I wanted to take this opportunity to share some early thoughts with you at the end of my first quarter as the Director of CHES. In the game of chess a blitz game lasts 10 minutes or less per player. This irregular missive (that will take far less than 10 minutes for you to read) will allow me to share some observations from my perspective in CHES.
Early in September, Dean Kelleher spent two hours at CHES to see what we do and how we have developed our worldwide reputation in Health Professions Education Scholarship. He was struck by the commitment of our faculty and staff. He also attended the CHES Celebration of Scholarship and provided some kind words demonstrating his support for CHES.
For me there has been a steep but fun learning curve in my new role as the Director. New financial requirements and requests, learning about HR and planning the CHES move (from JPPN to CHES West’s office on the fourth floor of the P.A. Woodward Instructional Resource Center at UBC) all took huge efforts from staff and faculty. These issues have all taken time and effort but they have been instructive and have also allowed for creativity in the learning about these issues and in moving these things forward. From my early days in the Director’s role I have observed how dedicated the CHES staff are to supporting mission of CHES. With the recent departure of our office manager, Ravina Johal, to her new job at the Rick Hansen Foundation, the staff have all pulled together to keep CHES moving forward. They have all done this because they are committed to what CHES aspires to and what it does to get there.
I have also been struck when speaking with visitors that have come to CHES in the past 3 months by what they have said to me about CHES. They have commented on how welcome they feel at CHES; how they have been stimulated by their visit and the highly valuable discussions with CHES members; and how high a quality standard is set on the research that is being done through CHES. The faculty and staff at CHES work hard to maintain an environment that is open and supportive. One individual commented that upon coming to CHES they felt the most welcome that they have ever felt coming into a new place. It is clear that the supportive tone and stance visitors experience demonstrates the effort everyone at CHES puts into maintaining a collaborative learning community.
As we wish Ravina well in her new job and new adventure, we also welcome Renate Kahlke, our new Post Doctoral Fellow in health professions education. We also look forward to two sabbatical visitors who will be coming to spend time with us in the coming weeks and months: Pawel Kindler and Eric Lachance. Pawel is from UBC and Eric is from Sherbrooke.
Upcoming activities we are working on include: filling Ravina’s position as the office manager, developing a new strategic plan for CHES to follow on the past plan that is concluding in 2016, and the development of a new program to support educational leaders at UBC. Of course we will be continuing on with all of the activities that support new knowledge and innovation, build capacity, and provide mentorship and foster collaboration in order to support the health care of the people of BC and beyond.
Dr. Ian Scott