Message from the Director

Welcome to the Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute

Director's message

Reflecting on the past year at SREMI, 2023 was a year of renewal for our International Advisory Board. As we say a heartfelt thank you and goodbye to Dr. Simon Mooijaart, Dr. Suzanne Mason and Dr. Matthew Cooke, we welcome Dr. Judy Morris, Dr. Kendall Ho, Dr. Luis Lobón, Dr. Maaret Castrén and Dr. Ula Hwang. 

The hard work and dedication of the entire SREMI team over the last year have filled me with admiration and respect. A main goal for SREMI is to use the institute as a vehicle to create international leaders in emergency medicine. An equally important goal is for our work to be impactful for ED patients and broadly within our discipline. Here are just a few examples of our most impactful accomplishments in 2023.

Dr. Keerat Grewal received her first CIHR grant to study ways to improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with cancer in the ED. She is leading a team of emergency physicians, medical and surgical oncologists to catalog cancer resources across Ontario and identify ways to ensure newly diagnosed ED patients receive treatment without delay

Dr. Shelley McLeod’s findings from the evaluation of Ontario’s Virtual Urgent Care program have informed Ontario’s plans for funding the virtual urgent care program moving forward. Her current project, POWER III, will be used to determine future funding models for EDs in Ontario.

Reflecting the high quality of her research and lay reporting on health care issues, Dr. Catherine Varner has been appointed deputy editor at the Canadian Medical Association Journal. She has also started a new project evaluating a new model of care for pregnant patients in the ED using nurse practitioners as patient navigators.

Dr. Anton Helman’s EM Cases Podcast continues to be a world leader in EM education. His most recent data show that more than 20 million episodes have been downloaded, 4 million in just the last year. EM Cases reaches an audience of more than 80,000 individuals around the world.

Dr. Jacques Lee is nearing completion of his current project looking at ways to alleviate social isolation and loneliness in older people, one of the largest social determinants of health in Canada. Results should be available in early 2024.

Dr. Don Melady received the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians “Honorary Life Member Award”. This is given in recognition of outstanding contributions and dedicated service to emergency medicine in Canada and the association. Mount Sinai Hospital also announced the “Dr. Don Melady Chair in Geriatric Emergency Medicine”, created in celebration of Mount Sinai’s most impactful leaders on the 100th anniversary of the hospital.

Dr. Rohit Mohindra has started a project studying ways to improve care for Canada’s refugee patient population. The large refugee population in Canada represents an important marginalized group.

SREMI’s research coordinator Cam Thompson has returned to school to complete a PhD in clinical epidemiology. He will be using health services data from IC/ES to study the impact of social determinants of health on ED usage and has successfully defended his research proposal.

Reflecting our leadership position in peer support in the ED, we have secured funding to expand our RBC Pathway to Peers Peer Support Program to a second ED in the greater Toronto area. Finally, I am leading development of the first ED guidelines for the management of non-opioid addiction (alcohol and cannabis) in the ED. These guidelines, sponsored by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, will be published in 2024.

Our principal benefactors, Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz, have remained committed to improving ED care for decades. Their commitment has inspired a growing community of donors who share their vision of achieving this goal through ED-focused research and education. We are extremely grateful to Heather and Gerry for their passionate support, and to all our donors and supporters without whom the incredible work you read about in this report would not be possible.