Message from the Executive Liaison Committee

Dr. Howard Ovens (Mount Sinai Hospital) and Dr. Kevin Katz (North York General Hospital)

Executive Liaison Committee

The year 2020 will be remembered primarily for the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on all aspects of life. For SREMI, among so many other challenges, access to the hospital for research staff has been restricted, travel plans to present abstracts and meet with peers was cancelled, and of course, staff meetings have all gone virtual. But SREMI has adapted well, getting involved in pandemic related research, moving our annual International Advisory Board meeting online, and moving the ED Administration Conference (“EDAC”) to a virtual format. We are very excited about this year’s EDAC, which will be a half day in the afternoon of November 24th, the speakers will be live on Zoom and their discussion will be live streamed to registrants. We have speakers from the US and UK as well as Canada, who will discuss issues of relevance to ED leaders struggling with challenges in a crisis. We hope to reach a larger and broader audience using this approach and are interested to see how it will inform future meetings.

SREMI has also shown leadership in our discipline in multiple ways. EM Cases became a trusted source globally for up to the minute expert advice on emergency care for COVID-19 patients and infection control procedures, and multiple members of SREMI have acted in leadership roles on local, provincial and national town halls for both healthcare providers and the general public, and participating and leading podcasts, blogs, and international COVID-19 data synthesis informing the World Health Organization pandemic guidelines.   

Like so many aspects of life including academic medical life, fundraising for causes other than the pandemic has largely been put on hold. However, we believe this existential experience is a stress test that among other things will show the relevance of SREMI’s mission and role, the wisdom in its structure, and strength of its team. Our Director, Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag wrote a rousing call to arms on the EM Cases blog site extolling this as the best time to be an emergency physician, highlighting our discipline’s “Coming of Age”. We also have faith that SREMI, and emergency medicine will indeed emerge from the pandemic stronger and more resilient. We are grateful for your ongoing support and wish everyone continued health as we all hope for better times in 2021.

Respectfully submitted,

Howard Ovens MD, FCFP (EM)        Kevin Katz MD, CM, MSc, FRCPC
Mount Sinai Hospital                         North York General Hospital