Signum Fidei Spring 2019

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SIGNUM FIDEI Spring 2019Isabella Aversa, DEL ‘16Family MedicineBy John Hunt & Isabella Aversa, DEL ‘16 Too often for our liking, life is not fair. Sad tales…
SIGNUM FIDEI Spring 2019Isabella Aversa, DEL ‘16Family MedicineBy John Hunt & Isabella Aversa, DEL ‘16 Too often for our liking, life is not fair. Sad tales abound. Some of them we cause ourselves but mostly they come from the unknowable, the unforeseeable calamities that the great wide universe chooses to inflict upon us. Too many nightmare scenarios concern our own health or the health of our families. When struck by sudden debilitating strokes or lingering diseases, by the fallout of accidents at home or away, or the shock of the revelation of a dire condition, we seek safety, in hope or panic, in the talents of the caregivers in our healthcare system. But how solid, how reliable is that system? In Ontario we are blessed with healthcare that is lavishly funded but still we know of too long delays in hospital hallways forlack of beds, harmful delays for scans and operations, and inadequate care after treatments. In recent years billions have been wasted tinkering with this or that remedy. The tinkering continues. The rush to the U.S. alternative is too costly for most. England, another possibility, is also expensive and far from home. Is there any port in the storm in any other part or the world? Questions must be asked and comparisons made between health systems looking for strengths and weaknesses, to be copied or avoided.Apparently, in many fields of medicine, across the world, there is no universal model to use as a basis of comparison. This lack of a standard hinders ready comparisons that might facilitate better options and streamline procedures. But there many countries and too many different levels of prosperity. In many places health services are shoddy or inadequate or unreliable. However, in the area of Family Medicine, “perhaps the stem cells of healthcare systems ”, fortunately one of our DEL grads is involved in award-winning research at Laurier Health Services. Our graduate is Isabella Aversa (DEL’16) who is working on a project to create the needed template. She is one of a group of seven students at Laurier who are exploring the quality of family medicine around the world. The leader of the research-based directed studies course is Dr. Neil Arya. The first phase of the project focused on exploring what Family Medicinemeans around the world. Each of the seven students spearheaded one aspect of the project. Happily, they had the helpful idea of creating a 3-D map of the world which shows variable data in one glance. The map shows the year family medicine systems were established in each country and the height of the profile tells the length of the history of Family Medicine in that country. Also, the role and meaning of such terms as “general practitioner” varies widely from country to country, so terms must be clarified. To better understand these distinctions the students interviewed family doctors around the world. The next step was to create a website to provide data to every country and world region. The eventual goal is to determine how much a model of primary care is beneficial to health systems. The hope is that within this framework family doctors can adapt and” be whatever they need to be for the community”-in other words, “of being who you need to be for the people who need you.” Success depends on many factors: terminology (to provide common descriptions), data on primary care such as immunization rates, and the value of various healthy behaviors. In this way doctors in Africa, Brazil or Poland may reap benefits from the efforts of Isabella and her team. In recognition of their work the team received two awards from the “Besrour Global Health Forum” at a very large conference of family doctors from across Canada and around the world, “despite being the youngest attendees.” Isabella is our graduate, so it our honor and pleasure to feature the influence of Del upon her career. CONTINUED PG. 3w w w. d e l a s a l l e . c a / a l u m n i1A Lenten Reflection from Brother DomenicFrom the crisis in the Church today will emerge a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. (Joseph Ratzinger circa 1969 – the future Pope Benedict XVI) Since the Second Vatican Council which ended over fifty years ago now until our own days, a great deal has changed in the life of the Church. The shortage of priests and Religious Sisters and Brothers, the introduction of a new liturgy, and the disappearance of many Catholic customs and practices have been much in evidence during these years. Attendance at Sunday Mass is at a historic low and the sexual abuse scandals continue to plague the Church in many parts of the world. It is easy to become discouraged. However, there continue to be signs of life here and there. The pro-life movement is alive and more active than ever. Some traditional religious orders have sprung up and are receiving good vocations. The days of strange forms of2the liturgy seem to be beyond us and the interest in the traditional liturgies of the Church continue to grow, especially among young adults. These are signs that the Spirit is active in our lives and the Lord makes good on his promise that he does not leave us orphans even though the family may be smaller and less influential.time to go to the Lord as one does a best friend.No doubt, the Church, as Pope Benedict XVI speculated so many years ago now, is indeed getting smaller in some sense. Any time genuine reformation takes place in an organisation or group this can result in a better and stronger version of the entity. Authentic and true adherence to a group requires purification or cleansing. It also elicits a faithful response to being committed. When Jesus asked his closest disciples if they, too, were no longer able to follow him because of the exigencies of the nature of their discipleship, they had to make a decision.• Attend Mass regularly and make a real preparation to receive the Eucharistic in a worthy manner.Although we know that the Apostle Peter struggled and failed frequently to follow the Lord as he desired, he, nevertheless, recognised that it was, and is, Jesus to whom we must go because it is the Lord who is the Christ and the One who has the words of eternal life. The weeks of Lent are a time, particularly for cradle Catholics, to re-commit and learn from Peter that we are to go with humility and honesty to Jesus as Saviour, Redeemer and Friend. Young people cannot be expected to go to the Lord if they do not see us going before the Lord as to a dear and loving friend. Naturally, Lent is a good time to practise some penance and abstinence for the sake of perfecting self-discipline and for diminishing the ego which is often an obstacle to being truly human. Above-all though, it is aSpring 2019Despite all the difficulties and the suffering in the Church, one thing remains true: There is only one thing that stops me from loving and serving the Lord and that is my own will. I offer you the following little way of living the forty days of Lent which help me:• Put aside time each day in personal prayer and pray with my family, friends, community. • Get over the fear or reluctance to ask Jesus to guide me in my actions at work or school. • Make an extra effort to support my parish or some charity with my talents and treasure. • Read a passage or two of Scripture each day. • Select one or two persons whom I will commit to pray for each day. • Give more time on Sunday to rest or relax with my family or friends. The soul that thirsts for God is first sorry in his heart from fear, and then from love. (St. Gregory I the Great, Dialogues c. 590)Brother Domenic, fsc PresidentFAMILY MEDICINE, CONT’D Please read her story, in her own words, a summary of important service to her schools, her province, her country and health care everywhere. During my eight years at De La Salle, I learned the values of community, self-discipline, humility, and charity. These values that have been instilled in me have allowed me to continue to follow Del’s motto, “Leave to Serve.” I graduated from De La Salle in 2016 and am now in my third year of Laurier Health Sciences. Here, I continue to serve the community around me as an executive on the Laurier Supporting SickKids Hospital Club, and as the Chairwoman for my sorority’s gala, that raised $6,000 for women’s cardiac health initiatives. I sincerely believe Del’s high academic standards have allowed me to develop the skills that are helping me to succeed in my program and led me to be selected to participate in a research project that aims to improve global health. In the previous semester, I was selected for a directed studies project under the supervision of Dr. Neil Arya, a family physician and professor. I, along a team of seven other third- and fourthyear Health Science students, worked to expand the understanding of family medicine training and its role within the healthcare system in the various regions of the world. Information on family medicine training and practice from each country was collected through a literature review, and telephone interviews with family physicians in each region of the world. One of the pieces of data that was collected was the year that the first family medicine post-graduate training program was established in each country. Our team had created a visual representation of this data in the form of a three-dimensional map, that we had spent many hours working on in the Laurier Science Maker Lab. Wood layers were added to the map to repre-sent the amount of years family medicine programs has exi s t e d in each co u n try. We had the opportunity to present Photo of 3D layered wood map displaying family medicine statistics our initial research mat and available to researchers, polifindings and map at the Family Med- cy makers and health care personnel icine Forum, Canada’s largest annual around the world. conference for family physicians, hosted by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. The physicians at the conferThe Spring 2019 Signum Fidei ence were impressed with our innovaissue is brought to you by: tive presentation of data, and excited Joseph Pupo about the future benefits of the project. Director of Alumni Affairs and We were honoured and thrilled to have Development Department won the “Delegates’ Favourite for the 2018 Best Poster Award” and be judged Nick Cipriani as “Runner-up for the 2018 Best Poster Co-ordinator of special events Award”. John Hunt This collaborative multi-year project Advancement and Development is bringing in experts from around the Associate world to map family medicine training Austin McKay DEL ‘09 and practice and understand its role Alumni and Development Associate within various settings. The data that Jessica Minervini has been collected will be added to a Communications Officer web page, where key informants will be able to add and refine information in a wiki-like process. In the future, the projIN THIS ISSUE ect aims to display how each country’s delivery of the family medicine model Family Medicine...........................PG 1 has an effect on its health systems per- Alumni Hockey Tournament........PG 4 formance. The goal of this is to benefit Spring Tournaments.....................PG 5 healthcare on a global scale by providing information on whether family Climbing Everest...........................PG 6 medicine is useful in different settings. U14 Hockey Champs ....................PG 8 It may be advantageous in some coun- TDLS: Mary Poppins ....................PG 9 tries, but not in others and the aim of this project is to find out where family Carnegie Hall, again......................PG 10 medicine can benefit. This research will Down the Centuries....................PG 13 be displayed in an easily accessible for- Rivers of Continuity.....................PG 14w w w. d e l a s a l l e . c a / a l u m n i32019 Alumni Hockey Tournament: Who Took Home the Daniel Bertoia Cup? | By: Austin McKay, DEL ‘09SPRING TOURNAMENTSTeam Orange, Veteran’s Division WinnersThe 8th Annual Alumni Hockey Tournament in support of Skate with Daniel took place February 22-23rd. 72 Alumni ranging from the Class of 1981 to the Class of 2017 came together to have a great time and bring awareness to an important cause. Daniel Bertoia, Class of 2008, passed away at 18 with cancer and the tournament is proud to raise awareness for ‘Skate with Daniel’, a charity devoted to raising funds to support brain tu-mour research. We were honoured to have Daniel’s brother Marco on hand to say a few words. The tournament was fun on and off the ice. Teams played one game each Friday night before coming together for food, drinks and a few laughs at the Heritage House. Saturday was a full day of competition with the Veteran’s Division Championship being won by Team Orange in a hotly contested Game 3 of the series with a 6-4 final.The Young’un’s title went to Team White who defeated Team Green in the last game of the tournament. Tune into TSN to see some highlights (or just check out the slide show below!) De La Salle College is so grateful to have Alumni who enjoy coming back to campus and being around each other representing our school so well.Registration for the Soccer Tournament opens on April 8. To register for the Golf Tournament, click here. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, click here.Please enjoy some pictures from the weekend’s action and we hope to see everyone and more next year!Team White, Young’un’s Division Winners4Spring 2019w w w. d e l a s a l l e . c a / a l u m n i5Climbing EverestBy: John Hunt & Richie Jeremian, DEL ‘06 A mountain of a problem still remains to be solved more than two thousand years after the classical Greeks began to probe the issue: the connection, if any, between brain and mind. One is a physical organ and the other is... consciousness? Centuries and centuries later in Toronto, Richie Jeremian (DEL’06) “took an interest in the study of molecular genetics as away to understand complex human disorders, particularly mood and psychiatric disorders”- in other words the relation between brain and psyche. The possibilities generate curiosity and excitement. This is truly Shakespeare’s “undiscovered country”, the dark continents of Freud and Jung, continents that remain unmapped, because of the nebulous relationship between mind and brain. There are many Everests to be conquered here in what may be the most challenging and rewarding adventure in science, another instance of where few have gone before. Imagine salvation for the millions we hear of every day yearning for relief from depression, anxiety, stress, suicidal thoughts as well as dozens of disorders, complexes, compulsions and addictions. The mountain remains but some climbers are restive. One who probed the matter deeply still lives in his timeless art-Shakespeare himself. Lady Macbeth, a rich archetype, is a most cunning, competent villain, a voracious tigress who crumples into a helpless, distracted, psychological wreck. What happened? Her mind, consciousness, rebelled without her conscious knowledge. The author created this rich study four centuries ago, still standing alone, while too many suffer the same torments unaided in this age of science. Pardon the digression but the episode is telling. Besieged Macbeth asks the Doctor about6his “patient” who suffers from horrible nightmares and delusions (after the murders) while sleepwalking. The Doctor replies that “she is troubled with thick-coming fancies.” Besieged Macbeth, at wit’s end, admonishes the Doctor in words that strongly suggest the mysterious, unknown- what? sparks? tenuous synapses? vapors? between brain and psyche that remain an enigma to this hour. Cure her of that. Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, Erase the written troubles of the brain, And with some sweet oblivious antidote Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff Which weighs upon the heart? The reference is pertinent in our time for troubles abound. Indeed, a troubled Lincoln, no fool, when he couldn’t sleep, walked the halls of the White House reading the great feast of speeches from “Macbeth”. No doubt they resonated. Brain and psyche- the research papers pile up, as do the casualties, sadly in increasing numbers. This is a somber scene, troubling to many. To return to our Del graduate, Richie Jeremian, whose career is proving to be a welcome force in solving complex scientific problems including the mindbrain dilemma. He is an innovative teacher at U. of T. with wide-ranging interests, curious and patient in research, a writer and leader. He is cutting a wide swath through the academic world and has written a summary of what he has been doing since he left Del. Please read this dizzying account, but please sit down first because he moves quickly through many academic domains. It is gratifying to read in his recollections that the school did propel him on his way. He remembers undervaluing Mr. Bellisario’s “singing the merits of a liberal education but found later that the ability to communicate was crucial toSpring 2019being competent in the real world.” He generously offered to speak to our senior science students in April. I will be in that audience. It’s not every day you get to see an assault on Everest.passing understanding of the natural sciences. In designing lessons, I strove to improve students’ understanding of the material by integrating class topics with current research findings and relevant examples, and framing them in the context of other disciplines. I have derived great pleasure from exerting some amount of influence in the learning process of students, particularly in courses that I took as an undergraduate. The ability to help students gain insights into the interconnected framework of biomedical science and to challenge their mode of thinking, has been extremely gratifying; it was particularly rewarding to witness students grasp material through “a-ha” moments fueled by classroom discussion, and to track their academic progress across the semester.I graduated from Del in 2006 with an interest in biology and medicine, which led me to pursue Life Science studies at the University of Toronto. Despite being a challenging program with a demanding course load, the work ethic that was instilled in me in the years prior helped me feel more confident, and ultimately underscored my ability to work hard and succeed. As an undergrad, I took an interest in the study of molecular genetics as a way to understand complex human disorders, particularly mood and psychiatric disorders - this, in turn, impacted my decision to pursue a research-based Master’s at the U of T Faculty of Medicine. Between 2010 and 2018, I served as a research assistant at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) under the supervision of Dr. Art Petronis. As a Master’s student (2010 - 2013), I became immersed in the world of academia, was trained to run and analyse experiments, and had my very first experiences presenting my findings at conferences. For these projects, I studied the role of epigenetic modifications in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder, and published one of the first psychiatric epigenome-wide studies of suicidal behaviour. As a PhD student (2014 - 2018), I used lactose intolerance as a simple model of aging to better understand the molecular underpinning of complex disorders that cluster in families, but do not manifest until several decades of life. In doing so, I became proficient with numerous aspects of molecular genetics research including whole-genome sequencing-based techniques, animal and cell models, and analysis of large sets of data. I collaborated with doz-Richie Jeremian, DEL ‘06ens of highly passionate and intelligent researchers both within and outside of my lab on high-risk, high-reward projects that required extensive optimization and sometimes did not materialize. These endeav
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