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Faculty of Medicine Donor Impact Report | 2010 – 2011

Thank you for

Creating the Future of Health Education


Service to Society

Bringing Anatomy to Life

Shining a Light on Cancer Research

A New Look at Pediatric Mental Health

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page 12

Thank you!

Faculty of Medicine

At the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine, we consider you— our donors—our most valued partners.

Your support is critical to the success of our people and ultimately the impact our work has on the health of the community.

As you will discover in this report, our people are making remarkable inroads into the health landscape, be it finding new ways to diagnose pediatric mental health disorders, assess and treat cancer, or teach anatomy. All these changes are having an impact, today and tomorrow; and all are possible thanks to you. Our donors are remarkable people, whose involvement with the Faculty of Medicine is often far-reaching. It is with deep sadness that we feel the tremendous loss of such an individual, Harley Hotchkiss—one of Calgary’s great builders, visionaries and community leaders, and a long-time friend and supporter of the Faculty of Medicine, most notably the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. As so eloquently demonstrated by Mr. Hotchkiss, your support will have a lasting impact for many generations. With sincerest thanks, Tom Feasby, MD Dean, Faculty of Medicine University of Calgary


Education Did you know?

In 2010 – 2011, the Faculty of Medicine distributed


student awards

Creating the Future of Health


Bringing Anatomy to Life Teaching the basics of anatomy and physiology has gone high-tech in medical school thanks to an interactive computer presentation and simulation program known as the LINDSAY Project. While a textbook and cadaver may be standard in any university anatomy class, there is a new teaching tool on hand that adds a whole new dimension to the classroom—LINDSAY, a virtual human, three-dimensional, interactive model of male and female anatomy and physiology. The brainchild of Dr. Bruce Wright, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine, LINDSAY is a collaborative project between the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Computer Science.

thought that the way we were “Iteaching anatomy was pretty static,” says Dr. Wright. “I thought there could be a more visual and interactive way to teach anatomy, something more dynamic for students.” Project leader, Dr. Christian Jacob, Director of Bioinformatics and Professor in the Faculties of Science and Medicine, embraced that challenge and with his team, has succeeded in introducing a multi-scale virtual laboratory for body exploration.


“What we try to accomplish with the LINDSAY Virtual Human Project has never been done before. The most challenging part is to make the virtual physiology ‘look and feel alive’,” says Dr. Jacob. “Using agent-based modeling approaches, immediate interactivity, and touch-based navigation, we revolutionize the way virtual anatomy and physiology can be illustrated and explored.” Using their smart phones or iPads, students can access LINDSAY to delve deeper into any aspect of the body. Built on a Mac platform, students can manipulate 3D anatomical objects, rotate them, or zoom in from the body level to the level of organs and tissues. The entire anatomical database is labeled and the program is also searchable. LINDSAY is also available for instructors to use in constructing interactive and engaging lecture and small-group presentations. LINDSAY has been two years in development with phase one of two phases just about complete. Initial testing so far has proven very positive with students and informal surveys indicate a strong desire for more LINDSAY content in the undergraduate medical education classroom. Testing by instructors and students will be broadened over the coming months with the eventual goal to have LINDSAY fully integrated into the classrooms by 2013.

The LINDSAY Virtual Human Project is named after former medical student Dr. Lindsay Leigh Kimmett who died in her final year of study. Our sincere thanks to the Kimmett Family and The Calgary Foundation for their continued support of this project.

Faculty of Medicine

A Passion for Emergency Medicine

Relief from a Demanding Schedule

Dr. Michelle Tubman credits mentors— including Dr. Lindsay Kimmett, who she never met—to getting to where she is today.

Two years ago Stephen Annand, with a newly acquired Master’s degree in hand, was unsure what to do next. He returned to his family home in Okotoks and took a short-term job with a branch of the TD Bank Financial Group while considering his career options.

Dr. Kimmett was tragically killed in a car accident in her final year of medicine three years ago. Her hockey jersey, hung in the student lounge, was a frequent stopping point for Dr. Tubman during her undergraduate years, serving as a reminder “to how precious life is and how important it is to live every moment fully, aware of what’s really important”. A sentiment Dr. Tubman has taken to heart. While she acknowledges she was late getting to medicine, she has lost no time in finding her passion, emergency medicine. A fast paced environment, strong teamwork and a range of medical situations all serve as a draw to Dr. Tubman, as does the opportunity to work with “vulnerable populations”. “I feel that emergency physicians really make a difference in the lives of their patients. Patients come to us in their greatest times of need, when their lives or limbs are threatened. To be a part of such crucial times in people’s lives is a blessing and an honour, and a role I value very highly as a physician,” says Dr. Tubman. “I believe receiving this award will always serve as a reminder to me as to what is really important in life and work.”

Dr. Michelle Tubman is a first year emergency resident at the University of Toronto and the 2011 recipient of the Dr. Lindsay Leigh Kimmett Prize in Emergency Medicine, established by the Kimmett Family and The Calgary Foundation.

Flash forward to today and Stephen, now a second year medical student, laughs when he connects the dots between that period in his life to where he is now.

TD has always been good to me, “ The and they keep on being good to me,” Stephen says in acknowledgement of the TD Bursary he was recently awarded. With a demanding academic schedule, Stephen doesn’t have much time for anything outside of school. The hectic pace and the financial commitment are the two most common concerns expressed by students, including Stephen. “Everything in this program moves quickly,” says Stephen. “There is very little opportunity to take time off to deal with any of the stress and finances are just another added stress. To receive this bursary meant I could take some much needed time to just step away and recharge without having to worry about incurring more debt. I am really grateful for TD for that.”

The TD Bank Financial Group Undergraduate Medical Education Student Bursary is offered annually to a first year student, based on financial need. Eligible students must be from a rural area of Alberta.


Research Did you know?

More than


of all gifts made to the Faculty of Medicine in 2010 – 2011 were directed to research

Creating the Future of Health


Shining a Light on Cancer Research Four years ago Randy Karren’s life took an unexpected twist. Diagnosed with oral cancer, Randy fought and won a tremendous battle with the help of a specialized treatment team led by Dr. Joe Dort. Dr. Joe Dort sees a lot of cancer patients like Randy. As a head and neck cancer specialist, he and his colleagues are kept busy with approximately 250 new patients every year. Although his primary focus is treating patients, he is also actively involved in research, striving to find better ways to treat and diagnose what is the sixth most common cancer in the world. Dr. Dort anticipates celebrating many more successful outcomes like Randy’s thanks to a major gift from the Ohlson Family, made through The Calgary Foundation, to establish a clinical research program to focus on head and neck cancers. Working in conjunction with the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine, the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute, at the University of Calgary, and Alberta Health Services, Dr. Dort has pulled together an integrated clinical research team under the newly formed entity of the Ohlson Research Initiative. Launched in 2010, the Ohlson Research Initiative is already making inroads, most recently as the Calgary participant in a pan-Canadian, phase three clinical trial aimed at improving outcomes for patients undergoing surgery for oral squamous cell cancers, like Randy’s.


Using a new surgical approach, guided by an existing hand-held light tool, surgeons use fluorescence visualization (FV) or “blue light” provided by the optical aid rather than traditional white light to determine the tissue to be removed. Under the blue light, normal tissue generates a fluorescence which is absent in tumour or pre-cancerous tissue. The study will aim to spare normal healthy tissue from surgery while catching high-risk, pre-cancerous tissue identified through FV.

data, which we will “Preliminary validate through a randomized clinical trial, indicates that fluorescent visualization will result in higher cure rates for this particular type of cancer,” says Calgary’s site lead, Dr. Dort. “The potential is there, to revolutionize clinical practice here and around the world for this kind of cancer.” With a committed focus on understanding and improving treatments for people with cancer involving the head and neck, this study fits exactly with the mandate of the Ohlson Research Initiative. Ultimately, knowledge from this study, and others, will help the research team develop new patient specific treatment programs that will become the new standard for patients with head and neck cancer.

Thanks to the Ohlson Family and The Calgary Foundation for their foundational gift to establish the Ohlson Research Initiative.

Faculty of Medicine

Digestive Aid is a National First

Taking the Team Approach to MS

Gastroparesis is a potentially life-threatening stomach disorder in which the stomach muscles work poorly, or not at all, thus preventing the stomach from emptying properly.

There is an ambitious battle underway in the province—to end MS.

Fortunately the Centre for Digestive Motility at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine has a new plan in place that is helping to make life much more manageable for these individuals. To this end, the Centre has been instrumental in leading a number of clinical trials in gastroparesis including launching a pilot study to determine the effectiveness of neurostimulation. A relatively new treatment option, neurostimulation involves implanting a small, battery operated electronic device in the abdomen, just under the skin. The device generates small regular pulses of electricity which affect the stomach sensation and function, in order to reduce symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. It is not a cure for gastroparesis but the pilot study is an important development in determining how well it works to improve symptoms and how it affects the quality of life for patients. Since its inception in 2008, the Centre for Digestive Motility has distinguished itself as a national leader in digestive motility and as a consequence of the pilot study offers the only gastric neurostimulation program in Canada.

Our thanks to Jeanne Keith-Ferris and Don Ferris for their continued support of the Centre for Digestive Motility.

In 2009 the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Canada launched the endMS Research and Training Network, a new nationwide initiative formed to accelerate discoveries in the field of multiple sclerosis in Canada. The initiative is comprised of five operational network centres across the country, one of which is led by Dr. Wee Yong at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine. Through on-going support from the MS Society, and the Government of Alberta, the endMS Network has made great strides towards raising interest in and standards of MS research and training across the country. In just two years, the Alberta endMS team more than doubled the number of investigators involved in MS research across Alberta and tripled the number of trainees working in laboratories and clinics. Additionally the initiative has fostered collaboration and training between Calgary and Edmonton as well as engaged researchers and trainees new to MS at the University of Lethbridge. With one of the highest rates of MS in Canada, this is welcome news for the thousands of MS patients in Alberta; patients will benefit from novel discoveries, new treatments and improved standards of care sooner than before.

Thank you to the MS Society of Canada for its on-going support of MS research.


Service to Society Did you know?

More than


donors contributed gifts to the Faculty of Medicine in 2010 – 2011

Creating the Future of Health

Service to Society

A New Look at Pediatric Mental Health It’s easy to know when your child has a fever. A child’s mental health problem however can be harder to identify, and treatment can be a lengthy and challenging process, often fraught with trial and error. There is however new hope on the horizon and Alberta is leading the way thanks to the recent recruitment of Dr. Frank MacMaster, the inaugural recipient of the Cuthbertson & Fischer Chair in Pediatric Mental Health. Dr. Frank MacMaster was recruited from Detroit, Michigan in 2010 to lead research efforts in this crucial area of children’s health. A research scientist, Dr. MacMaster is a member of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine and both the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. Dr. MacMaster represents a new generation of specialists, using state-of-the-art imaging technology to examine brain structure, chemistry and function. Dr. MacMaster recognizes the challenges families face when struggling with treatment for a child, a process that is primarily assessed by changes in observed behaviour. By incorporating neuroimaging techniques, Dr. MacMaster is able to physically view the brain prior to treatment and again during the course of treatment. This process allows him to assess the biology of the brain and measure its response to different treatments. Dr. MacMaster’s biologically-based research is the first in the world to result in the application of a new class of medications for children and adolescents with certain mental health disorders. Currently, these medications are now being evaluated in clinical trials to treat obsessive compulsive disorder.


“Brain imaging is to child psychiatry what the telescope is to astronomy,” explains Dr. MacMaster. “It is the only tool to really get in and look at the brain.” Used in conjunction with other assessment tools, like behavioral studies and rigorous psychiatric examinations, neuroimaging provides a critical piece of information in understanding the array of complex mental health diseases and disorders of children and young adults.

is a state-of-the-art clinical “This research facility which is unparalleled anywhere else in North America in its capacity to facilitate clinical and translational research, which will have direct and immediate benefits for Albertans with inflammatory lung diseases.” Dr. Brent Scott, Director, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health

One of only 40 researchers in his field in the world, Dr. MacMaster believes Calgary is primed to be the international leader in pediatric mental health. “What makes coming to Calgary so exciting is that all the elements needed for cutting-edge research into pediatric mental health are here— the right people, the right infrastructure, and most importantly strong community support,” says Dr. MacMaster. “This allows our research to make real progress in helping children and their families.” Thank you Joanne Cuthbertson, Charlie Fischer, Nexen and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation for leading the way in pediatric mental health.

Faculty of Medicine

Double Boost from Donor

The Science of Sleep

Well-known businessman and entrepreneur, Calgary’s Jim Kinnear is also an ardent supporter of health care in the community. In 2010, Mr. Kinnear provided support to the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine for two key research initiatives that will directly impact the health of the community—new diagnostic imaging techniques for assessing bone and joint health, and enhanced software to better manage the quality of life of cardiovascular patients.

Sleep can be an elusive thing that many of us take for granted. However, for a significant segment of the population getting a good night’s sleep can be challenging. Many of these individuals seek help at the Foothills Medical Centre (FMC) Sleep Centre, a clinical and research centre— tucked into a basement hallway of the Calgary Foothills Hospital—that provides assessment and treatment, in addition to cutting edge research, for a myriad of sleep disorders.

Directed to the McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health, the gift from Mr. Kinnear provided the seed money to further the leading-edge research of diagnostic imagery. Using advanced scanning technology researchers will be able to assess joints in full motion, bearing real-time weight and real-life functionality. This exciting work has tremendous application for the treatment of individuals with existing bone and joint diseases, as well as for mitigating the risk for those susceptible to bone and joint disease.

In 2010, one donor wanted to make a difference and made an anonymous gift that was used to establish the FMC Sleep Centre Development Fund. The Fund will support a broad range of academic activities including clinical training for future sleep medicine physicians, funding research trainees, and building an infrastructure to assist on-going research by current staff.

Further funding was provided for the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and its pioneering provincial cardiovascular database software program. With the support from Mr. Kinnear, a key component of the software will be expanded to help emergency room doctors, cardiac specialists and family physicians to make informed intervention decisions while also helping patients develop management strategies at every stage of their cardiovascualar health journey.

Our thanks to Jim Kinnear for helping to improve the health of the community.

to support people early in “ “Funding their careers is critical as it is often this early exposure to sleep medicine that ignites a life-long career in the specialty. Investing in new talent is key to building the next generation of sleep experts,” says Dr. Patrick Hanly, Director, FMC Sleep Centre. Sleep medicine is a relatively young specialty which has grown rapidly over the past 25 years. On-going research is critical to continue the development of new, innovative and cost-effective ways to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.

Thanks to an anonymous donor whose support helped establish a new fund for sleep research.


Creating the Future of Health

The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine is a national leader in raising


support for health research, education and clinical programs.


Faculty of Medicine

Philanthropic Support 2010 – 2011 Faculty of Medicine and University of Calgary Total raised $76.6 million

$24.7 million

$51.9 million

Faculty of Medicine

University of Calgary overall (not including the Faculty of Medicine)

Distribution of philanthropic support to the Faculty of Medicine

In 2010 – 2011 donors chose to support 242 projects and programs in the Faculty of Medicine.

Thank you!


We invite you to join us. The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine is a national leader in raising philanthropic support for health research, education and clinical programs. Building on this solid foundation of community engagement, the Faculty of Medicine has identified many specific philanthropic funding opportunities where your support will make a real difference. If you are interested in helping us create the future of health, please contact: Faculty of Medicine Fund Development Office 403.210.3964

University of Calgary | Faculty of Medicine The Faculty of Medicine is a national leader in raising philanthropic support for health research, education and clinical programs. Your gifts support and advance our international reputation for excellence and innovation. Together we are creating the future of health. Thank you!

Faculty of Medicine Donor Report  

Faculty of Medicine 2011 Donor Report