Thursday, April 8, 2010

  • Second health sciences building is opened
  • What more is there to say? A little
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Panoramic view of building]
Second health sciences building is opened

Officials from Waterloo, McMaster University, governments and other agencies yesterday officially opened the second building on the downtown Kitchener Health Sciences Campus, which will house the Waterloo Regional campus of McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine as well as other health services.

Located next to the first building at the health sciences campus, home of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy, the new building — 10B Victoria Street South — integrates learning and health care with a family medicine teaching centre and an eye-care clinic. On the first floor are the Centre for Family Medicine and the Health Sciences Optometry Clinic of Waterloo’s School of Optometry. Mac’s medical campus is on the second and third floors of the building, pictured above.

“This is a significant day for both the university and the local community,” said UW president David Johnston. “Not only does this grand opening demonstrate Waterloo’s progress and innovation in the health sciences but, thanks to the initiative of McMaster University in creating a regional campus here, Waterloo Region will be a key centre for medical teaching and research.”

John Kelton, dean of the DeGroote School and vice-president (health sciences) for McMaster, said the venture by the two universities shows off their joint strengths in developing health care of the future. “We couldn’t have found a better home for our medical students,” he said. “McMaster has long valued interdisciplinary, community-oriented learning, and this gives us everything we need. We certainly appreciate the warm welcome from everyone in the region.”

“Regional council took the view that financing the medical school was an investment in better health care for the region," said Ken Seiling, the chair of Waterloo Region, which contributed to the project. “Training and keeping doctors in our region, attracting more medical specialists and doctors, and the development of other health services really makes our community a better place as it grows in the future.”

At yesterday’s ceremony, representatives of governments that helped make the health sciences campus a reality also included John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener Centre and Ontario minister of training, colleges and universities.

The 66,000-square-foot building, jointly designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects and Robbie/Young + Wright Architects, combines state-of-the-art technology with learning and clinical spaces designed to facilitate collaborative learning and patient care. It’s about half the size of the Pharmacy building that stands across a courtyard from the new structure.

The $23 million building was designed to complement the Pharmacy building through the utilization of identical glass, stone and wood building materials. The Eramosa stone incorporated on the exterior of the building was quarried in Huron County, Ontario.

The glass-enclosed library on the third floor of the building is considered the heart of the McMaster regional campus. Students and program instructors have access to more than 4,000 health science and medical journals through an online connection to McMaster’s main health sciences library in Hamilton. Characteristic of McMaster’s approach to medical education, the meeting rooms throughout the building facilitate small group, problem-based learning between students and educating physicians.

McMaster notes that the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine “has gained international recognition for groundbreaking medical and health sciences research. The medical school receives double the number of applications than any other Canadian institution, with more than 4,500 applicants competing for 204 entry-level positions. McMaster currently has 541 undergraduate medical students and more than 700 medical residents working in 44 heath care specialties and sub-specialties.“

The first class of fourteen will graduate from the Waterloo Regional campus — which until recently had been operating in rented quarters nearby — in May of this year. Currently, 28 first year and 20 second year students are enrolled at the regional campus. By 2010, 84 undergraduate medical students and 84 medical residents will study at the campus.

The Family Health Team  at the Centre for Family Medicine  promises “leadership in effective primary health care delivery”. With four locations, the centre provides clinical care to more than 20,000 patients across the Region of Waterloo. As one of Ontario’s first family health teams, the centre provides primary care teaching for inter-professional learners in medicine, pharmacy, optometry, social work, nursing and clinical nutrition. In June 2008, the CFFM FHT was presented with the inaugural Family Practice of the Year Award sponsored by the Ontario College of Family Physicians.

The 40,000-square-foot (Correction: 4,000-square-foot) satellite clinic of Waterloo’s optometry school will facilitate inter-professional collaboration among family medicine physicians and optometry interns, residents and graduate students. The clinic provides optometric services to patients of all ages. Complete with four exam rooms, two testing rooms and a dispensary, it lets health care providers treat more than 1,100 patients annually. Future plans for expansion include the addition of four exam rooms and a research laboratory space in the basement of the building.

The new building was made possible through community support, starting with the City of Kitchener providing the land. The Region of Waterloo contributed $15 million for the medical school building. The ministry of TCU committed $7.7 million for expansion of McMaster’s medical school to Waterloo and a further $8 million for infrastructure on the health sciences campus.

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What more is there to say? A little

Three faculty members will make presentations when the UW-ACE User Group holds an end-of term meeting this morning (10:30 in the Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library). First up is Shannon Dea of philosophy, speaking on “The UW-ACE Assessment as Gateway” — as she says, “using assessments to teach/test academic honesty and course standards before students submit their work. This is a great (and low maintenance!) way to make sure that your students know the basics about your course and about academic honesty.” Second is Glenn Ward of Health Studies and Gerontology, on “The Modifiable Blended Learning Survey”, based on his experience teaching Health Studies 101. This survey helped evaluate how helpful specific course activities were to students and whether students made gains in the course learning objectives. Ward will discuss how student feedback from the survey complemented the feedback he received on the standard course evaluations and how it will help him make modifications  to the next offering of this course. Finally, Benny Mantin of Management Sciences will describe “a pricing game” that he used as part of ManSci 432, 'Production and Service Operation Management' with over 160 students. showing his students examples of different price trends and how to watch for a specific trend and buy in at the appropriate time.

Used computers, cellphones, keyboards and TV sets — central stores will run a program to collect them from offices across campus next week, winding up with an electronics recycling day that’s open to the public on Saturday, April 17. “Disposing of electronic equipment represents a huge environmental hazard,” says Tony Perrotta of Greentec, a Cambridge-based e-waste recycler that is a partner in next week’s project. “Computers especially are filled with compounds of mercury, lead, arsenic and hexavalent chromium. If you have old computers at home taking up space, this is the best and safest way to dispose of them.” On campus, departments with university owned e-waste can call Stores at ext. 32262 to arrange for a pickup Monday through Friday next week, without the usual paperwork. Then on Saturday, anybody can drop off such equipment at East Campus Hall (off Phillip Street) between 8:00 and 4:00. There will be more details and background in the Daily Bulletin next week.

[From above: fire truck on ring road]Fire trucks made a visit to the engineering side of the ring road yesterday morning (left, photo by Trevor Creech) after two smoke detectors in Engineering III misbehaved at the same time. • The "t'art" show of technology-mediated art produced by students in Fine Arts 392 continues, through Saturday, at the Critical Media Lab in downtown Kitchener. • Frank Seglenieks, coordinator of the UW weather station, says temperatures in March averaged 3.4 degrees Celsius above normal, while precipitation was below average and snowfall was the lowest in 60 years.

[Cover of book]Jan Uhde of Waterloo's fine arts department is the co-author, along with Yvonne Ng Uhde, of Latent Images: Film in Singapore, which has just appeared in a second edition from Ridge Books, an imprint of the University of Singapore Press. "This extensively updated edition of the pioneer reference of Singapore cinema," the authors note, "is a comprehensive examination of the country's film landscape from the early days of local film production up until 2007-08. North American distribution is by the University of Hawaii Press.

A group of students hoping to start “a student-run credit union to help students better manage their money” are doing a survey of needs and interest. Says an announcement from the Waterloo Banking Project: “A new banking initiative by students for students aims to save students money at a time when tuition is steadily climbing and trust in the banking sector is at an unprecedented low. . . . The group is dedicated to developing financial services that better meet students’ needs, offering student staff valuable experience, and educating students about controlling their personal finances.” Third-year economics and history student Ryan Chen-Wing notes that "Students often fight things like tuition increases with little impact. If we can work on helping students manage their money more wisely and offer services that make financial sense, we might be able to make a real difference." Abhilash Jayakumar, a third-year mechatronics student, adds that "Credit unions are about people in a community co-operating to help each other.” The survey about “what financial services are lacking for students” offers an Apple iPad as a prize for one participant. Current students at UW, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College are invited to fill it out. Alumni, staff, and other people connected with those schools can also take the survey, but aren’t eligible for the prize.


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'Town hall' meeting today

President David Johnston and provost Feridun Hamdullahpur will speak and answer questions at a "town hall" meeting aimed at faculty and staff members this afternoon (3:00, Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages building).

Dozens of questions were submitted by e-mail in advance, and the university's two top leaders are expected to address budget and salary issues, the Sixth Decade Plan, and the traditional standby of town hall meetings — parking — among other topics.

Link of the day

Hana Matsuri

When and where

‘Relative Proximity’ exhibition of work by fourth-year fine arts students runs until April 11, East Campus Hall gallery.

Extended library hours through April 23: Davis Centre library open 24 hours a day, except Sunday 2 to 8 a.m.; Dana Porter Library open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Details.

English Language Proficiency Examination today. Details.

Weight Watchers at Work information session and sign-up 12:15, Humanities room 373, information ext. 32218.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “Using NSSE Data for Your Teaching and Learning Research” 1:00,  Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Shine Dance recitals in Humanities Theatre: Thursday 1:00, Friday-Sunday all day.

Sociology seminar: Tina Fetner, McMaster University, “Religious Right in Canada and the United States” 1:00, PAS building room 2438.

Winter term examinations April 9-23 (distance courses, April 9-10). Schedule.

Fryer, Galois and Hypatia mathematics contests for grade 9-11 students, organized by Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, Friday. Details.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Andrew Ward, “OnBase Tutorial” Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

Accounting and Finance Admissions Assignment test for future students, with information sessions for parents, Saturday 11:00 to 4:00, accounting wing of Hagey Hall (and other buildings).

Inventory clearance monthly bookstore sale, Tuesday-Wednesday, South Campus Hall concourse.

Canada 3.0 ‘Interactions’ event in Calgary, sponsored by UW Stratford Campus and others, Tuesday 8:30 a.m., 200 Barclay Parade SW. Details.

Staff career workshop: “Exploring Your Personality Type” Tuesday 2:00, Tatham Centre. Details.

Stratford lecture: Brendon Larson, environment and resource studies, “Biodiversity of the Future” Tuesday 7 p.m., Stratford Public Library.

Doug Payne, information systems and technology, retirement reception April 15, 3:30, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall, RSVP elmartin@

University senate monthly meeting April 19, 4:00, Needles Hall room 3001.

Book launch: Polish Orphans of Tengeru by Lynne Taylor, department of history, April 20, 5:00 to 7:00, University Club, RSVP k4king@ founder Frank Warren speaks about his site and signs copies of his books, April 20, 7:00, Humanities Theatre, sponsored by Arts Student Union, tickets $35 (arts students $25) at Humanities box office.

Fee payment deadline for spring term is April 26 (promissory note) or April 29 (bank transfer). Details.

‘Making Assessment Meaningful’ annual symposium on “learning about teaching”, April 26-27: Monday, Presidents’ Colloquium, address by Catherine Wehlburg, Texas Christian University, 2:00, Humanities Theatre, reception follows; Tuesday, faculty workshops 9:00 and 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 26-29, Davis Centre. Details.

Opportunities and New Directions conference on post-secondary teaching and learning, sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, April 28. Details.

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