Message from the Director

Welcome to the Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute

I am delighted to have been appointed to a 5-year term as Director of SREMI, and grateful for the opportunity to build on the efforts of our first 2 years. I would like to thank our IAB Chair, Dr. Brian Rowe, for coordinating my review, and the members of our advisory board for their unanimous approval.

SREMI allows us a unique opportunity to improve patient care and advance the discipline of emergency medicine, and I am excited by the thought of what is to come. Following a planning retreat held earlier this year, we have developed a draft strategic plan. With further input from our benefactors, hospital leadership and our advisory board, we are refining this plan, which will serve as a road map for the coming decade.

A key focus at SREMI has been to look for ways to improve both efficiency and quality of care. Highlights of the work you will hear about at our IAB meeting include our FaMOUS project, and our work developing e-learning modules related to alcohol withdrawal. Both aim to teach health care workers new skills to help them efficiently improve care for commonly encountered ED conditions.

We are pleased to announce two new SREMI appointments within the last year. Dr. Don Melady will lead our Care of the Elderly program. Significant progress has been made in this area, including the launching of Canada’s first geriatric emergency medicine fellowship (presently being completed by Dr. Audrey-Anne Brousseau from Laval University). Along with our colleagues at the Mayo Clinic and George Washington University, we are developing a substantial research focus in this area.

Our most recent appointment was Dr. Aaron Orkin, who has joined SREMI in the capacity of research fellow. Aaron is a PhD candidate, whose research focuses on optimizing ways to better provide emergency treatment for opiate overdoses in the community, and he also has an interest in public policy surrounding caring for those with opiate addictions.

Additionally, our Research Director, Shelley McLeod was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and continues to pursue her doctorate degree in Clinical Epidemiology with Dr. Gordon Guyatt. Her personal research compliments SREMI’s overall focus, including the use of shared decision making in the emergency department.

SREMI has been growing its academic presence locally, nationally and internationally at educational and research conferences. Dr. Catherine Varner, Dr. Don Melady and Dr. Aaron Orkin have collected several prestigious awards for their respective work. Dr. Anton Helman’s “EM Cases Course” has sold out for a second year, and EM Cases passed the 3 million download mark, and is currently reaching 40,000 listeners/month.

I would like to thank our benefactors Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman, the hospital leadership at North York General Hospital and Sinai Health System, the members of our International Advisory Board, and our staff and partners, for their support, guidance and ongoing commitment to making SREMI a vital and important center for emergency medicine research and education.

Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag PhD MD CCFP(EM)

Director, Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute

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