Volume 10, Number 11 February 7, 2003

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Consultation leads to U of S 'vision' for Health Sciences

Toni Villiers, of the University's Organizational Development unit, leads one small group discussing the U of S vision for Academic Health Sciences, during an Oct. 25, 2002 consultation.  Participants here include Dean of Pharmacy & Nutrition Dennis Gorecki, on Villiers' right, and U of S Board of Governors member Garry Standing, far right.

Toni Villiers, of the University's Organizational Development unit, leads one small group discussing the U of S vision for Academic Health Sciences, during an Oct. 25, 2002 consultation. Participants here include Dean of Pharmacy & Nutrition Dennis Gorecki, on Villiers' right, and U of S Board of Governors member Garry Standing, far right.

After extensive consultation with its partners in the 'Academic Health Sciences' field, the U of S has mapped out its vision for the most desirable future for the three key areas of clinical health services, teaching and research.

The year-old Academic Health Sciences Network - a co-ordinating arrangement among the U of S, the provincial government, and the Saskatoon and Regina health districts - organized a seven-month consultative process that produced a Jan. 17 report called Our Journey to Better Health: The Vision & Strategic Directions for Academic Health Sciences for the U of S and its Partners.

The document, presented for information to University Council Jan. 23, states it offers a vision that is the "preferred but realistic future" agreed on by the 35-member planning team made up of people from the U of S, the health districts, and the government.

Health Sciences Network Co-ordinator Jane Forster says the process began last June. Consultant Lawrence Beaudry was hired to lead the drafting of the vision document - reviewing background information, liaising with the planning team, conducting focus-group opinion gathering, and organizing a "pull-it-all-together" day last Oct. 25.

Forster says U of S faculty, students, staff in the health regions, government departments, and even other health agencies were consulted during the drafting of the vision statement.

Highlights of the document include:

  • "The primary objective of health sciences colleges and programs at the U of S will be to improve the quality of care and health status for the people of Saskatchewan."
  • "There will be a direct symbiotic and mutually supportive relationship between active research and educational programs of national and international quality and the delivery of clinical service which provide the highest level of health promotion and health care possible within available resources."
  • The U of S will become a centre of excellence "in primary and core specialty health care and Aboriginal health, and we will be global leaders in the development and use of health services delivery models for widely geographically dispersed populations."
  • "We will build on the strong tradition of programs in health sciences and related areas including clinical psychology, dentistry, kinesiology, medicine, nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, physical therapy, toxicology, and veterinary medicine at the U of S."
  • The University will attract "the best and the brightest" - motivated students, including Aboriginal people.
  • High-quality programs will build on existing strengths and also stress curriculum and service delivery of areas like primary health care, Aboriginal health, rural and regional health.
  • The U of S will move to a responsive curricula, more integrated and interdisciplinary, using many delivery sites, promote active learning, and foster mentoring.
  • "Programs need to meet or exceed national and international accreditation requirements ... Space and other infrastructure requirements, including adequate library resources, are necessary."


For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca


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