue dans la recherche en santé à notre hôpital et son institut de recherche.

Rhonda hérite d’une équipe de direction extrêmement talentueuse et très habile et d’un conseil d’administration dévoué. Nos cadres supérieurs extrêmement compétents et expérimentés continueront de prodiguer leurs conseils stratégiques afin d’assurer à nos patients et leurs proches aidants des expériences de soins sûres et de qualité. Sous leur direction éclairée et judicieuse, je suis convaincu que les missions cliniques, académiques et scientifiques de notre hôpital et de son institut de recherche évolueront et prospéreront.

Ce sera une transition émotive, mais je suis anxieux d’entreprendre la prochaine phase de ma vie. C’est la première fois que je n’ai pas une idée précise de ce que l’avenir me réserve, mais je me réjouis à l’idée de passer du temps avec mes proches, ici à Thunder Bay et au Québec.

Au plaisir, sait-on jamais, de se recroiser.

Lakehead University and Health Research Institute team exploring new diagnostic drugs for cancer

Dr. Jinqiang Hou

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has provided a Lakehead University and Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute team with a $98,655 grant to develop new drugs that will help prevent, diagnose and manage cancer.

In Canada, cancer is the leading cause of death, which is why Dr. Jinqiang Hou, an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Lakehead University and Research Chair at the Health Research Institute, believes an effective diagnostic method would improve the quality of life of many people while reducing health care costs.

“Our research aims to design and prepare novel diagnostic imaging agents that could potentially improve prevention, early diagnosis and management of cancer,” said Dr. Hou.

Dr. Hou is working with Dr. Michael Campbell, an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Lakehead and a Research Chair at the Health Research Institute, and Dr. Justin Jiang, a Professor in Chemistry at Lakehead.

While a biopsy is the only way to diagnose most types of cancer with any level of certainty, biopsies are invasive. Dr. Hou and his team are exploring a non-invasive detection method known as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging.

“By developing an imaging agent that targets receptors on the surface of cells that are highly expressed in many cancers, our research has the potential to develop the next generation of accurate cancer diagnostics,” he said.

Dr. Hou thanked CFI for the grant, which will allow the team to purchase equipment that will significantly improve productivity and speed up the research progress.

“This generous funding from the CFI strengthens our patient-centred research program and supports our researchers to find solutions to regional health care challenges – solutions that often have global applications,” said Jean Bartkowiak, President and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and CEO of the Health Research Institute. “The results of this research can potentially provide our patients with more personalized care and better outcomes,” he added.

Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation, also thanked CFI for the funding and said he is, once again, exceptionally proud of the research happening at Lakehead University and the Health Research Institute.

“This research has the potential to improve the quality of care for many cancer patients as well as reduce health care costs,” he said.

New Leader Appointed for Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre and Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute

Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott

Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott has been appointed as the President & Chief Executive Officer of Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre and Chief Executive Officer of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, effective November 23, 2020. The announcement was made today by Matt Simeoni, Board Chair Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Chair of the CEO Selection Committee, and Dr. Andrew Dean, Board Chair of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute.

“This is excellent news for our Hospital and Health Research Institute. The Board is absolutely confident that Rhonda is the right person to lead our Hospital through the development of a new strategic plan and health system transformation,” said Simeoni. “She is a highly respected and proven leader, as well as a champion of patients and families, as demonstrated by her three decades of growth and success.”

“Rhonda is a visionary who is driven by advancing and enhancing patient experiences. Her comprehensive background in the health care system and specific knowledge of and passion for Northwestern Ontario make her the ideal person to inspire and guide ongoing innovation in health research at our Health Research Institute,” added Dean.

Rhonda is currently the CEO of North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), and CEO of North East LHIN and Transitional Regional Lead for Ontario Health in the North Region. She was formerly the Executive Vice President, Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Chief Executive Officer, Nipigon District Memorial Hospital. Many of Rhonda’s accomplishments contributed to the growth and enhanced quality of health care. For example, Rhonda introduced Patient and Family Centred Care (PFCC) at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, nurtured it into an organizational philosophy, and has since expanded it to ensure the voices of patients and families influence health care access and delivery throughout Northern Ontario.

As a seasoned health care executive with over 30 years of progressive health care experience in a plethora of complex health systems, Rhonda has led complex systems level changes, advanced health system transformation, advanced quality improvement, inspired and developed innovations and garnered the trust of teams and colleagues. Rhonda has a track record of motivating vision, establishing strong and effective teams, empowering leadership, and nurturing and developing partnerships and networks across the broader health system.

Rhonda is inspired and honoured to begin this new chapter with the Hospital and Health Research Institute. “The values, collaboration and dedication of staff are familiar and match my personal principles. I look forward to connecting again with the dedicated staff, professional staff, scientists, Patient Family Advisors and volunteers. In this new role, I will rely heavily on their collective knowledge, skills, and commitment to safe, quality care as we advance our vision of being Healthy Together.”

Late last year, Jean Bartkowiak announced his intention to retire from his role as President & Chief Executive Officer of Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre and Chief Executive Officer of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. We are grateful that he will continue to provide outstanding leadership until November 20, 2020.

Lakehead researchers receiving $2.3 million from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

Dr. Alla Reznik

Lakehead University professors are receiving more than $2.3 million from Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for bold research exploring advancements in robotics, X-ray imaging technology, radio frequencies, and other important projects that will improve the lives of people around the world.

One of these recipients is Dr. Alla Reznik, a Lakehead Professor in Physics, Scientist at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, and Canada Research Chair in Physics of Molecular Imaging. Dr. Reznik is receiving $205,000 to examine a new approach to X-ray imaging over five years.

This new approach, using photoconductive material lead oxide, will improve the quality of health care through more effective and less invasive imaging connected with cardiac intervention and early breast cancer diagnosis.

“Minimally invasive cardiac intervention includes a whole spectrum of surgical procedures ranging from cardiac catheterization to aortic valve replacement,” said Dr. Reznik. “Cardiac intervention procedures are long and are commonly carried out under X-ray guidance, which results in significant exposure of patients and medical personnel to X-rays. Hence, the need here is to develop a much more sensitive than currently available X-ray imaging detector that will navigate cardiac interventions under significantly lower doses.”

A common tool in breast cancer screening is 2D X-ray mammography, which takes an X-ray image of the breast while a medical professional compresses it between two plates. Although mammography reduces breast cancer mortality, its specificity for cancer detection is low.

“The need here is to develop a 3D visualization of the breast that will minimize the masking effect of overlapping fibroglandular tissue,” said Dr. Reznik.

Over the period of the grant, the proposed program will train three post-doctoral fellows, two PhD students and three Master of Science students. In addition, five high performing undergraduate students (each for one year) will be hired to participate in an annual Summer School on Medical Imaging to gain research experience.

“Dr. Reznik is a key contributor to our health research program that is vital to advancing our academic mission and even more importantly, to improving the health of the population,” said Jean Bartkowiak, President and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and CEO of the Health Research Institute. “Health research, like that of Dr. Reznik, provides patients with the opportunity to participate in research activity that helps design the care of the future and to access equipment at the frontier of health technology development. I would like to thank NSERC for recognizing the potential of Dr. Reznik’s research.”

To read the full announcement, visit https://bit.ly/LakeheadU-NSERC-June17-2020

>