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Dr. Sarita Verma starts as new Dean of NOSM

Posted on July 2, 2019

Today the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) officially welcomes incoming Dean, President and CEO, Dr. Sarita Verma. July 1 marks the start date of Dr. Verma’s five-year term, succeeding Dr. Roger Strasser, Founding Dean and CEO of NOSM.

As first female Dean of the School, and only the second Dean in NOSM’s history, Dr. Verma says her first priority is to engage with the more than 90 communities that make up NOSM’s wider campus of Northern Ontario.

“My first order of business as Dean is to get to know the communities of the North; to learn what I can about them and their needs. It’s important to me that I hear from them how they envision the future of their health and that of NOSM in contributing to the solutions to current challenges they face,” says Dr. Verma.

Before pursuing her medical degree at McMaster University (1991), Dr. Verma obtained a law degree from University of Ottawa (1981). As a lawyer and a diplomat in Canada’s foreign service, she worked with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan and Ethiopia for several years, and draws parallels between that experience and urgent health issues facing communities in Northern Ontario.

“Our social accountability mandate extends to advocacy for safe, accessible and high quality health services including food, water, and housing security here in the North. NOSM’s next 15 years will be focussed on making a direct impact on population health in Northern Ontario in partnership with the Universities, the communities and the Health Science Centers.”

Dr. Verma is the former Vice President, Education at the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) and former Associate Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions and Deputy Dean of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Verma says she is inspired by her new role. “I am deeply committed to serving the people of Northern Ontario, to leading innovation in clinical education and research and building the next generation of Northern physicians and leaders for Ontario.”