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Michener M A G A Z I N E

A publication for Alumni & Friends • Fall/Winter 2013

Supporting Ontario’s Seniors Imaging Informatics: Improving Quality and Creating Efficiencies

Putting O ur B est Fo ot Fo r ward Michener’s Chiropody Clinic has grown way beyond the little clinic that could.

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in this issue Putting Our Best Foot Forward 8

Michener’s Chiropody Clinic has grown way beyond the little clinic that could

Alumni in the Spotlight 10

Michener graduates giving back and paying it forward

Continuing Education at Michener 14

Supporting Ontario’s seniors

Program Profile: Imaging Informatics 16 4

Improving quality and creating efficiencies



Message from the Alumni Association


Alumni Profile


What’s up @ Michener


Alumni Happenings


Donor’s Corner


EDITORIAL TEAM Lissa Manganaro, Editor COPY EDITOR Dana Hopkins LAYOUT & DESIGN Brianne Tulk ADVISORY BOARD Donald Bartlett Sheena Bhimji-Hewitt Jordan Holmes Shamini Martin Sean McCluskey Kelly McPherson ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Chipman Alex DeOliveira Brian Ko CONTRIBUTORS Sharon Aschaiek Wudasie Efrem Debbie Fein-Goldbach Lissa Manganaro Christine Nielsen Gillian Nichol Brianne Tulk Published by The Office of Advancement 222 St. Patrick Street, 9th Floor Toronto, Ontario M5T 1V4

Michener Magazine is produced for all alumni, friends, donors, and partners to foster our community, strengthen loyalty, engender Michener pride and inspire investment. STAY CONNECTED Has your name or address changed? Keep us up-to-date by calling 416.596.3132 or email alumni@michener.ca. The Michener Institute respects your privacy and doesn’t divulge your mailing information to any other party.

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Committed to the needs of our community By Lissa Manganaro


ichener is committed to meeting the ongoing needs of our students, our alumni and health care providers. This is evident within the programs we deliver, the initiatives we undertake and the partnerships we forge. Our commitment to our students is reflected in this issue’s feature on Michener’s Chiropody Clinic. To better meet the needs of our program’s clinical component, the clinic was opened to provide a space where our students could apply their learning and work with real patients. Of course, as a result, the clinic also provides invaluable foot care services to our community. Through partnerships, Michener continues to explore the needs of health care and how best to respond to these needs. An aging population brings to the forefront the recognition that health care providers require specialized skills and expertise to work with seniors. Working with Baycrest - a leader in geriatric care - and with the government strategy as a guide, Michener explores its role in advancing the health of Ontarians as it relates to our aging demographics and health care. Our graduates not only are out there practicing, but they come back as instructors. As the Imaging Informatics profile illustrates, changing technologies

Lissa Manganaro, Editor create the need for more efficient ways of managing our health care systems to improve quality and the effectiveness of our health care providers. By offering programs that directly respond to the needs of the health care environment, we can help provide our alumni new opportunities to grow within their field or embark on new career paths. To share your thoughts or comment on this issue, send us an email at alumni@michener.ca.

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From the Alumni Association

Michener Takes Pride in its Alumni

By Christine Nielsen, Chair, Alumni Association Board of Directors


ichener has many reasons to be proud of its alumni, but what does that really mean? How do we demonstrate that pride to our graduates? Everything Michener’s Alumni Association does is driven by the achievements and dedication of its graduates. This is one of the driving forces behind our purpose and we state it as such in our constitution - to unite members and students and foster a sense of pride in, and community with, The Michener Institute. We tell your stories, celebrate your achievements, create opportunities to connect and support your continual learning and growth. Alumni are connected not only because they graduated from

Michener Magazine

Michener, but because they unite for the same purpose - the desire to care for others, make a difference and positively influence our health care system. Each day, Michener graduates do make a difference. Their contributions may not make headline news, but it is through a compassionate word or caring gesture to a patient, family member or colleague that makes our health care environment a place where patients and their families feel valued and respected. These are the deeds that make your alma mater proud! Michener’s Alumni Association encourages you to tell the stories that make you proud to belong to a community of health care providers. We ask you to tell us about yourself

or fellow Michener alum making a difference every day so we can share it with our community. We ask that you share your stories to help foster community, strengthen loyalty, engender Michener pride and inspire investment. Contact us at alumni@michener.ca with your stories, thoughts and ideas on how we can continue to foster a sense of pride in our community. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Christina Sperling Respiratory Therapy 2001 By Sharon Aschaiek


any of the tens of thousands of patients treated at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) each year may have trouble breathing - and it’s Christina Sperling’s job to make sure they get the help they need. As the hospital’s clinical manager of respiratory therapy (RT), Sperling oversees 90 clinicians who monitor and treat the cardiopulmonary needs of patients. These respiratory therapists use their expertise and experience in airway management to provide essential care: they help newborns with pulmonary issues, address cardiac arrest situations, provide treatment to those affected by drowning, fire, or trauma and more. Sperling’s collaborative leadership style, administrative abilities and passion for the profession enable the RT team to perform at its best. Leading a department of this size and complexity, and in a setting where so much is on the line, is no small feat. “I am always trying to look at ways to be more efficient and productive in our daily work. There’s a strong focus on continuous improvement and proactively looking at how to be on top of things,” says Sperling.

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Sperling came to the role in 2012. She had been a respiratory therapist for 10 years, but had no experience in pediatrics or management. And yet, she has succeeded at SickKids because of her solid work ethic and commitment to excellence. In 1998 after completing a Bachelor of Kinesiology at McMaster University, Sperling enrolled in the Respiratory Therapy Advanced Diploma Program at The Michener Institute. The three-year program teaches students a full range of subjects, including cardiopulmonary diagnostics and rehabilitation, the physics and dynamics of breathing, pharmacological therapies and adult, paediatric and neonatal critical care. “It was fantastic. Michener really prepared me to take on the challenges of this work. And the small class sizes and welcoming atmosphere helped with learning and understanding the material,” Sperling says. Michener provided Sperling with a direct gateway to the RT profession through a clinical placement at St. Michael’s Hospital and additional rotations at North York General Hospital, Women’s College Hospital, SickKids, West Park Healthcare

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“I am always trying to look at ways to be more efficient and productive in our daily work. There’s a strong focus on continuous improvement and proactively looking at how to be on top of things.” Centre and a home care agency. The fieldwork allowed her to observe respiratory therapists in action and practice her newly gained clinical skills. She also secured a recurring part-time summer job as a technician in the RT department at St. Michael’s - an opportunity she learned about from a Michener instructor. This robust combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills enabled Sperling to secure full-time employment as a respiratory therapist at St. Michael’s upon graduating in 2001. She also took on a casual position at North York General. Sperling’s work involved providing mechanical ventilation, airway management and oxygen therapy to critical care patients, performing arterial punctures to conduct blood gas analysis, transporting highrisk patients between units or hospitals and providing care in cases of cardiac arrest, neonatal resuscitation, trauma, and fire injuries. At St. Michael’s, Sperling also worked in the operating room, conducting intubation and arterial line and IV insertion and providing oxygen to patients. “What I liked about working at St. Michael’s is the variety - because it’s a downtown hospital, it’s busy, so you get to see interesting cases. You are in the thick of the action. It was a great place to begin my career,” Sperling says. Her enthusiasm for the profession, combined with her well-developed bedside skills, enabled Sperling to advance to clinical specialist, which involved encouraging professional development among staff and orienting new and returning employees. Later promoted to professional practice leader, she provided direction to the RTs, supported evidence-based practice and ensured compliance with professional policies and procedures. In 2006, Sperling left North York General to pursue a new career opportunity with Kingston General Hospital’s Ventilator Equipment Pool, a program of the Ministry of

Michener Magazine

Health and Long-Term Care that provides patients who qualify for its Assistive Devices Program with direct access to equipment. In this role, which she held until she joined SickKids, she provided in-home education to patients with respiratory diseases using ventilation machines. Landing the management position at SickKids in December 2011 was a major leap forward for Sperling’s career, but she admits it took a while to acclimatize to her role and the institution. Much of those efforts involved building strong, trusting relationships with coworkers, which she says is key to her approach as manager. On a daily basis, Sperling performs the typical tasks of a manager - hiring, scheduling, performance reviews, promoting professional development - and also meets with the clinicians who oversee respiratory therapy in the hospital’s critical care, neonatal and inpatient care units. Though Sperling works jam-packed 12-hour days at SickKids, that hasn’t stopped her from pursuing other endeavours in the field. She continues to practice casually as a therapist at St. Michael’s, working a weekend shift every six weeks. She is a council member of the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario, a role that involves shaping policies that regulate the profession. She is also Vice-Chair of the Council on Accreditation for Respiratory Therapy Education, a committee of the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists that ensures national education standards for entry-level respiratory therapists are being met. As well, Sperling is in her final year of completing a Master of Science in Community Health at the University of Toronto, a degree she had been pursuing part-time over the past two years. Sperling considers herself lucky to be part of a dynamic and exciting profession that is so critical to people’s health. To give back to the institution that helped launch her rewarding career, she sometimes volunteers for Michener, providing advice to students about how to advance their careers. “It’s about building relationships with people, going above and beyond and showing that you’re passionate about it and want to be there,” she says. “That’s what will make a huge difference and help you stand out in a crowd.”

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Feature Story

Putting our best foot forward With over 2,000 patients and an innovative teaching facility, the Michener Chiropody Clinic has grown way beyond the little clinic that could. By Brianne Tulk


n any given morning, the Michener Chiropody Clinic is a bustle of activity as Chiropody students lead patients through assessments and prepare treatment rooms for a day full of visits. Housed on the third floor of The Michener Institute, the clinic is a success story, showcasing Michener’s dedication to hands-on training for applied health professionals. Starting as early as the second semester of their first year, students work with real patients through triage and assessments, practicing basic foot care before moving on to more complicated cases and soft tissue surgery in their second and third years. Since opening its doors in The Michener Institute in 2011, the clinic’s roster has grown to over 2,000 patients. Originally situated in the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood, Michener’s Chiropody Clinic quickly exceeded what the original clinic was able to offer. “It was a very small space,” reflects Catharine Gray, chair of the Chiropody program at Michener. “As our clinical needs changed, we were

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fortunate that we were able to move into Michener’s building. It’s been a great opportunity to provide all the educational requirements our students need at Michener and allow them to gain confidence in their skills before they graduate.” The Michener Chiropody Clinic found its new home within Michener’s clinical simulation centre. The Centre for Advancement of Simulation and Education (CASE) opened in 2010 as a state-of-the-art facility offering simulation studios designed to educate, train, and assess health professionals. Transformed from a simulation lab to a fully functional clinic, the studios and treatment rooms provide a unique space for Michener’s Chiropody students to practice their skills. A corridor lined with one-way mirrors looks into each treatment room, allowing for assessment and observation from faculty and fellow students. Rather than treating patients in a room crowded with spectators, patients and student practitioners are afforded a sense of privacy throughout the treatment process. During check-ups, surgeries and other procedures, faculty,

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instructors, and fellow students can observe the procedure without crowding the small room. This layout enables students to practice their hands-on skills with guidance and supervision from their instructors. Not only does the clinic offer an invaluable learning opportunity for students, but it also provides a service to the wider community. “Students are exposed to a multitude of patient profiles, from the general public with corns and calluses, to geriatric, children and high risk patients” says Antonietta Galati, a 2010 graduate of Michener’s Chiropody program and the clinic’s coordinator. “Our students need a whole, broad educational standpoint. They need to see everything.” Jannel Hulme, a second-year Chiropody student agrees: “What I enjoy so much about the program is the way everything is structured. There is a lot of practical learning in the course content that is applied in lab then further reinforced in the Chiropody Clinic.”

from the community coming to the Michener building, everyone has the opportunity to interact with patients. Differing itself from a simulated clinical environment, the setting of the Chiropody Clinic means constant interaction with patients. According to Catharine, this means that students are taught advanced problem-solving and decision-making through patient interaction. “It’s raising our standards in health care.” The Michener Chiropody Clinic is located on the third floor of The Michener Institute at 222 St. Patrick Street. To inquire further or to book a treatment, contact the clinic at 416-596-3108. For more information, visit: www.michener.ca/chiropodyclinic


he Michener Chiropody Clinic is one of only a few clinics that operates as a teaching clinic with broader criteria for accepting patients. On a typical day Michener’s Chiropody students will see patients who have complications like ulcerations from diabetes, seniors with mobility issues who require basic foot and nail care, and patients with biomechanical needs such as orthotics. “We see quite a few kids as well,” continues Antonietta. “Once a year we run a pediatric clinic and the students will have a whole day of just pediatric patients.” Antonietta has managed the everyday operations of the clinic for the past two years, and she has seen many changes. “We started with five treatment rooms,” she says. “We’re now working with ten. We went from having slow days to booking in July for the third week of September.” Moving from the Sherbourne Health Centre to the Michener building allowed the Chiropody program to utilize partnerships with the University Health Network and build a level of interprofessionalism within the Michener community. Many family doctors and physicians in the area actively refer their patients to Michener, including Dr. Wayne Evans, a medical consultant in the Hyperbaric Medicine Unit at Toronto General Hospital. Dr. Evans refers patients to the student clinic, many of whom have complex foot deformities. He appreciates the value of Michener’s teaching clinic, citing it as an “innovative opportunity [to train] interns to current practice standards.” “We pride ourselves on making sure we can provide our patients with the best care,” boasts Antonietta. With more people

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Antonietta Galati (Chiropody 2010) pictured in the Michener Chiropody Clinic.

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in the spotlight

By Debbie Fein-Goldbach



stablished in 2003, The Alumni of Distinction Award recognizes graduates who have made outstanding contributions to the community and the applied health science professions. At this year’s graduation ceremony held on June 15, 2013 the Alumni Association’s highest honour went to Debbie Havill, Radiological Technology 1976. Debbie’s long and happy affiliation with Michener started in 1974 when she entered what was then called the Radiography program. She was pursuing a dream that originated in the Niagara Peninsula, where Debbie grew up working on farms and riding horses. Her adventurous nature led to many sprains and broken bones, which made her a frequent visitor to her local X-ray facility.

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“It always seemed to be the same technologist,” recalls Debbie. “Her name was Lisa, and she was such a big influence on me that I wanted to become an X-ray technologist from the time I was a little girl.” A high school guidance counselor nearly threw Debbie off course by pushing her to go to university because of her academic achievements, and she enrolled at the University of Toronto. But in a twist of fate, she roomed with Beth DeCourcy (nee Lethbridge), a Michener student enrolled in the Radiography program. Within a year Debbie switched schools to join Beth, in spite of what she now calls her guidance counselor’s academic snobbery. “Both of us have had long, happy careers and been very supportive of each other, too,” she says about the lifelong friendship that developed.

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Alumni Awards

After graduation, Debbie started working at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). “I was fortunate to be able to start working in special procedures almost immediately,” she remembers. “I worked on the Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner which was one of the first in Canada.” Within a year, she started the ultrasound department at SickKids with pediatric radiologist Dr. David Martin. “At that point, all the ultrasound training was on the job,” she explains, going on to say that as soon as Michener offered their first Ultrasound program, she enrolled. Because of her experience at SickKids, Debbie eventually returned to Michener as the Ultrasound program coordinator. Debbie has developed close relationships with many of her students, coworkers, and teachers at Michener. In fact, it was one of her first instructors, Denis Poulin, Ultrasound 1993, who nominated her for the Alumni of Distinction Award. Their professional and personal lives have intersected many times. After she graduated, they became colleagues, and later he became one of her students. Denis held the position of Executive Director at the Ontario Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, and then Debbie took over that same role. “He and I have been part of each other’s lives for well over 30 years,” says Debbie. Both Denis and his wife Caroline Souter, Nuclear Medicine Technology 1982, supported Debbie’s nomination and celebrated with her at a dinner in her honour. In her acceptance speech, Debbie shared four points of advice for the 2013 graduating students: Find educational institutions like Michener that support both undergraduate and continuing education. Find a career that makes you get up every day and enjoy going to work. Have a strong support system Debbie has a very supportive husband and kids. And finally, get involved in your professional association - often the birthplace of lifelong friendships. Today, Debbie works in research administration at Princess Margaret Hospital, and she is also part of a committee campaigning for regulation of sonography. Having her work recognized by the Alumni Association has been a highlight of her career. “It just makes you feel wonderful,” she says. “It’s a real honour.”

Michener Magazine



n 2013, The Michener Institute’s Alumni Association created the Young Alumni Award, to recognize and honour young alumni who demonstrate significant professional accomplishments and commitment to others. This year’s recipient is Michael Velec, Radiation Therapy 2006. Michael initially enrolled in a science degree program at the University of Waterloo. Unsure of what to pursue, he visited the Waterloo Career Centre where he took an aptitude test, which matched him with two professions: pharmacy and medical radiation technology (MRT). “I had never even heard of MRT,” remembers Michael. “So I pulled out a Michener pamphlet and then I applied. I kind of fell into it, but looking back, I’m so glad.” He enjoyed all aspects of the Radiation Therapy program at Michener, but he found his clinical placement at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) to be the most exciting. “The people I was working with were fantastic and so were the teachers. My classmates were really fun, too,” he recalls. “It was a good year, and it went by really fast.” During this time Michael got his first taste of research, an experience that shaped the whole trajectory of his career. “I did a research project there [at PMH] while I was doing my clinical training,” Michael says, “My whole interest in research probably started from that project—which was an optional part of the curriculum at Michener. It was a challenge and I liked it because it was a little bit different from what everyone else was doing.”

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After graduating in 2006, PMH immediately hired Michael as a radiation therapist. Just one year later, he was appointed as a research radiation therapist under Dr. Kristy Brock, an associate professor and medical physicist. Michael has been helping Dr. Brock as she develops new image registration techniques. “Every type of imaging modality tells a little piece of the story,” explains Michael. “Image registration allows you to fuse all the pieces together in one story about the patient.” Michael’s role has been to apply that technology to patients with liver cancer who are receiving radiation therapy. “One of my conclusions was that if we use advanced image registration technology, we can more accurately estimate the dose that we’re delivering to the patient, and more accurately map where the dose is going in the patient,” says Michael. The research results are just becoming commercially available, and other centres are beginning to use similar technology. For patients, this will mean more precise treatment. Michael has enjoyed this research so much that, with Dr. Brock’s support, he transitioned from research therapist to PhD graduate student. He works one day a week on with patients and pursues his studies throughout the rest of the week. He also volunteers with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT), sitting on two committees. He credits his practical training at Michener, and being in an academically focused hospital department, with his success. “I don’t know if I would have been so involved in research had I gone somewhere else,” says Michael. Michael is deeply honoured to be the recipient of the Young Alumni Award. “I haven’t been recognized like this before,” says Michael. “In a way it’s surprising, because I always thought I was just doing what I liked. It’s really nice to be recognized.”

Recognize deserving alum in

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Michele Henry (2008 recipient) presents the 2012 Alumni of Distinction Award to Janet Fraser.

Alumni of Distinction The highest honour awarded by Michener’s Alumni Association recognizes graduates who have made outstanding contributions to the community and the applied health sciences professions. Visit http://bit.ly/MichAlum for full criteria and how to submit a nomination. Deadline: January 30, 2014

Young Alumni Award Recent graduates are leading important initiatives and are giving back to their professions and their communities. This award recognizes young alumni who demonstrate significant professional accomplishments and commitment to others. Candidates must be Michener alumni who have graduated with the last seven years from the year of nomination. Visit http://bit.ly/ MichYoungAlum for full criteria and/or to submit a nomination. Deadline: January 30, 2014 We are now accepting nominations for 2014!

engage. connect. support.

Medical Laboratory Science Alumni & Student Networking Event Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 Time: 5:30 - 7:00 pm Place: The Michener Institute, room 1125 Med Lab grads, come out and connect with second and third year Michener students in the Medical Laboratory Science Program. We are looking for alumni from all sectors and disciplines to share knowledge, expertise and interests; share tips and guidance on the best way to make the transition from student to health care professional. RSVP to alumni@michener.ca with your full name and year of graduation by November 8, 2013. See you there!

Michener’s Alumni Association Remember. Rediscover. Reconnect. www.michener.ca/alumni


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Program in Profile

Continuing Education at Michener Supporting Ontario’s Seniors By Gillian Nichol


ealth care needs of Ontarians are changing. Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care identifies a major demographic shift: as baby boomers age, the number of seniors living in Ontario will double over the next 20 years. Although people are living longer and are healthier than ever, an aging demographic will challenge our health care system in many ways. In response, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care launched Ontairo’s Senior Strategy in May 2012. “Reaching our vision as a centre of excellence for applied health sciences requires us to be very closely aligned with the needs of Ontarians and the priorities of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,” says Michener’s Interim President and CEO, Sylvia Schippke. In concert with Ontario’s Senior Strategy, Michener’s leadership team began to discuss Michener’s role at the forefront of enhancing the health of Ontarians.

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The Provincial Lead of Ontario’s Senior Strategy, Dr. Samir Sinha is assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, as well as director of geriatrics at both Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network. Dr. Sinha is passionate about serving our seniors better, saying, “We need to educate all of our health and social care professionals with the knowledge and skills required to support this venerable and often most vulnerable group of patients. Serving the specialized needs of our aging society is a crucial priority for the public good, especially since their complex needs drive nearly half of all of our current health and social care spending.” In preparing his report Living Longer, Living Well, Dr. Sinha listened to thousands of seniors, caregivers and health care providers. In the report, he states, “Never before have we had such compelling reasons to closely examine the ways in which we serve older Ontarians, their families and their caregivers.”

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This important work is a blueprint for As the number of older Ontarians Michelle Richardson, Chiropody creating the kind of health care system is expected to double by 2030, the 2007, agrees that we need to expand our we will need over the next several Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care support for seniors across all programs: decades. has developed a strategy to sustain the “With 65 to 70% of the diabetes clinic In Continuing Education (CE) at health, social and community services patients I serve being seniors, I find it Michener, we are committed to meeting available for older adults. The Living rewarding but also challenging. Knowing the ongoing professional development Longer, Living Well report addresses the I can make a difference in quality of life needs of applied health professionals. needs of a diverse aging population to by simply helping patients to walk, and Many of our programs go well beyond establish recommendations for the best also improving safety by preventing falls, Michener’s applied health curriculum to care for Ontarians. The report can be read means a lot to me.” Michelle learned the consider the education needs of health in full at the following link: basics of patient-centred care while at care providers in general. We have a http://bit.ly/LivingLongerLivingWell Michener, and because she spends an long history, for example, of providing average of 30 minutes with each senior critical lifesaving skills to the wider health care population. patient, she notes, “You learn a great deal about their fears and The department is embracing the opportunity to develop challenges. Seniors often need support integrating the care curriculum that addresses the needs of all health care providers and services they receive. They often have hearing or vision loss serving seniors. The area of seniors support is integral to that requires us to communicate treatment plans in different patient-centered and quality practices in health care. We will be ways. And working with people with some form of dementia offering specialized seniors curriculum to our full-time students requires specialized skills to comfort and help them to be open commencing summer 2014, and then making it available as a to care.” CE program in fall 2014. More information can be found on our Carlos Bautitsa, Respiratory Therapy 1994, has worked at website at www.michener.ca/ce. West Park Healthcare Centre since arriving in Canada as an internationally trained physician. He is currently the manager of the Chronic Assisted Ventilatory Care Unit. The majority of “We need to educate all of our health and the unit’s clients are seniors, and Carlos feels privileged to have social care professionals with the knowledge the opportunity to build relationships with chronic patients and skills required to support this venerable who have so much knowledge and rich life histories. “One of and often most vulnerable group of patients. the most challenging aspects,” he goes on to say, “is working with families whose expectations can sometimes be in conflict Serving the specialized needs of our aging with what the patients themselves may want or need. Learning society is a crucial priority for the public how to work with and educate caregivers will be more crucial good, especially since their complex needs for students, especially as more of our work with seniors moves into the community.” drive nearly half of all of our current health Michener continues to anticipate and respond to changing and social care spending.” Dr. Samir Sinha, health care needs of people as well as support systems. We Provincial Lead, Ontario’s Senior Strategy are very excited about this new venture and look forward to sharing more with you over the coming year of our developing ichener’s Continuing Education department has partnerships and programs designed to serve emerging health partnered with Baycrest (www.baycrest.org), a care needs. world-renowned organization in leading edge For more about the Continuing Education Program and care, research, and education in the field of courses offered by Michener visit www.michener.ca/ce. geriatrics. Our partnership is now well underway with plans to develop both online and simulation curriculum to enhance the knowledge and skills of our students and graduates, as well as the wider population of health care providers serving seniors.


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define your course W W W . M I C H E N E R . C A / C E

Imaging Informatics Improving Quality and Creating Efficiencies


lectronic medical images, which are far more accessible than their paper-based predecessors and have significantly enhanced health care productivity, have and continue to make patient care more effective and

efficient. Imaging informatics has propelled the shift toward digitally storing, using and sharing X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans and other medical pictures. In the process, it has significantly improved the quality of health care services. Many of the field’s top achievers have emerged from the Imaging Informatics Graduate Certificate Program through Continuing Education (CE) at The Michener Institute. The first and only of its kind in Canada offering a handson laboratory and clinical experience, this one-year, part-time program also features four online theoretical courses that focus on the technical, clinical, behavioural, and business aspects of imaging informatics. Subjects include the practical and operational dynamics of implementing Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS); the how-to’s, benefits, and limitations of enterprise image distribution; creating an imaging informatics quality assurance program and the latest advances in imaging informatics. Students also participate in a clinical lab at the school and complete a four-week, full-time clinical placement. Graduates complete the program prepared to write the American Board of Imaging Informatics certification examinations.

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By Sharon Aschaiek

“The program is current, with a continuously refreshed curriculum and taught by instructors who are all currently working in the field of expertise that they teach,” says Lynne Campkin, program coordinator and Michener graduate (Radiological Technology 1976, Ultrasound 1981). “Graduates will find themselves more competitive in the job market if they are already an imaging, health care or information management professional.”


n 2003, Sophia Mathew was starting the third and final year of the Business Computer Systems program at Seneca College while working a part-time clerical position at The Scarborough Hospital when she discovered imaging informatics. Recognizing an opportunity to apply her broad IT skills to an in-demand specialty in a sector in which she already had employment experience, Mathew decided to pursue the Michener program. “It really opened my eyes to a whole world of health care imaging and technology that I didn’t even know existed,” says Mathew, who took part in the Sophia Mathew program while simultaneously

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Continuing Education

Bruno Bellotto completing her college diploma. “The program gave me an insight into where health care was going and helped me apply my IT and business training in a health care setting.” A four-week clinical placement at the diagnostic services department of Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) enabled Mathew to put her theoretical knowledge to use in a real-world setting. She says a highlight of that experience was the wisdom and empowering teaching methods of Bruno Bellotto, an imaging informatics administrator at MSH. “He made a great impact on me. He was very patient and knowledgeable, and I learned a great deal from him,” Mathew says. “We even had a practice day where, at the very end of the placement, he took the day off and you were left to run the whole show by yourself. You were thrown in the fire and it forced you to be independent.” An instructor at Michener since shortly after the program launched in 2002, Bellotto not only oversees students completing clinical placements at MSH but teaches courses and conducts lab sessions. A 1996 graduate of Michener’s Medical Radiological Technology program, he got his start in the field as an X-ray technologist at Credit Valley Hospital, where he became a PACS assistant administrator before starting, in 2002, as an imaging informatics administrator at MSH. SH, a medium-sized community hospital with one of the province’s best equipped diagnostic service departments, conducts about 130,000 patient exams per year. This dynamic and stimulating work environment regularly serves up a range of challenges. In addition to managing and updating the hospital’s picture archive, Bellotto also troubleshoots hardware and software issues,


researches and purchases equipment, facilitates system upgrades, trains users, maintains the system’s integrity and security and more. “For me, it’s the variety of what we do every day that I enjoy most. It’s not a mundane job. There are so many different things to do, and each day is different from the other,” Bellotto says. It’s among the from-the-field insights Bellotto shares with the 20 to 30 students who participate in the Michener program each year. He also tells them that, as hospitals and clinics continue to grow and expand their digital infrastructure, new opportunities will continue to emerge for Imaging Informatics professionals The province’s ongoing effort to build electronic health records for all Ontarians is creating opportunities in the field, particularly the formation of four regional diagnostic imaging repositories. Sophia Mathew was involved in implementing the centralized bank of medical images for western Ontario, which includes 19 organizations that conduct three million patient exams annually. The experience was one of her many career highlights since graduating from Michener. Upon earning her certificate, Mathew was promoted to coordinate Scarborough Hospital’s PACS. Since 2004, she has been working as an Imaging Informatics professional at Credit Valley Hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging department, which last year performed more than 205,000 patient examinations. Mathew’s story came full circle in 2009, when she started teaching imaging informatics at her Michener. “I enjoy teaching because I’m a real people person, and I love passing on what I know to others,” Mathew says, adding, “Even though you’re not hands-on with the patients, you have a part to play in somebody’s care every single day, so you feel a sense of purpose.” For more information about the Imaging Informatics program or to apply, please visit www.michener.ca/ce/postdiploma/ ImagingInformaticsAdminstratorProgram.php The next application deadline is November 15, 2013. Online classes start January 2014.

VISIT US: W W W. M I C H E N E R . C A / C E

What’s Up

@ Michener By Lissa Manganaro

Dr. Peter Bridge presents DNA sequencing


r. Peter Bridge, Chair, Medical Laboratory Sciences (Michener) and Radiological Technology grad 1993, generated a lot of interest in his session at LABCON2013. He presented on the topic of DNA sequencing. The Michener community was also invited to hear Dr. Bridge’s presentation during our “Big Ideas” series on July 11, held at Michener’s campus at 222 St. Patrick Street.

Catherine Ladhani appointed to the OAMRS


atherine Ladhani, Chair, Radiation Therapy (Michener) was appointed to the Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences (OAMRS) for a two-year term that officially began on July 1, 2013. The mandate of the OAMRS is the welfare of its members from disciplines of radiological technology, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance imaging.

Simulation Education


n article authored by Lisa Rosenberg, Faculty, Peter Bridge, Chair, and Peggy Kiely, Faculty, Medical Laboratory Sciences was published in the fall 2012 issue of the Canadian Journal of Medical Laboratory Science. The article is titled “Simulation Education—Building a Better Bridge between Theory and Reality.”

Upcoming Events Student Awards Ceremony, November 13, 2013 Medical Laboratory Science Networking Event, November 14, 2013, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

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Fall/Winter 2013

Alumni happenings Winners of the Leaders of Tomorrow Grant attended LABCON2013, the conference of the Canadian Society of Laboratory Science (CSMLS) in Victoria, BC, May 10 to 13, 2013. This grant is offered by the CSMLS Board to med lab students and graduates specifically to fund conference attendance. Congratulations Angela Anthony (left; Medical Laboratory Science 2012) and Krista Uchenko (right; Medical Laboratory Science 2014).

The Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) recently held their 49th annual educational conference and trade show in Niagara Falls from May 29 to June 1, 2013. Susan Dunington, Michener faculty and alumna 1982, was the chair of the educational program, which was attended by more than 600 delegates including over 120 students. Two Michener students presented at the conference. Dhushita Pathmanathan (Respiratory Therapy 2014), presented her research “Is asthma associated with increased risk for fractures among children?” and Paul Markowski (Respiratory Therapy 2013), presented his topic “ICU from the eyes of a Newbie.” Both students received tremendous praise their contributions to the profession. Continued on page20

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Fall/Winter 2013 19

On Saturday, June 1, 2013, 50 Michener Respiratory Therapy alumni gathered for an Alumni Association event hosted during the CSRT conference. Graduates were greeted with fresh coffee and a hot breakfast served up by the Sheraton on the Falls. Christine Nielsen (Medical Laboratory Science 1997), Chair, Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Nicole Coutu (Respiratory Therapy 2013), Alumni Board member addressed the guests. Christine reminded alumni that the association is here for them and Nicole emphasized the importance of alumni giving back to support current students, something she was fortunate enough to experience during her educational journey at Michener. In May 2013, at the conference of the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT), Denis Poulin (far right; Ultrasound 1993) was presented with the CAMRT Life Membership award. This award honours a member of the CAMRT whose professional activities have promoted the medical radiation technology (MRT) profession nationally or internationally, whose leadership serves to motivate others to become involved in professional activities, and who has been involved in raising the profile of the CAMRT.

Student & Recent Graduate Acheivements

Alexandru Mihai Nicolae (Radiation Therapy 2014) was awarded a Certificate of Merit for the Dr. Marshall Mallett Student Award for his PowerPoint presentation, PTV Margin Determination for Single-Faction Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) Boost for Intermediate-Risk Adenocarcinoma of the Prostate.”

Jee Hae Rebekah Shin (Radiation Therapy 2013) was awarded a Certificate of Merit for the Dr. Marshall Mallett Student Award for her poster exhibit, “Partial Breast Irradiation in Early Breast Carcinoma: Does Primary Tumour Location Affect Overall Cosmetic Outcome for Low Dose Rate Permanent Seed Implantation Patients.”

Heather Benenati (MRI 2012) received the Award of Excellence for achieving the highest mark in Canada in the 2012 CAMRT Magnetic Resonance National Certification Examinations. Nicole Lesperance (Ultrasound 2014) recently joined the board of directors of the Canadian Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (CSDMS) as a student representative.

20 Michener Magazine

Fall/Winter 2013

Benjamin Beech (Michener-Laurentian Radiation Therapy 2012) won the Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences (OAMRS) 2013 Roberta McCammond Student Academic Achievement Award for scoring the highest mark in the province of Ontario on the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) Radiation Therapy National Certification Examination in 2012.

Linda Sarju (left; Nuclear Medicine 2012) won the OAMRS 2013 Anne Topple Student Academic Achievement Award for scoring the highest mark in the province of Ontario on the CAMRT Nuclear Medicine National Certification Examination in 2012. This award is named after Anne Topple (right), retired Nuclear Medicine faculty, Michener. Linda also received the Award of Excellence for achieving the highest mark on this exam in Canada in the 2012.

Benjamin and Linda received their awards at the 2013 OAMRS Annual General Conference held in Niagara-onthe-Lake on Friday April 26, 2013.

Leann Ban (Radiation Therapy 2013) was the winner of the L.J. Cartwright Student Award for her essay entitled “The Impact of In Vivo EPID Dosimetry on IMRT Treatment Delivery Workflow: Acceptability and Usability from a Stakeholder Perspective.” Leann was also the recipient of a Certificate of Merit for the Dr. Marshall Mallett Student Award for her poster exhibit, “Integrating In Vivo EPID Dosimetry into IMRT Treatment Delivery for Head and Neck Cancer Patients: The Role of Radiation Therapists in Protocol Development.”

Siu Chu Lam, Tricia (Weitong) Zou and Denise (Chih-Fang) Shih (Ultrasound 2014) won a CSDMS award for best promotional video and attended the CSDMS 2013 conference on May 28, 2013. Siu Chu, Tricia and Denise won $1000 from the CSDMS, free registration and the opportunity to present the video at the conference.

In Memoriam It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dianne Marie Johnson (nee McManus), on June 25, 2013, after a short but courageous battle with cancer. Dianne graduated from Michener’s Respiratory Therapy program in 1974 and her career spanned more than 35 years. She is lovingly remembered by her devoted husband, Al, and her two children, Marc (Amy), and Alana (Louis). “Nana” was adored by her grandchildren.

Michener Magazine

Fall/Winter 2013 21

Donor’s Corner


By Wudasie Efrem

Thanks to the generosity of Mackenzie Health, Ultrasound students can now get more practice and scanning time than before, helping them to be better prepared for their clinical semester. On June 18, 2013 at a faculty liaison meeting, Cindy Draycott, Operations Director, Rosie Nouraini, Senior Technologist and Amir Soheili (Nuclear Medicine 2003), Program Manager at Mackenzie Health were recognized for their gift of two ultrasound units and 12 transducers to Michener’s Ultrasound program. Marco DeVouno, CFO at Michener presented Draycott, Nouraini and Soheili with plaques and copies of The First 50 Years, a special edition book about The Michener Institute. A 1996 Michener alumna, Nouraini was instrumental in making the donation possible to Michener. As she stated, it was

L to R: Rosie Nouraini, Amir Soheili and Cindy Draycott

a way of giving back to a great institution that changed her life and opened doors of opportunities for her. This donation will in turn open many doors of opportunities for Michener’s current students. Following the presentation, the representatives from Mackenzie Health toured the Ultrasound lab, which currently houses the donated equipment. As stated by faculty, the two units (the Acuson Sequoia and The ATL HDI5000 and the transducers, collectively valued at $11,500) are giving the students more practice times, allowing them to be better prepared for their clinical semester. The second-year pre-clinical semester students took time out of their busy schedule to attend the event.

Leonardo Faundez (far left), Rosie Nouraini, Amir Soheili and Cindy Draycott (centre) with seond-year Ultrasound students.

22 Michener Magazine

Fall/Winter 2013

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Michener Magazine - Fall/Winter 2013  

Michener Magazine is produced for all alumni, friends, donors, and partners to foster our community, strengthen loyalty, engender Michener p...

Michener Magazine - Fall/Winter 2013  

Michener Magazine is produced for all alumni, friends, donors, and partners to foster our community, strengthen loyalty, engender Michener p...

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