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Message from the Dean ‑ June 2020
Over the past few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been reaching out to the Faculty of Health community through messages and videos to provide updates on academic and administrative plans, and to check in and stay connected. Over the spring, all of our lives were upended, and very little was known about when things were going to return to the way they used to be. To say it’s been a challenging time is an understatement! I am incredibly proud of the Faculty of Health’s students, staff and faculty who have pulled together to get through the end of a difficult and unexpected academic year while following guidelines around safety and protection during the pandemic. In accordance with all safeguards and recommendations from Dalhousie and public health authorities, planning is currently underway for a graduated return to campus this summer for some of our faculty and staff, and teams are working on an operational plan to host some face to face student learning experiences (e.g., skill labs in our accredited programs) in the fall term.
As we have seen recent racial tragedies occur across Canada, the United States and beyond, it has become imperative that change happens immediately to ensure that our Faculty takes proactive steps to combat anti-Black racism and support our Black students, faculty, staff and community members. I want to say unequivocally that Dal Health stands with our Black faculty, students, staff and community members. We condemn racism and acts of violence against the Black community.
We are committed to change. Here is what we are doing:
- Reviewing and strengthening our Equitable Admissions Policy to further increase access to our health programs, especially Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian applicants
- Reviewing recommendations from previously published reports (e.g., Belong Report, Hewitt/Bombay Report, The Lord Dalhousie Report) to identify actionable priorities
- In collaboration with the Faculty’s Inclusion and Equity committee, reviewing curriculum data that has been collected related to how faculty/programs are infusing or facilitating inclusion and equity in their courses. Actionable priorities to be identified
- Early this year the Faculty received strategic initiatives funding to host a workshop entitled Building Safe Space for all Students - Supporting Students and Clinicians in Practicum Learning. While this funding has since been withdrawn secondary to financial pressures related to the pandemic, we will determine if there is a mechanism and funding to continue with this initiative. The aim of this project is to address issues of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, specifically for racially visible students, and identify strategies of how educators can better understand, be allies to & support their students during practicum learning experiences.
The above measures will not solve complex and longstanding issues; we see it as a start. We’re dedicated to continuing the conversation and doing more to improve inclusion and equity for our community.
I hope you have a safe and restful summer. We will meet the challenges of the fall head-on as we continue to deliver the highest quality health education to our students and work together in a diverse and collaborative academic community.
Dean, Faculty of Health
SERVICES AND SUPPORTS
Students who require immediate support should contact Student Health and Wellness by phone to book an appointment: 902-494-2171 (Halifax); 902-893-6369 (Truro). Additional e-mental health options for students are available, including Good2Talk – free and confidential counselling for post-secondary students (dal.ca/good2talk); Ask a Nurse – confidential answers to your health questions within 72 hrs; and TAO – an online mental health library.
Faculty and staff resources are available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or at login.lifeworks.com. Please also visit our remote working site for employees for additional mental health resources.
Human Rights and Equity Services — Where to go for help:
- New PUPPY study examines primary health care during COVID
- Physio alumna leads physician recruitment for Nova Scotia Health during COVID‑19 pandemic
- Alumni Profile ‑ Catherine MacPherson: Sense of Community
- Dr. Catherine Mah part of $1.1M funding from Government of Canada to study COVID‑19
- Alumni Profile ‑ Brian O’Rourke: Successful Military Career leads Pharmacists to the International Scene
- 2020 Aurum Award winner: Robert Zed (MHSA’86)
- Inside the SHaG Lab: Dr. Matthew Numer’s research on sexual health and gender
- Dal Health Alum's Kinduct expands globally