May 2024 | {View as Webpage}

Welcome to the NRC News e-newsletter which brings you news and events related to the Niagara Regional Campus. If you have any suggestions or would like to submit an article or event, please contact

Awarding Excellence at NRC

Congratulations are in order for Niagara Regional Campus learners, faculty and staff recipients of this year's prestigous awards. Excellence in teaching, academic achievement and creating supportive environments are some of the many awards distributed by the healthcare community and McMaster.

Niagara Regional Campus would like to thank the many applicants for their competitive submissions and the following generous award sponsors:

  • Dr. George Beiko
  • Friends and family of the late Dr. Ron Chan
  • Niagara Health Medical Staff Association

Dr. George Beiko Award

Brock Browett

clerkship electives outside of the Niagara Region

Dr. George Beiko Award

Swati Anant

Dr. George Beiko Award

Rod Parsa

Niagara Health Medical Staff Association Medical Student Scholarship Award

Jigish Khamar

Niagara Health Medical Staff Association Medical Student Scholarship Award

Annie Berg

Medical Student Research Excellence Award

Ted Zhou

Dr. Ron Chan Memorial Award

Hira Aslam

Outstanding Contribution by a Student Award

Anthony Pokhoy

Excellence in Student Support Award

Kristen Jackson

Excellence in Teaching: Outstanding Student Development Award

Dr. Neil Howatt

Excellence in Clerkship Teaching Award

Dr. Peter Fritz

Internal Medicine Clerkship Teaching Award

Dr. Mashrur Rahman

Excellence in Teaching by a Resident Award

Dr. Lukas Shum-Tim

Dr. Akbar Panju Internal Medicine Professionalism Award

Abhi Kurusetty

Dr. Paul O'Byrne Academic Achievement Award

Cezara Ene

The Social Pages

The Niagara Regional Campus is committed to the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigenous and social justice in all that we do. To further deepen our understanding of these topics we have purchased some focused reading in these areas that will be available for borrow from the NRC library. Each month we will highlight one of these books, This month we have highlighted, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson discusses racism in the United States through the lens of a caste system. Addressing issues of inclusion, exclusion and ideologies, readers are taken through the societal aftermath of a hierarchical system. Wilkerson examines political and racial examples of caste inequality such as American COVID-19 practices that negatively impacted lower-caste citizens.

Caste has received critical acclaim by, The New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post. The New York Times describes Caste as, "an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote non-fiction book of the American century thus far."

The Office of Learning Environment and Mistreatment (OLEM) Seeking Champions

Help the Office of Learning Environment and Mistreatment (OLEM) recognize individuals who make McMaster learning a positive and supportive environment.

Learners can nominate the following:

  • Learners (including residents and fellows)
  • Preceptors
  • Tutors
  • Faculty Supervisors
  • Non-physician hospital employees
  • Others

Recipients of the Learning Environment Champion will receive a letter from their associated program

(UGME, PGME or PAEP) and a commendation pin. To nominate someone fill out nomination form

Pre-clerkship Support Gets Streamlined

NRC's pre-clerkship team has a new general email for all pre-clerkship related inquiries. Both Lila Mills and Lori Richardson, Curriculum & Lab Assistants can be contacted through this new email:

Pre-clerkship Contact Support Includes:

  • Curriculum recruitment and scheduling
  • OSCE participation
  • Campus parking
  • Anatomy lab inquiries
  • Campus room bookings
  • SP booking support
  • Other pre-clerkship related matters

Niagara Health Wellness Resources Has Broad Scope

Niagara Health's, Be Well program is centred on ensuring people have the right supports to be healthy and safe at work. 

Extending beyond Niagara Health staff, the Be Well program offers the following year round wellness resources to medical learners:

  • DIY break programs
  • Custom department programming
  • Employee Family and Assistance program (EFAP)
  • Massage clinics
  • Mindfulness sessions
  • Mental health programming, such as The Working Mind program

For more information on the Be Well program contact

On Par with Retirement Years

On March 25th, Niagara Regional Campus celebrated the retirement of Barb Kidd, Administrative Assistant after 26 years working with McMaster.

In 1981 Barb began her career in post secondary education in Montreal at McGill University in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Meakins Christie Laboratories. She then moved to Ontario in 1996 and started working with McMaster in the Division of Gastroenterology followed by the Brain-Body Institute and finally, since 2008, the Niagara Regional Campus.

Barb looks forward to the retirement years ahead enjoying the company of her husband, Ken, her cat, Gracie and many rounds of golf.

NRC would like to thank Barb Kidd for her many years of dedication and welcomes Ryleigh Hines into the role where she can be reached at

"It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to have shared this ride with you. I thank you and I wish all of you joy, happiness and health going forward. I will not say good-bye, just see you soon." -Barb Kidd

New Niagara Health Leadership Roles for McMaster Faculty

Dr. Jennifer Robert, Assistant Clinical Professor with McMaster's Family Medicine has been appointed Niagara Health's first Chief of Primary Care.

Dr. Robert will be developing a new department that will bridge existing gaps between hospitals and primary care in the Niagara community to improve patient care. To learn more about her new appointment and how it will alleviate hospital staffing shortages and resources read this article

Dr. Helen Caetano who has been acting as the Niagara Health Interim Chief of Surgery since Sept. 2023 has been appointed Chief of Surgery as of April 1st.

Dr. Caetano is an Assistant Clinical Professor with the Department of Surgery at McMaster with more than 20 years active faculty experience.



A Perfect Match on Match Day

All NRC C2024 learners were matched this year for a very successful Match Day celebrated at St. Catharines Site hospital on March 19th.

Celebrations were in order for learners who matched in esteemed programs across the country in Anesthesia, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, General Surgery, Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, Radiology and more.

NRC and NHS staff collaborated to bring together a Taylor Swift, "2024 Eras" themed Match Day. Spirits were high as learners signed each others' Match Day t-shirts, made Swiftie themed friendship bracelets and toured the room with well wishes.

A Picture of Female Leadership

For International Women's Day on March 8th, Niagara Health gathered female identifying women in leadership roles for an impactful picture.

Women represent 82% of Niagara Health's staff, with seven out of nine being at the decision-making tier level. The board of directors is also chaired by a woman. In comparison with other Canadian hospitals, Niagara Health is above average in female representation at the executive level.

Dr. Amanda Bell, Regional Assistant Dean of Niagara Regional Campus was amongst other esteemed McMaster faculty members present in this picture. To read about Niagara Health and female leadership Read St. Catharines Standard Article

Boys and Girls Club Meet the Teddy Bear Clinic

The Teddy Bear Clinic made its way to visiting the Ontario Public School for the Boys and Girls Club after school program. Children participated visiting interactive and educational stations including x-ray, OR, hand hygiene, primary care and more.

For the C2026 cohort, Sabrina Sikka and Alyssa Palmateer dedicated themselves to making the Teddy Bear Clinic another successful community service learning initiative this year. They arranged event details, sourced supplies, printed off materials, researched previous events and recruited a large number of volunteers all while navigating their medical education.

Teddy Bear Clinic Medical Learner Volunteers:

Nicole Asamoah, Sheena Dunn, Andy Deprato, Joshua Creado, Haseeb Faisal, Phuong Huynh, Caleb Mathai, Ebonee Lennord, Mindy Baroody, Mira Madumere, Calvin Armstrong, Maya McKeown, Sabrina Sikka and Alyssa Palmateer

On Air: Dr. Polster and the Path of Family Medicine

Metro Mornings is an audio program put on by CBC with host David Common and features different reporters and guest hosts. It airs 5:30 in the morning and discusses current events, daily news topics, weather and traffic.

Clips are short, informative and get the day started with a listening ear. Dr. Elliot Polster, Resident PGY-1 and Clinical Skills Preceptor was featured on the show with guest host Molly Thomas to talk about his personal choice to enter Family Medicine.

Polster emphasizes his passion for mental health and his interest in providing longtitudinal patient care as motivation behind entering Family Medicine.

Listen to the CBC Interview to hear about his personal Niagara residency and discussion of current challenges facing Family Medicine.

Research Day Showcases NRC Learner Research Presentations

McMaster learners displayed their research findings at the Niagara Health Knowledge Institute's (NHKI) Research Day on May 2nd.

This is the fourth year Research Day has been put on by Niagara Health as an opportunity to showcase healthcare researchers from Niagara Health staff and physicians, students and community partners.

NRC medical learners were among the 50 students who displayed research poster presentations. Research Day involved a variety of workshops and was attended by leaders from Niagara Health, Brock, Public Health and Niagara College.

To read more about Research Day, visit the Niagara Health NHKI article

Accepting Applications: Osteoporosis Canada Tim Murray Short-Term Training Awards

The Osteoporosis Research Program is seeking researchers to enter in a competition at a chance to win the Tim Murray Short-Term Training Award (maximum $1500). This award provide successful individuals the opportunity to learn more about osteoporosis, advance existing research skills in osteoporosis and/or present their research at a scientific meeting.

The awards aim to build on Dr. Timothy Murray’s impressive legacy of teaching, research and patient care by recognizing, supporting and encouraging future leaders in bone health. The application process will be administered by Osteoporosis Canada’s research committee.

Who is eligible: Undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate trainees and junior faculty members (where junior is defined as less than 5 years in their first academic appointment)

The proposed training or project must occur between June 2024 and March 31, 2025.

Applications for the Spring round of awards accepted until May 30, 2024

Application forms can be found at Training Awards

Dr. Ryan Zufelt

Family Medicine

Dr. Elliot Grady

Family Medicine

Dr. Neeraj Shukla


Dr. Matthew Jessome

Medicine, Rheumatology

Dr. Regina Li

Medicine, Hematology

Dr. Nick Davies-Shawhyde

Family Medicine

Dr. Richard Scott

Family Medicine

Reducing Unnecessary Transfusions of RBC's in Inpatients Admitted Across Niagara Health Community Hospitals

Yazan Abu Yousef and Ashis Bagchee-Clark (C2023) with Dr. Mohammad Refaei

Published in, Q Manage Health Care

This study examined Niagara Health's use of RBC's in relation to Choosing Wisely Canada guideline recommendations. Following this study, single-unit transfusions improved with transfusion medicine technologist-led screening of orders and and introducing a RBS order set. To learn more about NHS' transfusion medicine findings, read here

For downloading entire article, DOI: 10.1097/QMH.0000000000000442

Virtual Care Delivery of Whole Family Assessment and Intervention with Infants and Pre-Schoolers

Nick Hanson, Class of C2026

Published in, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy

Virtual whole family therapy is researched in this study involving children aged 0-5 years old. Both advantageous and prohibitive features of virtual care are examined including flexibility of care, clinician fatigue, access to technology, home privacy and feasibility of tasks.

For more newly emerging research on virtual care read here

UGME COVID Communication:

Health and Safety:



Facebook  Twitter  Instagram