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Dal Health Messages Regarding COVID‑19

Posted by Faculty of Health on March 23, 2020 in News

As developments emerge regarding COVID-19 and what it means for our Faculty, Dal Health Dean Dr. Brenda Merritt continues to keep in touch with students, faculty and staff. All of the updates, whether video or written will be housed here.

April 9: Dr. Shaun Boe, Associate Dean Research - Stay Connected

March 30: Dal Health Dean's Message - Changing The Narrative

 

March 23: Dal Health Dean's Message Video

 

March 18: Faculty of Health Student Placements

We understand that the rapid changes happening this week are stressful, as is the uncertainty around COVID-19. We hope you and your families are well during this trying period.

Here is the latest update with respect to COVID-19 and student placements:  

In light of recent developments, we have determined that it is not operationally feasible nor learner-centric to continue any of the Faculty's clinical and practice education courses, effective March 18 until further notice. This includes all practice education courses within and beyond Nova Scotia in all of our academic units:

  • Clinical Vision Science
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Health and Human Performance
  • Health Sciences
  • Health Administration
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Social Work  

This decision is in alignment with placement cancellations by our partners across the country and internationally.

We know how important these placements are in providing exceptional health education to students and preparing them for their careers. That said, Dalhousie and our partners share the view that the health and safety of our community is the highest priority, especially given the current demands of the healthcare system.

Students who are in placements or about to begin their placements can contact their program and placement coordinators for more information. We appreciate your patience as we deal with this rapidly-changing situation. These are exceptional circumstances, so exceptional measures have to be taken so we can all do our part to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 17: Faculty of Health’s Response to COVID‑19 - An update from Dr. Brenda Merritt

Over the past few weeks, I have been working closely with the senior Dalhousie leadership team and our Faculty leaders to prepare for the impacts of COVID-19. Of utmost importance to all leaders is the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students. We are also committed to lessoning the academic impacts on our students and to ensure their progression.

We know the following weeks will be challenging; there is still a great deal of uncertainty around COVID-19 and that is stressful. We may not have all the answers right away. Please be reassured that as questions come in to us daily, university and Faculty leaders are working tirelessly to find answers and address concerns.  

We in our Faculty have not been doing a lot of messaging from our channels, in order to respect the principles of clear, consistent communications. We know that 'speaking with one voice' is the most efficient way for a large community like Dal’s to convey important information. We feel the best source of information continues to be the Dalhousie Novel Coronavirus website, accessible from the main image slide on dal.ca and found here as well as the e-mail messages from President Deep Saini and Dr. Teri Balser. We will continue to promote and amplify these centralized messages to our community through our Dal Health channels.

These messages are being developed based on extensive consultation between the senior university leadership and the Deans, as well as the questions that continue to come in from our community. The FAQ section of the above website is being updated continually with these answers.

I have been in constant contact with the Faculty of Health leadership and we are meeting regularly and problem solving on a daily basis to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. To say that this is a rapidly evolving situation is a bit of an understatement — changes have been happening by the hour, and in some cases, minute-to-minute. Our Faculty leadership team has been working night and day to understand and respond to the challenges created by this pandemic, and for that they have my utmost gratitude. I would also like to thank ourfaculty members, staff and students for their extra work, patience and perseverance over the past few weeks.

Please know that all measures undertaken by Dalhousie and our Faculty have public health and safety as our collective top priority, and we are following guidelines established by provincial and federal public health bodies. Above all else, it is critical that we at Dalhousie do our part to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

Please continue to watch your e-mail for the latest updates on this situation and check the Dal Coronavirus website. Most importantly, take care of yourself and others in the coming weeks.