Health Sciences Council welcomes new chair and vice-chair

Anne Pratt - 19 July 2013

The Health Sciences Council is pleased to welcome its new chair D. Douglas Miller, dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, and vice-chair Jim Kehrer, dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Dean Miller has been a member of the council since July 2012; Dean Kehrer joined in 2009. The new chair and vice-chair will lead strategic planning for the council and champion the council's initiatives in fostering collaborative health sciences scholarship at the University of Alberta. Both positions were elected by the council's membership and have one-year, renewable terms.

"It is an honour to have the support of our provost and my decanal colleagues on the council, at a university with such breadth in its health sciences faculties," said Miller. "Together, we are committed to the success of our faculties and learners as valued members of an integrated team of health professionals."

Following an extensive review and planning process, the council has created a new structure. An executive director, accountable to the council and reporting through the chair, will undertake management of the council's activities. This approach allows the deans a closer connection with, and greater responsibility for, the council's new and continued initiatives. The HSC continues to be accountable to the provost and vice-president (academic).

"We have an exciting opportunity here to play a leadership role with both internal and external partners," said Kehrer. "We are well positioned to lead the way in educating health professionals for the 21st century, and in finding innovative ways to work together, particularly in improving interprofessional education opportunities for our students."

The Health Sciences Council was established at the University of Alberta in the mid-1980s as a formal administrative arrangement through which the health science faculties could strengthen collaboration of equals. The council comprises the deans from faculties and schools with health sciences activities, and has continued academic and administrative responsibility for the Health Sciences Education and Research Commons and the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy.

The council extends special thanks to Lory Laing, interim dean of the School of Public Health, for outstanding leadership as council chair during the past year.