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REF NO.: 86

SUBJECT: New director for School of Nursing at Memorial University of Newfoundland

DATE: Dec. 11

The Board of Regents of Memorial University 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 at Dalhousie. 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. Evan 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 partners.

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