Chair's Report to the Board

International Advisory Board Chair: Dr. Christopher Carpenter

Chris CarpenterWelcome to the 4th Annual Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute (SREMI) International Advisory Board (IAB) Meeting. Under the leadership of Director Bjug Borgundvaag and Research Director Shelley McLeod, 2018 has remained impressively productive for SREMI. I wish to review these accomplishments and activities.

IAB Membership

The IAB membership underwent a few changes. In addition to Brian Rowe rotating off the IAB, Frank Sullivan also moved on to new responsibilities. Eva Grunfeld, Lynn Wilson, Jim Christenson, John McLaughlin, Matthew Cooke, and Michael Schull generously agreed to remain on the IAB.  Two new individuals also joined the IAB. Suzanne Mason is professor of emergency medicine at Sheffield University with a research focus on alternatives to hospital admission for complex disease processes, and Simon Mooijaart is a Leiden University geriatrician in the Netherlands with long-standing interest in emergency care of aging populations. 

SREMI Chair Position

SREMI obtained funding for a Research Chair Position. Interviews were conducted in June 2018, and the interview committee was so impressed with two of the candidates, that positions were offered to both. SREMI is finalizing contracts and the new Chairs should join the team in January 2019.

NYGH Engagement

Building on the strong NYGH brand in continuing medical education, a two-day Emergency Department Administration Conference (EDAC) conference was held in November 2017 at the Toronto office of the Ontario Medical Association, co‐chaired by Kuldeep Sidhu and Howard Ovens. The conference featured several members of the IAB, exhibiting the international transdisciplinary leadership available to SREMI. In 2018, EDAC (November 27 and 28) will again follow the IAB meeting and will focus on challenges confronting emergency department administration such as hospital crowding, patient satisfaction, and the opioid epidemic. Co-Chairs Howard Ovens, David Dushenski, and Kuldeep Sidhu have organized the first day.  A second full day co-Chaired by Teresa Chan and Rick Penciner explores the opportunities to cultivate education to promote a learning organization for leadership. 

SREMI Knowledge Translation Activities

The SREMI team is pushing the envelope of disruptive innovation to transform knowledge into action. EM Cases (https://emergencymedicinecases.com/) was developed by Dr. Anton Helman of NYGH and disseminated with SREMI support. EM Cases began as a podcast (with well over 7 million podcast downloads since inception and episodes average 160,000 downloads per month), but has expanded to include blogs, videos, eBooks, and courses. The 4th Annual EM Cases course is Feb 9-10 and is already sold out.  

EM Cases is not the only SREMI KT innovation. Dr. Don Melady created two highly recognized web-based asynchronous learning platforms. Geri-EM (https://geri-em.com/) includes six geriatric emergency medicine cases with video learner-focused interactive modules that include the perspectives of patients, nurses, physiotherapists, and physicians confronting common bedside scenarios with continuing medical education credits for nurses and physicians. These modules have been widely used by American sites undergoing American College of Emergency Physician Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation in 2018. Dr. Melady subsequently created https://geriatric-ed.com/ to provide information to health system leaders interested in exploring the value of adaptations focused on aging populations, including information sources and exemplar quality improvement projects. 

SREMI Research Activities

SREMI has had a truly impressive year of research activities for the SREMI scientists and their collaborators. Continuing research foci include geriatrics and the ageing population, alcohol and other substance use disorders, mental health, shared decision-making, transitions of care and emergency care equity. 

Strategic Plan

At the 2017 IAB meeting, the leadership of SREMI presented a Strategic Plan for the Institute. The first-draft Strategic Plan included an appropriately enthusiastic vision for career development, recruitment, research focus and knowledge translation to steer SREMI activities over the next five years. The IAB requested clarity on roles and resources required to fulfill this vision. SREMI leadership will provide updates on these queries at the 2018 IAB meeting.

Reflections from the Chair

I have participated in the monthly SREMI research updates throughout 2018. In addition, the IAB held the first mid-year IAB meeting on June 27 to maintain momentum and provide ongoing input to SREMI leadership. Throughout Canada, a four-year old SREMI is increasingly acknowledged and recognized as an innovative contributor to emergency medicine science and knowledge translation. 

I’ve heard first-hand as senior research leaders in emergency medicine marvel at the potential for SREMI to impact the future of acute medical and surgical care worldwide based upon SREMI’s initial productivity and stellar leadership. As a member of the ACEP Geriatric ED Accreditation Board of Governor’s I have also witnessed hospital leaders’ astonishment and then admiration for Dr. Melady’s generous and high-quality web resources as frontline providers sought accessible asynchronous learning platforms that do not exist elsewhere. SREMI scholar Catherine Varner co-authored an Annals of Internal Medicine’s ACP Journal Club commentary with me. I have sat in the audience as Dr. Helman provided a virtual clinic on how to engage an audience at a Best Evidence in Emergency Medicine conference. Finally, I participated via teleconference as the SREMI Chair Candidates were interviewed. Two of the candidates reached out to me before the interviews and both spoke of SREMI’s future with unfettered admiration and pragmatic enthusiasm. As 21st Century emergency medicine moves forward, SREMI will undoubtedly influence the trajectory of healthcare.

I’d like to warmly acknowledge Dr. Ovens, Dr. Borgundvaag, Ms. McLeod, and the entire SREMI team for their vision and perseverance striving to improve the lives of patients seeking care for acute illness, injury and mental health problems. To communicate the importance of these efforts in words seems hollow, especially in these times of severe emergency department overcrowding, emerging federal health issues (e.g., opioid crisis, cannabis legislation, suicide epidemic) and the special populations we serve (e.g., disadvantaged, new immigrant, and Indigenous people). The IAB members look forward to working with the leadership team to accomplish the important goals ahead.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher R. Carpenter, MD, MSc, FACEP, AGSF
Chair, SREMI International Advisory Board
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Washington University in St. Louis

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