Research Report

Shelley McLeodThis past year has been a successful and productive year for the SREMI research program and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to share some of our recent accomplishments.


One of our goals this year was to continue to develop and collaborate on innovative projects that will have meaningful impact on advancing the discipline of emergency medicine.

Locally, we have been very involved with our colleagues across the greater Toronto area. We partnered with Dr. Lucas Chartier from NYGH/UHN to lead the evaluation of the Ontario emergency department return visit quality program. We also continued to collaborate with Dr. Jacques Lee from Sunnybrook, partnering on numerous projects involving delirium and care of older patients in the ED. Additionally, both MSH and NYGH are about to launch a study led by Dr. Clare Atzema from Sunnybrook to prospectively validate a clinical decision tool to aid in the management of atrial fibrillation patients presenting to the ED. 

We have also been successful in expanding our research collaboration with our partners at NYGH. This year we have implemented numerous projects with the Research Chairs at NYGH, Dr. Katie Dainty, Dr. Patricia Trbovich and Dr. Monika Kastner. 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. 

Later this year, SREMI will be inviting our colleagues from across the city to join a new initiative we are calling the scholarly collaboration of the Toronto central hospitals, with the goal of combining our research strengths across the city to produce more multicentered research studies that will inform best practices for our discipline.


One of our most important achievements over the past year was securing funding for two SREMI Research Chair positions. This visionary gift from the Schwartz/Reisman Foundation includes both salary and infrastructure support for two clinician scientists. We are in the process of finalizing their contracts and the new Chairs should be joining our team in January 2019.

SREMI was fortunate to attract the talent of Dr. Keerat Grewal, who joined us as a research fellow and emergency physician in July 2018. Dr. Grewal is a health services researcher with a focus on oncology patients presenting to the ED. We are thrilled to welcome her to the SREMI team.


SREMI continues to grow our academic profile locally, nationally and internationally. Many of our faculty were invited speakers and program track chairs at CAEP 2018 and are vital members of international, national and provincial committees, working groups and panels. This year, our research team published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles. 

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. Varner received the 2018 New Investigator Award for Research Excellence from the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and as part of the US-based Geriatric ED Collaborative, Dr. Don Melady and SREMI’s IAB Chair, Dr. Chris Carpenter, were awarded a 3.8 million USD grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation and the West Health Foundation to continue their academic work in geriatric emergency medicine.


Shelley McLeodDr. 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. As a result of their research work in the area, Dr. Catherine Varner and Dr. Borgundvaag were named co-chairs of the Health Quality Ontario panel on early pregnancy loss and opioid prescribing for acute pain, respectively. 

This is the first year that SREMI has partnered with CAEP to fund two new junior investigator grants to help foster Canadian emergency medicine research:

  • 1 x $5,000 grant for research pertaining to the evaluation of an innovative educational program of relevance to emergency medicine
  • 1 x $5,000 grant for research aligned with the SREMI Pillars of Inquiry 

The competition for this funding is peer reviewed and administered through the CAEP annual grant competition. We have over 10 applicants from across the country and the winners will be announced next month.


Thanks to a transformational $2 million gift by the RBC Foundation, we are thrilled to announce that SREMI will work with our community partner Stella’s Place to implement and evaluate a novel, peer support model of care for young adults presenting to the ED with mental health and addiction related problems. Our program, called “RBC Pathway to Peers” will fund peer support workers with lived experience within our ED where they will provide support for young adults with mental health and addictions related problems at the time of their ED visit. We are honoured to partner with RBC to bring this important program to fruition.

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, our research coordinator Cameron Thompson, Kristin Blakely-Kozman and Judy Wells for their funding contributions, and 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