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What's happening

Our current top news section encompasses a sample of important research, education, clinical and administrative functions at the Charles V. Keating Emergency & Trauma Centre (Halifax Infirmary) and the IWK Health Centre emergency department as well as other new items spanning the whole of the Department of Emergency Medicine which incompasses the Maritime Provinces.

If you have a news item to include, email emergency.medicine@dal.ca.

Dr. Ron Stewart - Continuing a generous legacy

Dr. Ron Stewart always thinking of others even into the future long after you and I are gone.

Emergency Medicine's Dr. Steve Miller part of the award winning team

The SimEd Network acknowledges the Innovator Award for the Stroke Interprofessional Team. The award's accolades certainly are shared with everyone who contributes to the stroke IPE!  What an incredible team we do have!

Dr. Sam Campbell interviewed by CBC about Choosing Wisely Nova Scotia

CBC reached out to Doctors Nova Scotia communications to arrange an interview with emergency chief Dr. Sam Campbell after Doctors Nova Scotia issued this news release in conjunction with Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine:

Choosing Wisely Nova Scotia: Let’s Talk about Unnecessary Medical Tests and Treatments

Doctors Nova Scotia and Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine launched Choosing Wisely Nova Scotia, a campaign to reduce unnecessary medical tests and treatments by encouraging health-care providers and patients to talk openly about more effective health-care choices.

Canadians undergo more than one million unnecessary tests and treatments each year, according to a recent report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Those include prescription drugs, diagnostic tests, and medical procedures that don’t improve patient health – and might incur unnecessary risks or harmful side effects.

There are multiple drivers of unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures. Dr. Constance LeBlanc, Co-chair of Choosing Wisely NS explains that sometimes patients ask for them. “In some cases it’s a lack of attention to shared decision making between patient and doctor, among other reasons,” she says. “However, those conversations are key to high-quality patient care.”

“More isn’t always better,” says Dr. Samuel Campbell, a Champion of Choosing Wisely NS, “Evidence shows that, depending on the situation, certain tests and procedures don’t help you get any better. They could even pose considerable side effects,” he adds. “Choosing not to do unnecessary tests is not only better for the patient, it also reduces wait times for patients who really need them.”

“Choosing Wisely is about choosing the right care at the right time with the best outcome for patients,” says Dr. Manoj Vohra, President of Doctors Nova Scotia, “The number of tests and treatments available keeps growing, but many are only useful in specific circumstances. In Nova Scotia, we’re reviewing the research and identifying which medical tests and treatments are overused.”

In the meantime, the doctor-led campaign calls on all health-care providers and patients to question common but potentially unnecessary tests that have been identified nationally.

“Conversations about what care patients truly need is a shared responsibility among all members of the health-care team,” said Wendy Levinson, MD, Chair of Choosing Wisely Canada. “Choosing Wisely Nova Scotia is an opportunity for providers and patients to talk about what care is best for them, and what we can do to reduce overuse, waste and potentially even harm.”

To learn more about Choosing Wisely Nova Scotia visit www.ChoosingWiselyCanada.org/Nova-Scotia

Therapy Dogs Approved for Charlottetown ED

Hoping that this doesn't mean that our Emergency Medicine Faculty at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, PEI has gone to the dogs.

Dalhousie Point of Care Ultrasound Recognized

The Dalhousie Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) group is now being recognized at University of Sasketchewan. The Emergency Medicine Clerkship PoCUS educational module has been accepted in to their curriculum and is expected to be running live in January 2018.

2018-2019 CFPC(EM) Residents Announced

Please join us in congratulating Tara Dahn, Stephen Dalziel, Scott Foley and Davor Lukanovic for matching to our CFPC(EM) Residency Program.  They will join Mandeep (Pinky) Gaidhu, who will be returning for the 2018-19 academic year.
We would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s CaRMs event, a success once again.

Department of Emergency Medicine has Three Contributions in the November Issue of CJEM

Dr. Katrina Hurley was part of a group of physicians to respond to a Review Regarding Cost Analysis of Salbutamol Administration.

Drs. Paul Atkinson and David Lewis as part of the Internation Federation of Emergency Medicine had their Position Statement with regard to SHoC published.

And as part of the CJEM Debate Series, Dr. Paul Atkinson provided the introduction on #SocialMedia.

Department of Emergency Medicine Member Trevor Jain is Featured in a Book

Department of Emergency Medicine's Dr. (Major) Trevor Jain has been featured in the best selling book
 "Everyday Heroes: Inspirational Stories from Men and Women in the Canadian Armed Forces."

Fellow colleague Dr. Aaron Sibley says, "Dr. Jain's very personal story tells the true meaning of leadership and service. At the time of the Swiss Air disaster, Dr. Jain was a young medical student and junior army officer, tasked with a challenge worthy of the most seasoned physician or military commander. His actions in facilitating the identification of 229 casualties, and bringing closure to so many grieving families, were honored with the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal. This event has profoundly shaped his career as an Emergency Physician.  We need to celebrate achievements like this among our own."

At 0330 hours, the phone rang again.
"Rick, I got class tomorrow early. . ."
"Trevor, it's not a joke. We have a major plane crash. I need you at Shearwater ASAP.  
Report to the base clinic when you arrive. I'll get you a drive."
"Roger." I wiped the sleep out of eyes and stumbled to find my uniform, my heart pounding. A plane crash? Why Base Shearwater? I hadn't had a lot of experience with trauma and Rick hadn't given me any details about casualties. Only later did I find out he anticipated a request for assistance from the provincial government, and had set up the ops centre at brigade headquarters and issued warning orders to the four infantry battalions in Nova Scotia."
.....they gave me a medical brassard (red cross) to put on my arm, then a driver drove me up to Hanger B. I didn't know then that I would be spending 12-16 hours a day in Hanger B for weeks to come.

I'm Sure Many Physicians Ask the Question to X-Ray or Not

Dr. Kirk Magee, Interim Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine and Director of Research at the Halifax Infirmary Emergency Department is one of several physicians in Halifax and Ottawa asking this question.

Congratulations to our own Dr. Jock Murray on being honoured by the Nova Scotia College of Family Physicians.

Not to be confused with his well known Uncle, Dr. Jock Murray with his decades long work in Emergency Medicine was recently recognized by the Nova Scoita College of Family Physicians.

Even the Department of Emergency Medicine's Volunteers Make the News

The QEII Times recently did an article on one of the many Department of Emergency Medicine volunteers we have.

Donation of $1.3 Million to the Department of Emergency Medicine

The biggest surprise to come out of the EMS 20-50 Celebration Symposium came on Tuesday night when Dr. Kirk Magee the Interim Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine made the announcement of Dr. Ron Stewart's most generous donation.

An Art Exhibition by one of our Ward Clerks

An art exhibition will be held in the emergency department at the QEII. This on-site installation will be mounted in the recently revamped resident’s write-up room on Oct. 25. The artist, Arianne Pollet-Brannen, a casual ward clerk in the department, was funded by Arts Nova Scotia to create and present a series of seven framed paper and fabric collages.

CTV Interviews Dr. Ron Stewart on the 20th Anniversary of EHS

In the midst of the business of the the EMS 20-50 Celebration Symposium, CTV's Steve Murphy invited Dr. Ron Stewart to the news offices for an interview.

Way to Go Dr. Cajee! What a walk...

Early October, Dr. Ismail Cajee and his wife walked the 110 km of the Harvest Moon Trailway.  Here is that story.

Congratulations to the next class of CFPC(EM) Graduates

On behalf of Dr. Bijon Das
We would like to extend a big congratulations to Corinne Dewar, Aniket Hooda, Maria Kovalik, Kevin Sawchuk and Hana Wiemer on successfully passing their CFPC(EM) examinations.  Good job guys.
I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this possible through teaching, mentoring, Mock Orals and everything else you do to help make our program successful.  Your continued support is greatly appreciated.
Please join in me in congratulating them all.

Welcome to Ron Zwicker the new Director of Health Services (including Emergency) in Western Zone

Rob Zwicker, Director of Health Services (Emergency, Ambulatory Care, Oncology and Enterostomal Therapy) & Health Systems Leader - Western Zone

Rob Zwicker is the new Director of Health Services (Emergency, Ambulatory Care, Oncology, and Enterostomal Therapy), and Health Systems Leader (SSRH, FMH, QGH) in Western Zone. Rob reports to Karen Jenkins, Interim Western Zone Operations Executive Director.
Rob has relocated from Horizon Health in New Brunswick and brings a wealth of experience and clinical knowledge through director roles in Emergency Services, Site Leadership, and VON. His leadership will be a welcome addition to the Health Services Directors’ Team.
Welcome aboard, Rob!

Article on Why Paramedics Spend Hours Waiting Outside Hospital EDs

Why do paramedics have to wait for patient offload in both the Dartmouth General and Halifax Infirmary. This article by Michael Gorman may provide the answers.

If you haven't heard the advertisement for "This is Your Dartmouth General", you are

missing out on hearing about a couple of our own EM Physicians. None other than Dr. Todd Howlett who works at the DGH Emergency and also serves as Chief of Staff and Dr. Ravi Parkash, the DGH EM Site Chief.   

Here are a few EM Mentions in the Dean of Medicine's Blog

Our “Teaching Is Where It’s At” program, developed by our Office of Continuing Professional Development,” has recently received kudos as well, winning a 2017 Accredited CPD Provider Innovation Award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Congratulations to Dr. Connie LeBlanc and her team for this tremendous accomplishment, which they will be able to share with colleagues across Canada at the National CPD Accreditation Conference in Ottawa later this month.


Save the date!
As many of you are already aware, we are closing in our 150th anniversary year for Dalhousie Medical School – 2018 is just around the corner. We will kick off the anniversary year a little early, actually, on December 2, 2017, with an event to be co-hosted by the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Office of Continuing Professional Development. The focus of this event will be emergency preparedness, in recognition of the 100th year anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.

Thanks to Aberdeen Hospital Emergency Department

This message of thanks was posted to the Nova Scotia Health Authority facebook page.
I would like to share a compliment to the Emergency Department at the Aberdeen Hospital. On Wednesday at 8am, I arrived in severe pain. I ws seen quickly, by 10 am I had a CT scan confirming kidney stones. By 10:15 I was medicated. I was told by 1:30 I needed surgery and it was arranged at the Truro Hospital. Thursday morning after surgery I went back to the hospital with twice the pain as the day before. They immediately took me in and started pain management. Dr. Straub and Dr. Toba were amazing both days. Offered to admit me, but I went home with pain management. I cannot remember all the murses names but to those nurses working on Wednesday and Thursday, thank you. You were all wonderful, I have nothing by good things to say. (heart emoji) Compassionate. Caring. Fast and Helpful. The doctors were wonderful and the nurses top notch.

(Heart Emoji right back to you).

Congratulations to Aaron Sibley and the PEI EM Research Group on the publication of

their article publication in the July issue of CJEM

Opinion of Dr.John Ross in the Chronicle Herald with regard to Alcohol Abuse

From an Emergency Physician and Trauma Team Leader, his opinion on the acceptance of alcohol abuse.

Excellent Care at Cobequid Community Health Centre Emergency Department

​I wanted to pass along my thanks for the excellent care I received in the emergency department of the Cobequid Community Health Centre. I slipped on a wet asphalt slope while attending a party, fell backwards and opened the back of my head with a 2.5-inch gash. Bleeding like a stuck pig, I made it to the Cobequid about 7:45 p.m. and was treated to some amazing care. Doctors, nurses and admitting staff were,without exception, kind and considerate. I was so impressed, not just with their professionalism and efficiency but also their quiet sense of humour which went a long way towards calming the stress I was feeling. I was in and out in just over two hours, all stitched up and feeling much better about things. So thank you, everyone, I am so grateful to you all.

Update on the Division of EMS Palliative Care Project

Dr. Alix Carter is leading a BRIC NS project evaluating paramedics’ role in providing palliative care in the home. The CIHR funding through BRIC NS is allowing Dr. Carter and her team to evaluate the impact of the paramedics’ expanded role. 

Congratulations to our New Brunswick Brother and Sisters on another CJEM Article Being Published

In this article " A traumatic tale of two cities", the goal was to examine if a trauma team model with a formalized, specialty-based trauma team, with specific activation criteria and staff composition, performs differently than an emergency physician delivered model. Spoiler Alert! Despite all the data we were unable to detect any difference in survival between a trauma team and an emergency physician delivered model.  

CTV Atlantic - Our Housecall Focuses on Critical Care Paramedics

We all know the importance paramedicine plays in Emergency Medicine so it was a great privilege to have CTV do their Housecall feature on the Critical Care Paramedics.

$1.8-Million Raised for the QEII's Sim Bay by the QEII Foundation

Please view the linked You Tube to see the part the Sim Bay plays with teaching the interdisciplinary staff of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

An Interview with Dr. Ron Stewart: Paramedicine - Past, Present and Future

Many of us are familiar with the name Dr. Ronald (Ron) Stewart and those of us in Emergency Medicine who have the privilege to know him are very lucky people indeed.  I came across this interview on a facebook page and knew immediately it had to be shared.

New This Year the Department of Emergency Medicine SonoChallenge

The Dalhousie Department of Emergency Medicine's SonoChallenge is a yearly, educational event that pits teams of residents against each other to compete in point of care ultrasound scanning challenges.  The inaugural showcase was May 31, 2017 and was a huge success!  It was an extremely enjoyable event for all involved and it also highlighted the Department's commitment to teaching and PoCUS education.  Congratulations goes to the winner of the 2017 SonoChallenge, a team lead by PGY4 Dr. Heather Flemming.  Next years SonoChallenge promises to be even bigger and better! 

The QEII Times dedicated a lot of space to the Department of Emergency Medicine

Check out the following articles:
High-Stakes Education: Simulation Training at QEII; Engaging With Communities: QEII Emergency Department Opens Doors to ISANS Students.
And although it isn't part of the Emergency Department we feel true brotherly ties to the Nova Scotia Trauma Program. So take a look at Keeping Eyes on the Road.

Congratulations to Jacqueline MacKay and Team

Dr. Paul Atkinson has shared the following news as to what is going on in Saint John Regional Hospital. Check out the latest publication from the Saint John Regional Emergency Medicine group. Congratulations to Jacqueline and team for completing the hard work required to move her residency project up to the level of a peer-reviewed publication.  Take a moment to read: Mackay J, Atkinson P, Palmer E, et al. (June 23, 2017) Alternate Access to Care: A Cross Sectional Survey of Low Acuity Emergency Department Patients. Cureus 9(6): e1385. doi:10.7759/cureus.1385

Thanks from Dr Kirk Magee and Paula Bond - Code Orange

As most of you are likely aware, there was a Code Orange called at the QEII HSC Emergency Department on Tuesday, June 13th at 1813h.
From the staff who were working on shift that evening to the many who so quickly responded to the Code Orange call-out: physicians, residents, nurses, paramedics, DPC’s, ward clerks, patient attendants, respiratory therapists, security, volunteers…  the response was overwhelming.  It was truly  patient-centered care by a dedicated and professional team.  The facts speak for themselves:  we were on Code Orange for 62 minutes after which we resumed normal operations.  During this time we assessed, treated and disposed of 4 MVC patients, a cardiac arrest patient, 2 elderly patients with shock and an agitated patient post alcohol-induced seizure.  Did I mention that during the Code Orange we also started our first ever patient on ECMO?  Each and every one of you is a rock star!
I cannot tell you how proud I am of our department and how grateful I am for everyone’s response to this crisis.  I am not alone in my praise.  Paula Bond, VP integrated Health Services Program Care (Central), asked me to pass on this message to the department:
I would like at this time to acknowledge the outstanding team work in response to the events that occurred on June 13, 2017 resulting in a code orange emergency.  The collaborative efforts, critical thinking skills and proficiency of work I am confident are what profoundly contributed to the safe patient outcomes that resulted. Thank you for your hard work and dedication on this day and every other. Sincerely, Paula Bond
On a personal note, I am also thankful for the support that was so kindly offered by so many. 
Sincerely, Kirk Magee, Interim Chief, Central Zone Network of Emergency Departments, NSHA and Interim Head, Department of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University 

Research Matters - Paramedics Behind the Scenes

See what the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundations has to say about our Nova Scotia Paramedics are doing in addition to responding to emergency calls.

Dr Andrew Travers - One of the Canadian Certified Physician Executives of 2017

This year, Dr Andrew Travers has earned the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) credential. He is one of ten physicians from across Canada that have fulfilled the eligibility criteria and demonstrated through a peer review and assessment process that they have the knowledge, skills and leadership accomplishments not only worthy of national recognition but also needed to influence and bring about change in today's complex health care environment. 

Introducing Dalhousie Medicine's honorary degree recipient for Spring Convocation 2017

An honorary degree is one of the highest honours given by Dalhousie University, and serves to recognize a person who has demonstrated inspirational leadership in, or in service to, society, outstanding contribution to a field or discipline, and/or oustanding contributions to the university.
The Faculty of Medicine welcomes our new alumni at Spring Convocation 2017 (view the ceremony, Dr Stewart is introduced at 1.19.41 and gives his commencement address at 1.30.00) where our honorary degree participant will be recognized, a Medicine alumni himself, Dr. Ronald D. Stewart.    

Message of Thanks From Dr Kirk Magee for Research Day 2017

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all who made our 20th Annual Dalhousie Department of Emergency Medicine such a huge success!  This year, we had over 90 people in attendance and with 24 research abstracts presented, it was our biggest Research Day yet!  The research covered both the breadth and the depth of Emergency Medicine and included national award winning studies.  The presentations were certainly inspiring and attest to the department’s commitment to advancing the specialty of Emergency Medicine.
I wanted to especially thank a number of people who were instrumental in making this day so great.  First, I would like to thank our Dr. John Ross keynote speaker, Dr. Eddy Lang.  The expertise he leant to our department was invaluable.  His inspiring talk has already planted several seeds that promise to bear fruit.  To all of our learners that presented their projects, I say a huge thank you.  Your work was of the highest quality and obviously represents the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment.  The future of research is in good hands.  To our award winners, Drs. Adam Harris and Trevor Jain - congratulations on your well deserved honours.  And finally, thank you to our judges, Drs. Andrew Travers, Sam Campbell and Mike Howlett for the unenviable task of adjudicating the awards.
Last, but certainly not least, I would be remiss not to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of two people who worked behind the scenes for an entire year to bring this day together - Corinne DeMone and Melissa MacDougall.  Your efforts are certainly appreciated not only by me but by all in attendance!
Abstracts of Day’s Presentation.
Looking forward to doing it all again next year.  Until then, Kirk 

NSHA News passes on this compliment from the loved one of a patient who recently received care at Cape Breton Regional Hospital’s Emergency Department.

“Although only a short time was spent in the Emergency Department, the professionalism shown was second to none. Throughout the time spent in the Emergency, the staff (bar none) treated our family with the utmost respect and compassion in what became a very difficult time. Without exception, each and every nurse, doctor and team member took the time to explain the details in a non-medical language that we could all understand and interpret. Also, their care and compassion was extraordinary, and have made me proud to be a staff member of this organization. On behalf of my family, KUDOS is well deserved for the Management and Staff of the ED in Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Thanks for your care and concern.” 

Our own Dr. Nancy Murphy was interviewed recently about the potential impact of legalization of cannabis on pediatric exposures.

The transcript of this interview can be found on the CBC website.

Announcement of Assistant Program Director for the Royal College Emergency Medicine Residency Program

As Interim Department Head of Emergency Medicine it is a pleasure to congratulate Dr. Lorri Beatty who will assume the role of Assistant Program Director for the Royal College Emergency Medicine Residency Program effective immediately. Dr. Beatty is a native Nova Scotian and a graduate of Dalhousie University Medical School.  She successfully completed her Royal College residency here at Dalhousie University. We have been extremely fortunate to have Lorri’s leadership in the undergraduate PIER program for the past 2 years.  Recently the runner-up for the coveted Silver Shovel award, Lorri is a highly valued medical educator.  The RCPS roles out Competency by Design for Emergency Medicine in July of 2018 and Lorri will work closely with the Program Director, Dr. Janet MacIntyre, to transition Dalhousie’s program into the new competency based framework.  As part of her new role, she will chair the department’s Royal College Competency Committee. Please join me in wishing Lorri all the best as she assumes this new and challenging role. 

The Department of Emergency Medicine is an interdisciplinary facility therefore

We want to congratulate our paramedicine colleagues on the creation of the College of Paramedics of Nova Scotia! On April 1,2017, they will become a self-regulating profession and all paramedics will be required to be licensed through the college in order to be eligible to practice.  Just a reminder to all paramedics to ensure you are registered with the college by April 1, 2017. If you require additional information please contact Bud Avery, manager, Paramedic Regulatory Affairs, EHS at Bud.Avery@novascotia.ca

Pediatric Emergency Physician part of the NSHA Quality Team Award Winners

Tied for BRONZE: Welcome Home: A health system response to newly arrived refugees. The project team included Graeme Kohler, Tim Holland, Mandi Irwin, Leisha Hawker, Morgan MacKenzie, Bethany McCormick, Erin Graham, Noella Whelan, Ashley Sharpe, Amy Legate, Natalie Kidd, Nicole Holland, Wenche Gausdal, Zrinka Seles-Vranjes, Kirstin Weerdenburg, Amanda Moore, Elizabeth Munn, Gillian Zubizaretta and Shannon O’Neill. Congratulations Team!

Two new RCPS Residency Candidates matched for 2017

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we have matched candidates, Jacqueline Hiob (Queen’s University) and Sean Hurley (Dalhousie University) to the RCPS Residency Program, effective July 1, 2017.

Lorri Beatty the 2017 CAME certificate of merit award winner

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Dr. Lorri Beatty has won the Canadian Association for Medical Education Certificate of Merit Award in recognition of her commitment to medical education for 2017.  A recent runner-up for the prestigious Dalhousie Medical School Silver Shovel Award, it is fantastic to see Lorri receiving national recognition for her on-going efforts to advance medical education. She is in fine company joining Dr. Sam Campbell, who won this same award last year.  Please join me in congratulating Lorri on her success!

Congratulations to Luke Taylor from the Interim Department Head of Emergency Medicine

It is my great pleasure to inform you that Dr. Luke Taylor has received notification that his abstract"Does point of care ultrasound improve resuscitation markers in emergency department patients with undifferentiated hypotension? The first Sonography in Hypotension and Cardiac Arrest in the Emergency Department (SHOC-ED1) Study; and international randomized controlled trial" has been selected for a top resident research award at CAEP2017 in Whistler, BC.  Luke’s abstract is an excellent example of not only collaboration in the Canadian Emergency Medicine community but perhaps more importantly, collaboration between two sites/provinces within the Dalhousie Department of Emergency Medicine.  I wanted to thank and congratulate all of the preceptors and contributors from the department at both sites who were involved in this study.  Well done, Luke!

Hospital overcrowding is an accountability problem, say emergency doctors

Our own Dr. Sam Campbell was interviewed by Local Xpress on the overcrowding situation.

ER Clothing Drive Makes Sure No Patient Leaves the Hospital in Paper Scrubs

It can make the world of difference according to the social worker leading the clothing donation program.

Announcement from Interim Department Head

As Interim Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine, it is my great pleasure to let you know that Dr. Adam Harris has won a CAEP 2017 Resident Research Abstract Award for his abstract titled “Emergency Department Procedural Sedation in Elderly Patients”.  Adam is a PGY-4 resident in the Royal College Emergency Medicine Residency Program.  Please join me in congratulating Adam and his research team members, including Dr. Mary-Lynn Watson and Michael Butler, for their hard work which has led to this significant achievement.  It is a tremendous honour to receive national recognition for one’s work.  Well done everybody!

Introducing the 2017-18 CFPC(EM) Residents

On behalf of Dr. Bijon Das

Good afternoon;

Please join us in congratulating Drs Mandeep Gaidhu, Melanie Leclerc, Peter Leighton and Erika Maher for matching to our College of Family Physicians Canada (Emergency Medicine) Residency Program for the 2017-18 Academic Year.

We would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s Canadian Resident Matching Service event, a success once again.

Welcome Mandeep, Melanie, Peter and Erica to the Department of Emergency Medicine and we look forward to seeing you in July 2017!! 

Announcing the New Pediatric Emergency Medicine Program Graduates

On behalf of Dr. Erin Killorn, PEM Program Director:

It is with great pleasure that we take this opportunity to publicly congratulate the 2 new Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in Pediatric Emergency Medicine that have recently been roaming around our department!  Both Alyson Holland and Katie Gardner found out they passed their Royal College exams. We are all so happy for them!  We're sure they’re ecstatic to have the exam in the rearview mirror.  Please join us in congratulating them on all of the hard work they’ve put in over the years to get to this point!!

Appointment of Interim Head/Chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine

To: Dalhousie Medical School, IWK Health Centre, and Nova Scotia Health Authority Central Zone Communities

From: Dr. David Anderson, Dean, Dalhousie Medical School;
         Tracy Kitch, president & CEO, IWK Health Centre;
         Janet Knox, CEO, Nova Scotia Health Authority

Subject: Appointment of interim head/chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine
Date: December 2, 2016

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kirk Magee has been appointed as the interim department head for the Department of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie Medical School, and chief of Emergency Medicine at Nova Scotia Health Authority Central Zone.

In this joint appointment, Dr. Magee will direct and manage the clinical and academic affairs in the department, be responsible for administering and developing the clinical, teaching, and research programs, and will be a key member of the senior leadership team. He will begin this new appointment on January 1, 2017.

Dr. Magee has been an important contributor to Dalhousie's Department of Emergency Medicine (while based at the Halifax Infirmary site) for over 15 years, during which time he has been the program director for the Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC) EM program. He currently holds the department's site research director position. Dr. Magee is actively involved in patient outcomes, the Cochrane Collaboration, Choosing Wisely, and back pain research in the emergency department.

Dr. Magee is knowledgeable about the new Academic Funding Plan (AFP) structure. As of November 1, 2016, Dr. Magee has been associate head, assisting with AFP implementation work and other academic leadership and administrative duties. He is also a current sitting member of the AFP Dispute Resolutions Committee.

Please help us welcome Dr. Magee into his new role and wish him success in his appointment. As well, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing department head/chief Dr. David Petrie for his leadership to the emergency department, and his many contributions to each of our institutions.

Team Broken Earth this fall includes more Department of Emergency Medicine Members

Team Broken Earth:  Over the months of October to December representatives from Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Central Zone and the IWK Health Centre are heading to Haiti to help with relief efforts. We would like to make note of the following Department of Emergency Medicine (HI, IWK and Division of EMS) members who will be contributing their knowledge.

The October 29th to November 5th, 2016 Team includes: Dr Carl Jarvis, Nurses Donna Naugler, Sharon Malay, Laura Berry, Susan Dyer, and Lindsay Ross.

The November 26th to December 3rd, 2016 Team includes: Drs Katring Hurley, Jolene Cool, and Jason Emsley; Nurses Liz Humphrey, Noreen Neville, Lisa Fuller, Erika Lannon, Kayla Carey and Ashley Mowatt and Paramedic Darrell Bardua.
Most volunteer team includes physicians, paramedics, nurses and others who will provide medical treatment and educate Haitian health care professionals and citizens with the ultimate goal of rebuilding the country’s health care system. Learn more about Team Broken Earth at www.BrokenEarth.ca.

Congratulations to the University of PEI on the new Bachelor of Science in Paramedicine.

Aaron Sibley, MD, FRCPC an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and based out of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown is one of the developers of this program. Congratulations to the whole team that made this program possible.

'Engaging with Communities': Halifax ED Opens doors to

ISANS students. Read the article by Kristen Lipscombe that was published in The Wave. And review the photo gallery of the visit.

The First Research in Medicine Journal Club was held

The Dalhousie Department of Emergency Medicine is proud to sponsor the inaugural Research in Medicine Journal Club on the evening of November 1st, 2016.  Drs. Kirk Magee and James French will co-host this event via video conference leading students at both the Halifax and Saint John campuses through the process of critically appraising of two seminal studies in the specialty of Emergency Medicine.

Staff at Dartmouth General Hospital Emergency are "patient, kind and empathetic"

NSHA recently received the following compliment from a grateful family member whose father received care at the Dartmouth General Hospital emergency department:

“Just wanted to let you know we have spent much time this week in the DGH ER with Dad. I have to say, it is one of the most amazingly kind and effective ERs I have seen in a long time. Every time we go (and that would be several times over this last year with Mum and Dad!), despite how busy they are and how crazy it is, the staff are kind, patient and most of all, empathetic to the situation. This week has been so very hard on Dad and everyone has been so good to him. I cannot remember everyone along the way but each and everyone is well placed in the DGH ER providing care. Dr. Hebb, a physician named Ryan and the female physician last night AMAZING!!! I always try to remember the names but of course, my focus is Dad!

“I even overheard the EMTs with their patients on their stretchers and they were… looking after them during the long waits to be triaged, roomed and seen. Making sure they were covered, had a sip of water, if they were comfortable and even made small talk about their day. The physicians were patient and attentive and worked well along with the nursing staff. Not that we want to visit them more than we need to but it is reassuring to know what is available for care in our area and that the care and attention that is given during a visit is top notch.

“This department is truly a model for provision of care, kindness and effectively treating patient needs in an emergent situation.”

Thank You to QEII HSC Charles V. Keating Emergency & Trauma Centre from a Patient

A family member recently sent the following letter of thanks to staff at the Charles V. Keating Emergency and Trauma Centre at the QEII.

“I wanted to send along a little note to let you know how great the staff were who cared for a family member last night ‎. They went above and beyond... It was really inspiring to see them provide extraordinary service. The wonderful professional nursing staff who were so understanding and caring and were exceptional.

“Thank you so much for your leadership and modeling the way for your staff; it certainly is very transparent.”

Dr. David Petrie spoke to CBC about Collaborative Emergency Centres

Dr. Petrie was asked to respond to the information that had been provided to reporters earlier in the week about Collaborative Emergency Centres (CEC). For those unfamiliar with CECs, they were developed to enhance day time access to primary care (family practice team) and to support night time access points to the broader integrated network of emergency care.  By having a nurse and paramedic or two nurses available overnight in the CECs (with oversight from a physician by phone as part of the team), family physicians are freed up during the day to provide primary care when there is more demand, and to respond to emergencies when they arise. There are some slight variations on this theme, but in the majority of communities where CECs have been implemented, they are working in this manner.  

Another Emergency Medicine Team to Haiti

The Department of Emergency Medicine has again helped provide vounteers to travel to Haiti with Team Broken Earth. The CTV Atlantic News did a story about the trip today in light of the devistation caused by hurricane Matthew. We wish the team every success and the safe return of all volunteers.

Trauma Olympians for 2016 go to

The Trauma Olympics sponsored by the Nova Scotia Trauma Program, took place on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 and we are very pleased to announce that it was our very own Emergency Medicine Residents who took home the title of “Trauma Olympians”. Please join us in congratulating and extending a job well done! The team was comprised of Team Lead Dr. Samantha Jang-Stewart, Dr. Yves Leroux, Dr. Lucy Patrick and Dr. James Gould with participation as well from staff nurses Joelle Grant, Heidi Fraser and Erika Lannon.

Paramedics Provide Key Support to Pallative Patients

Check out the article in the May Hospital News featuring the program being done by Nova Scotia paramedics through Dr. Alix Carter and the Division of EMS.  

Coming up on April 29, 2016 is a conference being held jointly by NSHA and

North American Occupational Safety & Health.  Our own Debra MacDonald, Clinical Resource Nurse, at the Halifax Infirmary Emergency Department will be presenting.

Dr. Sam Campbell has 'no average day' as depicted in the March edition of doctorsNS magazine.

Read how Dr. Campbell juggles his myriad of responsibilities. This issue also contains some fun statistics on the Chief of the Charles V. Keating Emergency & Trauma Centre.

Dr. John Ross is the keynote speaker at a conference on diversity and inclusion in health care.

The Dalhousie Health Sciences Students’ Association (DalHSSA) – a group of Dal students dedicated to facilitating collaboration among peers in the faculties of medicine, health professions, and dentistry – is hosting this year’s National Health Sciences Students’ Association conference. It’s taking place March 4-5, in Halifax.

21st Annual Emergency Medicine Research Day - May 11, 2016

The 21st Annual Emergency Medicine Research Day will be take place on May 11th, 2016 in Room 1613 A & B at the Veteran's Memorial Building, Halifax, NS. This action-packed day will include presentations on Emergency Medicine research throughout the region, a keynote speaker, networking and lunch. You don't want to miss Emergency Medicine Research Day on May 10th, so mark your calendar today!

The 2016 NSHA Silver Quality Team Award goes to...

The project, “Central Zone acute stroke protocol: Time is brain and the clock is ticking…”, has been awarded the 2016 NSHA Silver Quality Team Award.
Congratulations to the whole team, in particular Sam Campbell, Jillian Gorveatt, Susan Harris, Sandra Janes, Debra MacDonald, Robert MacKinley, Andrew Travers, and Mary-Lynn Watson who are from the Department of Emergency Medicine.
NSHA Quality Team Awards recognize excellence in innovation, quality and teamwork. It is exciting to hear about your success in quality and improvement. Projects like yours help to positively impact people’s health and the quality of care they receive.
The team will be invited to present during the NS provincial Quality Summit in the fall of 2016

CFPC(EM) CaRMs Match Results

On behalf of Dr. Bijon Das, CFPC(EM) Program Director at the Halifax Infirmary, we are happy to advise that the CFPC (EM) CaRMs Match Day took place yesterday.  We are thrilled and very excited to have matched:
Dr. Aniket Hooda
Dr. Maria Kovalik
Dr. Kevin Sawchuk and
Dr. Hana Wiemer for the 2016-17 academic year.  

Thank you to everyone who helped make this a success, once again. We very much look forward to working with Aniket, Maria, Hana and Kevin and please join us in welcoming them  to our Department.

Best Paper Award goes to Brett Taylor and his team.

Brett Taylor attended the ICTH conference in Berlin, Germany this is a small international informatics conference that consisted of two days of presentations and about 50 participants.  A wide range of topics were presented, some quite technical. At the end of the day the audience and more particularly the peer reviewers presented the "Best Paper Award" to a clinical informatician and his team.  Brett is very happy to let us know that he and his team won the "Best Paper Award" for their paper entitled 'Implementation of a Game-Based Information System and e-Therapeutic Platform in a Pediatric Emergency Department Waiting Room:  Preliminary Evidence of Benefit'.  Congratulations to Brett Taylor, Shannon MacPhee, Kate Morrison and Mary Ann Hiltz, all from the IWK and the remainder of their team

Through the Lens: Simulation-Based Learning at the QEII

Simulation is a technique of modeling real-life situations to provide training in an interactive environment. See how the Department of Emergency Medicine is helping to develop this program.

Unique Researcher-Administrator Partnership Improving Patient Care at the QEII

The 11 most recent grant recipients include a QEII scientist with the Department of Emergency Medicine, Stacy Ackroyd and her administrative partner, Health Services Director, Sandra janes.  their funding will allow them to tailor and build on the succcess of a New York program that has increased support for elderly patients in the Emergency Department, while reducing pressure on vital and acute care resources.
"The goal of the program is to achieve a more positive Emergency Department experience for our aging patients," says Ackroyd. "Our frail and elderly patients may be dealing with challenges such as dementia and decreased morbidity. The Emergency Department can be an intense place for them and they may benefit froma little extra support. We aren't changing the way we deliver emergency care to this population, but we do want to enhance the resources that are available to patients, families and front-line providers in the Emergency Department." (As reported in the Capital Health Newsletter)

Human Body Donation and Emergency Medicine

What does human body donation have to do with Emergency Medicine?  This article from the Chronicle Herald intitled "Advancing Medical Science: The Human Body Donation Program" can explain why this type of donation is so important.

New Residents for Emergency Medicine 2014-2015

Dr. Janet MacIntyre, RCPS Program Director and Dr. Bijon Das, CFPC(EM) Program Director are pleased to welcome several new faces to the Residency Training Program.

Dr. Lucy Patrick and Dr. Reid Sadoway are beginning the RCPS program.  Dr. Patrick has a medical degree from Dalhousie and Dr. Sadoway has a medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Kory Arsenault, Dr. Brydon Blacklaws, Dr. Mark Foley, Dr. Paul Frankish, and Dr. Diane MacLachlan are joining the CFPC(EM) program.  All five have completed their family medicine residency at Dalhousie.

Welcome to seven new faces as they navigate their way through their training programs.

NSHRF Establishment Grant for 'Understanding Discharge Communication in the Context of Paediatric Emergency Care in Regional and Community Emergency Departments in Nova Scotia'

The Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation has made known that an Establishment Grant has been funded for (for a three year term) for the project “ Understanding discharge communication in the context of paediatric emergency care in regional and community emergency departments in Nova Scotia”.  The primary investigator for this project is Janet Curran and co-investigators include Eleanor Fitzpatrick, Shannon MacPhee, and David Petrie in collaboration with co-investigators from away. Establishment Grants are intended to assist in building research capacity and to provide initial support for new health researchers in Nova Scotia over a 1 to 3 year period.

Two Pediatric Emergency Fellows for 2014-2015

The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Program Director, Dr. Erin Killorn, has requested we join her in welcoming Dr. Alyson Holland and Dr. Katie Gardner to the program.

Dr. Alyson Holland has her medical degree from Dalhousie and has recently completed the core component of her Pediatrics Residency at the IWK.

Dr. Katie Gardner has her medical degree from Dalhousie and has recently completed her Pediatrics Residency at the University of Calgary with her FRCPC certification in Pediatrics.

This is the first time there are two fellows to join the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship.

Dr. Rob Green has been recognized with an honourary degree from the University of Edinburg. The FRCP(Edin) is a highly respected international standard of clinical experience.

CIHR New Investigator Salary Award for Janet Curran, RN

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced the results for the New Investigator Salary Awards. Janet Curran, RN is one of this year's recipients for her research in Knowledge Translation. Her award will cover at least 4 years of salary support with which she can have protected time to do only research. Congratulations, Janet!

Choosing Wisely Canada:

Efforts have begun to increase awareness of appropriateness of care issues through a campaign called Choosing Wisely Canada. It aims to highlight appropriate care issues in everyday patient care situations by identifying specific clinical interventions that do not contribute significantly to improving the patient's circumstances and that may increase demands on system resources. The campaign recognizes the physician's key role in preventing overuse of such tests and treatments, and in educating patients about the downside of unnecessary or inappropriate care. As part of the launch for Choosing Wisely Canada in Nova Scotia, Dr. Kirk McGee (Department of Emergency Medicine, QEII Health Sciences Center) was a guest on CBC's Maritime Noon where he talked about the initiative and answered questions from callers.
You can listen to Dr. McGee's interview here starting at the 18 minutes mark.

Helping in Haiti - Again!

Dr. Katrina Hurley, emergency physician at the IWK, along with other colleagues from the IWK and QEII Charles V. Keating Emergency & Trauma Centre, once again went to Haiti with Project Broken Earth.

Global News did a video: http://globalnews.ca/video/1268459/helping-in-haiti-2

See if you can see any of the Department of Emergency Medicine participants. Congratulations and thanks go to Dr. Katrina Hurley, Dr. Andrew Hamson, Dr. Nick Sowers, Cindi Allen, Susan Dyer, Debbie MacDonald, Noreen Neville and Lindsay Shultz for giving of their time and talents for the people of Haiti.

New Emergency Physician for Dalhousie Department of Emergency Medicine:

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Chris McCrossin who will become a member of our team effective May 1, 2014.

Dr. McCrossin graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in 2007 and returns to Halifax from Calgary. He was the PGME SAEM Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award winner for 2007. Following graduation Chris has gone on to complete his FRCP Emergency Medicine Residency at the University of Calgary and completed a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the University of Alabama. His academic research interests include trauma, pediatrics and global health.

We've been fortunate to bring Chris on board. He will be based at the QEII but will also be covering some shifts at the IWK. We look forward to working with Chris as he starts the next phase of his career.

Dr. David Petrie, District Chief/Head
Department of Emergency Medicine

The Department of Emergency Medicine / Division of EMS can be proud that Dr Alix Carter is the successful recipient of a $1 million dollar grant to improve and study the quality of life

for palliative care patients. This is the culmination of significant work by many people and significant collaborations across disciplines, departments, and organizations.

Most importantly, this innovative system level research will hopefully lead to improved quality of life and dignity of death in many patients that we often care for in the Emergency Department.

Congrats Alix - this is important work and an important milestone for our department.

Emergency Medicine receives MPHEC funding for simulation

The Dalhousie MPHEC non-space equipment committee is pleased to announce that of the $173,744 in available funding allocated to support teaching activities at the medical school, 74% has gone to simulation needs.
The investment approved for Emergency Medicine is $96,217 for patient simulators and simulation training kits. 

Click here to find out the other recipients

Capital Health’s Quality Team Award winners have been announced and our team with the Dartmouth General Emergency Department have come out with GOLD!

GOLD:   Patient Flow Initiative DGH ED Part 1: Fast Track
Project team:  Ravi Parkash, Lori Sanderson, Liam Shannon, John Carter, Mark McMullen, Albert Williams, Don MacQuarrie, Heather Peddle-Bolivar, Sherry Lynne Jessome, Pam McKinnon, Carolyn Peters, Nancy Strickland, Channa Lee Haas, Lee Mailman, Arlene White, Trisha Sanford, Jean Law, Cynthia Hodgins, Sherri Lamont, Heather Francis, Barbara Hall, and Dave Urquhart

View Dr. Parkash's YouTube presentation initiative  

The Division of EMS is proud to have one of their members recognized with a Researcher Profile on the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation's website and newsletter

Jan Jensen, ACP MAHSR, is a lecturer with the Division of EMS, Dept of Emergency Medicine who is making strides with research teams in Nova Scotia and in collaboration across Canada. Click to read the full profile

Angels in Action recognition: An Angel in Action nomination is a testament to dedication and inspiring the community.

A donation is made to the QEII Foundation as part of this process. The following nurses and physicians were recognized for their exceptional care and outstanding efforts received by a patient in Pod 2. Congratulations go to:  Morgan Grimbly, Alice Falconer, Emily Hubley, Ashley Sharpe, Breanne Gillis; Dr. Nick Somers, Dr. George Kovacs, Dr. Ward Phillips and Dr. Jolene Cook. 

Kate MacWilliams, emergency department nurse at the Halifax Infirmary has received the Dr. Dorothy Kergin Fellowship from the Canadian Nurses Foundation

and the Electa MacLellan Memorial Scholarship from the Dalhousie School of Nursing for her thesis research. She has also been awarded a grant from the Capital Health Research Fund for her work. Congratulations to Kate for her fantastic work!

The Wall Street Journal and Chronicle Herald highlight the critical thinking program

that is part of the Dal Medical School curriculum with an interview with Pat Croskerry. Link to the full articles

Patrick Kline, paramedic at the Halifax Infirmary, awarded service medal

is one of 17 paramedics awarded the Exemplary Service Medal Sept. 25 by Nova Scotia's Lieutenant Governor. This is a federal award and paramedics are nominated by their peers. Recipients must have shown exemplary service for at least 20 years and spent at least 10 years as a paramedic in a position that could put them at risk.

Dalhousie Department of Emergency Medicine's Division of Emergency Medical Services hosted its first annual EMS research week

sharing emerging research in the field. Strengthening emergency services through research