By Sharon Gray
The Board of Regents has named Dr. Sandra
LeFort as the new director of Memorial’s School of
Nursing, effective Jan. 1, 2004.
Dr. LeFort is an associate professor of Nursing, a former
associate director of nursing for graduate studies and research,
and an adjunct faculty member of the PhD program in Nursing
A nationally recognized expert in research in pain management,
she is principal investigator on a $340,000 Canadian Institutes
of Health Research grant in the evaluation of chronic pain
self-management as well as co-investigator in a number of
large, related research projects. Her early academic promise
was recognized by the award of the Governor General's Gold
Medal for Graduate Study at Memorial University in 1990.
She went on to receive her PhD in Nursing at McGill University.
Since then, her administrative expertise has been honed
through participation at the executive level in provincial
and national professional associations.
“Sandra LeFort will be welcomed as director by all
her colleagues in Nursing as well as by other academic deans
and directors for broad and strategic thinking, an understanding
of leadership, and well developed capacities for active
listening and persuasive communication,” said Dr.
Simpson, vice-president (academic). “Her national
profile, strength in research and intelligent determination
will enable her to help the School of Nursing develop at
a time when nursing education confronts major challenges
in finding and producing faculty members in sufficient numbers
to meet the demand for their services.
“She and the new dean of medicine will complement
one another in advancing the health disciplines at Memorial.”
Dr. LeFort said her vision for the School of Nursing is
a shared vision with faculty and staff, shaped through meaningful
discussion and collaboration and taking place in an environment
of openness, transparency and respect. To cope with increasing
growth in program offerings at all levels and an expansion
of research and scholarship, she said the School of Nursing
needs to define its priorities and be vigilant in terms
of educational quality. “The School of Nursing has
committed faculty and staff who have many strengths, chief
among them the ability to work together towards common goals.”
Dr. LeFort’s wish list includes more resources –
including space – active research programs involving
students, collaborations both within and outside the university,
partnerships with health care agencies for practice and
research, and solid working relationships with collaborative