Research Report

Research Report Images2019 has been a successful and productive year for the SREMI research team and I am pleased to have the opportunity to share some of our recent accomplishments, as well as highlight our progress over the past five years.


Thanks to a visionary gift from the Schwartz/Reisman Foundation, in July we welcomed Dr. Jacques Lee as our Inaugural SREMI Research Chair. Dr. Lee is an accomplished clinician scientist in geriatric emergency medicine research, with a focus on the prevention and identification of delirium in the emergency department. Dr. Lee’s research is perfectly aligned with care of the elderly education and policy work led by Dr. Don Melady, as well as our geriatric emergency medicine fellowship (also led by Dr. Melady). Dr. Lee is a fantastic addition to the SREMI research team and his academic leadership will certainly enhance our international reputation as leaders in geriatric emergency medicine.


SREMI continues to grow our academic profile locally, nationally and internationally. Many of our faculty were invited speakers and track chairs at CAEP 2019 and are vital members of international, national and provincial committees, working groups and panels. This year, we published 28 peer-reviewed journal articles, and have another 12 papers currently under review.

SREMI faculty have won numerous scholarly awards and grants, recognizing the important contributions we are making towards the advancement of emergency medicine research. Most notably, Dr. Keerat Grewal received three research awards for her work to improve the care and outcomes of cancer patients presenting to the emergency department. These awards included the Early Researcher Sponsorship Award from the Cancer and Primary Care Research International Network, an Early Career Investigator Program Award from the Institute of Cancer Research at CIHR and a CanVECTOR Fellowship Award.

Dr. Catherine Varner (early pregnancy complications) and Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag (mental health and addictions) received Clinician Investigator Awards from the University of Toronto for their research efforts; Dr. Thom Rhinger won two resident research awards for his frailty research project, and Dr. Chris Skappak won the CAEP Grizzly Den Research Award for his innovative research in metabolomics.

Since inception, SREMI scientists have been awarded 58 research grants, with SREMI faculty leading as primary investigator or co-primary investigator for 49 (85%) of these grants, for a total of $12.7 million dollars. Our publications have also continued to grow, with SREMI faculty publishing 116 peer-reviewed research papers in the last 5 years. SREMI scientists are among the top academic producers in the country and are increasingly being recognised as leaders in our discipline.


Dr. Borgundvaag and I have continued in our leadership roles with the research committee tasked to evaluate the implementation of eCTAS, an Ontario provincial project which will have national implications. The first of many eCTAS papers was recently published in Annals of Emergency Medicine and attracted international attention, including inquiries from Thailand, Australia and the US.

Last year, SREMI partnered with CAEP to fund two new junior investigator grants to help foster Canadian emergency medicine research. Dr. Fareen Zaver won the SREMI/CAEP $5,000 grant for research pertaining to the evaluation of an innovative educational program, and Dr. Brett Burstein was awarded the $5,000 grant for research aligned with the SREMI Pillars of Inquiry for his work in shared decision making in the management of febrile infants. The competition garnered National attention and interest in SREMI and we are thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate on innovative projects that will have meaningful impact on advancing the discipline of emergency medicine.

Dr. Varner and I continue to work with NYGH Research Chair Dr. Katie Dainty and Ms. Bianca Seaton on qualitative research pertaining to women experiencing early pregnancy complications or loss. SREMI faculty Dr. Rohit Mohindra is leading the local research efforts at NYGH and is currently conducting a systematic review on computerized physician order entry in the emergency department and is about to launch a prospective study exploring patient’s perspectives on receiving e-communications and associated privacy considerations.

We also continue to participate in important randomized controlled trials with our colleagues across the country and remain committed to fostering the research of our own medical students, residents, nurses and junior faculty.

The success of this past year is a direct reflection of the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of our SREMI team. I would like to thank our Director, Dr. Borgundvaag for his leadership, the SREMI research faculty, and our research coordinator Cameron Thompson for his incredible efforts. I would also like to thank Dr. Kristin Blakely and Judy Wells for their funding contributions and academic involvement moving our research programs forward, and of course thank our generous benefactors, Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman, for their ongoing patronage and support. 
Respectfully submitted,

Shelley McLeod PhD(c) MSc MSc BScHons
Research Director