Chair's Report to the Board

International Advisory Board Chair: Dr. Brian Rowe


In response to a request from Dr. Ovens (on behalf of the Executive Committee), the IAB undertook a review of Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag’s leadership as the inaugural Director in order to inform a recommendation regarding extending his appointment. The review built on the information obtained during the first meeting of the IAB in Toronto on November 17th, 2015. Further feedback was sought from SREMI staff and collaborators including medical and nursing staff, leadership from Mount Sinai and North York General Hospital (NYGH) Departments of Emergency Medicine and external stakeholders from the hospital and university. SREMI IAB members provided their input as well.

Most importantly, the IAB recognized the significant accomplishments already achieved in the brief two years of SREMI’s existence and unanimously recommended extending Dr. Borgundvaag’s contract for a further 5-year term. I am pleased to report that Dr. Borgundvaag accepted the challenge! The IAB further recommended Dr. Borgundvaag develop a strategic plan for SREMI, which will be presented to the Board at the meeting November 28th, 2016.


On behalf of the Board and SREMI, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Eva Grunfeld to the SREMI IAB. Dr. Grunfeld is the Giblon Professor and Vice-Chair (Research), Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is also a Clinician  cientist with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Finally, she was recently named the Chair of the IAB in Chronic Conditions at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Those of you who were with us last year will recall she contributed as an IAB guest. We are pleased that she agreed to formally join the IAB.


Building on the strong NYGH brand in continuing medical education, a very successful two day conference was held in November 2015, co-chaired by Dr. Kuldeep Sidhu and Dr. Howard Ovens. The conference featured several members of the IAB, the meeting was unique and it was a successful summit of national and international leaders in emergency medicine. The 2016 Emergency  Department Administration Conference (EDAC) following the IAB meeting (November 29 and 30) is planned using a similar format. Kuldeep will be providing an update from the NYGH perspective at the IAB meeting.

Another important activity of the SREMI team is the continued success of EM Cases ( Under the leadership of Dr. Anton Helman of NYGH and with SREMI support, EM Cases has had widespread dissemination within the EM community, with literally millions of global downloads of their monthly podcasts.


Despite these early days, it has been hard to turn around in emergency medicine and NOT see evidence of the success of SREMI. Following the inaugural IAB meeting of the SREMI Board, I was able to participate in the EDAC meeting, and attend the “Senior Friendly Emergency Department” Workshop, led by Dr. Don Melady, Dr. Chris Carpenter and their US colleagues. The success of the workshop led to its incorporation into the Western Emergency Department Operations Conference (WEDOC) in Winnipeg in April 2016, coordinated by Dr. Don Melady and Dr. Chris Carpenter.

I am participating on the eCTAS Research Subcommittee where SREMI staff are taking leadership roles and the project has important national implications. Shelley McLeod will be mentioning more about this in her report to the Board. I was witness to the productivity of SREMI at both the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Meetings in 2016; I was also made aware of their success at the International Conference on Emergency Medicine (ICEM) in South Africa. I have reluctantly listened to EM Cases and, despite previously being a confirmed and life-long Luddite, even I was converted! Finally, I have been in contact with the SREMI team and met with Dr. Ovens, Dr. Borgundvaag and Ms. McLeod in Toronto in  September, and I am impressed and satisfied with the progress achieved to date.

On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Dr. Ovens, Dr. Borgundvaag, Ms. McLeod, and the entire SREMI team for their hard work, dedication and commitment to improving the lives of patients seeking care for acute illness, injury and mental health problems in emergency departments around the globe. The IAB members look forward to working with the leadership team to accomplish the important goals ahead.

Thank you for your participation in the second SREMI International Advisory Board Meeting!

Respectfully submitted,

Brian H. Rowe, MD, MSc, CCFP(EM), FCCP, FCAHS

Chair, SREMI International Advisory Board

Scientific Director, Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory, CIHR

Scientific Director, Emergency Strategic Clinical Network, AHS

Tier I Canada Research Chair in Evidence-based Emergency Medicine

Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine

University of Alberta

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