Message from the Director

Welcome to the Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute

SREMI’s 5th anniversary seems like a fitting moment for reflection. We have shown great progress in successfully competing for grants as PI’s and Co-PI’s, peer reviewed publications, the development of innovative educational programs, and through EM cases, dissemination of knowledge and improving practice locally, nationally and internationally. Our leadership and expertise is increasingly recognized, resulting in our staff being invited to lead local provincial and national committees, and our work being adopted into practice. Shelley McLeod’s Research Directors report details the progress of the entire SREMI team in 2019 and over the last 5 years. I am incredibly proud of our group’s accomplishments and productivity, and especially pleased with progress in building collaboration between SHS and NYGH. As we progress in SREMI’s development, the impact of our combined efforts are increasingly impactful, and I think the next 5 years are going to be even more exciting.

2019 was a busy year, with the addition of our Chair in Geriatric Emergency Medicine being the most notable advance. Our new Chair, Dr Jacques Lee, has completed the transition of his research program and settled into his new home at SREMI. His research, focusing on preventing delirium in older patients, perfectly complements the policy and education work that Dr Don Melady has been leading internationally for years, and truly establishes SREMI as a world leader in the ED care of the elderly.

One project that I would like to highlight is our new young adult mental health and addictions partnership with Stella’s Place called “RBC Pathway to Peers” (RBC-P2P). This project will train young adult peer support workers, integrate them into the ED health care team at Mt Sinai, and evaluate outcomes. Our partnership leverages the experience of Stella’s Place in delivering peer support and training peer support workers, and has the potential to be very impactful. RBC-P2P exemplifies many key elements of the “SREMI Approach”:

  • It addresses a priority community health concern,

  • It is a commonly encountered ED problem,

  • Our target demographic receives the majority of their medical care in the ED setting,

  • It is “outward facing” and focuses on connecting patients to appropriate community resources, and impacting outcomes beyond what happens in the ED

  • It is patient centered

  • If successful (it will be fully evaluated), can be expanded broadly providing a relatively cost effective way to impact patient outcomes for a growing vulnerable population

Developing a program which evaluates a completely new category of ED service provider has not been an easy task, but RBC P2P demonstrates that when a good idea aligns with hospital objectives, it is possible for an institute such as SREMI to do incredibly innovative work.

I’d like to thank the members of our IAB for their continued enthusiastic support and commitment, and our IAB Chair for his leadership and regular participation in our monthly meetings. I would also like to recognize and thank the Sinai Health System and North York General Hospital leadership for their support and ongoing commitment to making SREMI a world leading institution.

Finally, I am very grateful to Gerald Schwartz and Heather Resiman for their generous support and ongoing engagement with the SREMI team. Their commitment to a shared vision of academic excellence and leadership in emergency medicine is both unique and remarkable. Together, we are transforming the way ED patients are cared for both today and in the future.


Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag PhD MD CCFP(EM)
Director, Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute