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NOSM Faculty Members Receive Prestigious AMS Phoenix Fellowships

Posted on October 17, 2017

Dr. James Goertzen, Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) Assistant Dean, Continuing Education and Professional Development, and Professor, and Dr. Frances Kilbertus, NOSM Associate Professor, are among six distinguished educators to receive a 2017 AMS Phoenix Fellowship award.

The Fellowship from AMS Healthcare (Associated Medical Services) is awarded each year and specifically targets individuals with strong leadership abilities who are committed to nurturing and sustaining the learning and practice of compassionate care. The intent of the Fellowship is to provide support (the equivalent of $50,000) to individuals to allow them to devote time to engage in leadership activities, building capacity in their home institution and across Ontario.

Based in Thunder Bay, Goertzen’s project will explore the relationship between compassionate leadership and the practice of compassionate patient care and compassionate health-care education.

“Improving the health of Northern Ontario at individual and system levels will require committed and well trained health-care leaders who see their clinical, educational, and leadership work through a compassionate lens,” Goertzen says. “The overall goal of my Fellowship is to further develop and sustain the compassionate physician leadership required to support learning and practice of compassionate care in Northern Ontario.”

Dr. Frances Kilbertus, who works at the Manitoulin Central Family Health Team and Manitoulin Health Centre in Mindemoya, is focusing her Fellowship on projects that explore how the community, the workplace, health professionals and learners are interwoven in a process of learning and practising palliative care in the culturally diverse rural community on Manitoulin Island.

“The focus for the first year of the fellowship will be exploring community involvement, creating opportunities for engagement and dialogue around death and dying, and developing learning tools for palliative care that are inclusive of an Indigenous perspective,” Kilbertus says. “The second year will focus on the rural clinical workplace: how learners and practitioners understand and appreciate palliative care and how compassionate learning environments are created and sustained.”

“The Northern Ontario School of Medicine was founded on a strong social accountability mandate,” says Roger Strasser, NOSM Dean and CEO. “These fellowships, which advance compassionate care within the health-care community and sustain compassion in the environments in which health professionals learn and work, fit perfectly with the School’s distributed, community-engaged, learning-centered model of education and research.”