Two new Associate Chairs in the Department of Surgery

Published: 17 December 2021

This message is sent on behalf of Dr Liane S Feldman, Chair Department of Surgery

Dear Faculty Members,

I am delighted to announce the appointment of two new Associate Chairs in the McGill Department of Surgery along with changes to the composition of the Executive Committee, effective January 2022.

After a competitive selection process, Dr Melina Vassiliou has been appointed Associate Chair for Education in the Department of Surgery and to the Adair Family Chair in Surgical Education. Dr Vassiliou’s passion for surgical education developed in her residency where she obtained a MEd degree. She has expertise in educational research methods, curriculum development, simulation and assessment. She served as program director for the Surgical Foundations program and is the fellowship director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery fellowship. She has been recognized with awards including the 2018 Canadian Association for Medical Education Certificate of Merit and was named to the McGill Faculty of Medicine Honour List for Educational Excellence. She serves in prominent international leadership roles in education, including as Chair of SAGES Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) committee. We are confident that her innovative and engaging approach will promote educational excellence throughout the Department.

Dr Kevin Lachapelle, the previous Adair Chair, will be assuming a new role in a newly created position as Associate Chair for Faculty Development. This role will replace the current Associate Chair of Academic Affairs position. As the Founding Director of the McGill Simulation Centre, Dr Lachapelle brings a wealth of experience in program building and surgical education. We are grateful for his many contributions as Adair Chair since 2012 including initiating and directing the Surgical Education concentration in Experimental Surgery and co-directing the Surgical Innovation Concentration. Dr Lachapelle received several awards in education and leadership including The John Ruedy Award for Innovation in Medical Education from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, the David Johnston Award from the McGill University Alumnae Association, Special Recognition for Service to the Faculty at McGill and was named to the McGill Faculty of Medicine Honour List for Educational Excellence. In his new role as Associate Chair of Faculty Development, he will design programs to mentor and support McGill surgeons throughout all phases of our careers. One exciting initiative will be a tailored leadership program for surgeons being created in cooperation with the Desautels Executive Institute. We hope that many of you will be part of our first cohort in 2022.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Wassim Kassouf for his many contributions as Associate Chair of Academic Affairs, as his mandate ends at the end of the year. During his tenure, Dr Kassouf introduced several new initiatives to support Faculty Development. For new recruits, he established an onboarding pathway including creating a mentorship committee for new faculty. He defined the different academic tracks that will help clarify roles and responsibilities for new recruits. Dr Kassouf also developed a tool kit to support applications for academic promotion, including a webinar. Last but not least, he updated our faculty development webpage providing a “one stop shop” for information regarding onboarding, mentoring, D&I, wellness and other subjects ( ). We thank him sincerely for his efforts in this role and are pleased he will be continuing to Chair the Departmental Promotions Committee.

I am also excited to announce a new position in the Department- the Associate Chair for Faculty Life. The Associate Chair for Faculty Life will focus on fostering a culture where our members feel engaged, recognized and connected to the Department. This could include programming in the areas of improving joy in work, surgeon well-being, whole person development, D&I, professionalism or other projects. The Associate Chair will also be responsible for the Department’s communication strategy including the website, annual report, social media, the newsletter and other resources. We will initiate the search for this new role early in the new year and I encourage surgeons of any career stage and rank who are committed to any of these important issues to apply. Please let me know if you are interested and be on the lookout for that announcement.

I want to express my appreciation and pride to all of you as we work together to deliver world-class clinical care, research and education in the Department of Surgery under these very challenging conditions. I am also grateful to Christina Raneburger and her team behind the scenes who administer all our activities (ie do the work)!

We wish you a healthy and restful holiday season!

Liane S Feldman MDCM FACS FRCS

Edward W. Archibald Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, McGill University
Surgeon-in-chief, McGill University Health Centre

Professeure Edward W. Archibald et directrice, Département de chirurgie, Université McGill
Chirurgienne en chef, Centre universitaire de santé McGill

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