SAAHE AGM at the 2016 conference

Notice is hereby given of the SAAHE Annual General Meeting to take place on the 22nd June at the National Conference in Port Elizabeth.

Members are encouraged to review the documentation for the AGM below, and to attend the meeting at 16:00 on the 22nd.

SAAHE 2016 Distinguished Educator announced

It is with great pleasure and pride that we award the 2016 SAAHE Distinguished Educator award to Professor Marietjie de Villiers, from the Family Medicine and Primary Care Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University.

Selection_001

From the nomination:

A true health professions educator is one who facilitates learning in every possible way from introducing a group of excited first-year students to the field of medicine, through supporting postgraduate students in their endeavours to become masters of their craft, to engaging a group of practicing clinicians around their continued professional learning. In addition, a true educator functions as advocate and activist for learning and teaching, challenges accepted norms with a view to enhancing teaching practice, and fosters the establishment of enabling environments where potentially transformative learning can take place. Marietjie de Villiers is such an educator. In a career of over 35 years (23 in academic medicine at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), Stellenbosch University), Professor de Villiers progressed from being a lecturer to full Professor in 11 years and to Deputy Dean: Education in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in 2006. More importantly, however, she has been the catalyst for a whole range of learning and teaching innovations and projects that through the years have established the FMHS as a pioneer in the field of medical and health professions education. Her work is characterised by a dedication and commitment to her students and the staff with whom she works, and is informed by an enduring commitment to the provision of quality health outcomes within a socially just context. In this submission, we track the career of this remarkable educator and teacher, and present it as motivation for why she would be a worthy winner of the SAAHE Distinguished Educator award.

After matriculation at the Paarl Gymnasium in 1973, Marietjie spent a year at the SA Women’s Army College in George before embarking on her medical degree at Stellenbosch University in 1975. After graduation and internship she joined a general practice in Kuilsriver in the Western Cape before moving to Mfuleni where she worked in the local township for six years spurred on by a commitment during the apartheid years to care for the poor and the oppressed. As teacher at heart, however, she eventually took up a position in the FMHS at SU in 1993 having obtained her Master’s degree in Family Medicine (1988). Later she obtained her PhD in Family Medicine which focussed on the development of content and appropriate methods for maintenance of competence for generalist medical practitioners working in rural areas (2004), which was the first research on rural medicine in South Africa at the time

It is, however, her work in educational leadership and management – at faculty, institutional, national and international level – that sets Marietjie de Villiers apart as advocate for health professions education. Prof de Villiers is not only an educator who makes things happen, she is also a teaching scholar and is regularly called upon to present plenaries at national and international scientific meetings. More than 25 of her peer-reviewed publications focus on an aspect of education, with community based education being a strong theme in her research. She regularly presents her work at local and international health professions education conferences and has attended ten SAAHE meetings and conferences through the years. She was the FMHS representative on SAAME (the SAAHE precursor) and led the transition from SAAME to SAAHE at the FMHS at the time.

Prof de Villiers has earned international, African and national standing as a leader in health professions education. She has presented 172 papers at international and national conferences, and published 89 publications of which 40 original research articles and 12 book chapters. Marietjie de Villiers is a believer – she believes in people, she believes in the power of education to influence health outcomes, and she believes in South Africa. In 2007 she co-authored an article in Medical Teacher entitled: Medical Education in South Africa: Exciting times. The closing paragraph in that article says the following:

Despite all the odds, medical education in South Africa continues to produce excellent doctors using up to date educational strategies. We are proud of our political, economic and social changes. We are not complacent about further changes that need to take place. Watch this space and watch this country.

Since the publication of that article, Marietjie has continued to strive towards effecting the ‘further changes’ that are needed in health professions education on the African continent, influencing practice in the FMHS and beyond, doing so in a generative and meaningful way, taking others with her along the way. There can be no doubt that she would be a worthy winner of the SAAHE Distinguished Educator Award in 2016.

On the passing on Prof. Wendy McMillan

Photo of Wendy (for posters) (23 May 2011)It is with sadness that we note the passing of Prof Wendy McMillan on the 23rd December, 2015. Prof McMillan was a role model, a colleague, a friend and an Education Advisor to the UWC Faculty of Dentistry. She held various degrees, including in education, an honours in curriculum, and PhD in educational sociology. She was a substantially published author in health sciences education, a past National Chair of the South African Association of Health Educationists (SAAHE) and a SAAHE Council Representative. She received the SAAHE distinguished educator award and HELTASA teaching excellence award in 2012. Prof McMillan also served as an editorial board member of the  African Journal of Health Professions Education.

Her loss will be felt by both SAAHE and SAFRI and we salute her for the important work she has done in both organisations. As the SAAHE community, we pay tribute to this pioneer in SAAHE and Health Professions Education in South Africa. We pass on our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Prof Wendy McMillan with the news of her death.

2015 national conference update

This year the SAAHE national conference will be jointly run by SAAHE and The Network / Towards Unity for Health. This meeting offers a wonderful opportunity, not only for South African health professions educators to come together and share their experiences, but to connect with international colleagues as well. The 2015 conference is the culmination of an exciting collaboration with The Network / TUFH and we are excited to see you all in Pretoria in a few months time.

Conference details:

See the conference website for additional information and registration.

Selection_001

2015 SAAHE Distinguished Educator award

It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of the 2015 SAAHE Distinguished Educator award, as Dr Jacqueline van Wyk. The following exercpt, taken from Dr van Wyk’s nomination, is testimony to the high level of scholarly activity that she has engaged in, and the contributions that she has made to South African health professions education:

Dr Van Wyk has been actively involved in higher education since 1995 and started at the University of Natal Durban’s (UND) Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine in 2000 when appointed the education consultant to implement a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum. She has made a significant contribution to staff development and played various roles in the oversight of the curriculum which included the initial establishment of an integrated assessment office, which she headed from 2001-2003 while improving the teaching and quality of the MBChB programme. She served on each of the integrated theme design teams and on the assessment and curriculum committees and guided and prepared module templates for Senate approval. She headed the evaluations office (2004-2007) and she played a central role in preparing the faculty for the HPCSA accreditation visits to UKZN in 2001; 2005 and 2010.  Dr Van Wyk’s teaching responsibilities revolved around training staff in health education and problem based learning, assessment, teaching and learning and research methodology and this led to improvements in the teaching and learning on the MBChB programme. She also participated in educational research and capacity development at the NRMSM and had co-authored many publications with various members of staff. She was the first educationalist to be selected for the FAIMER programme in 2004 when the programme was mainly aimed at clinicians and became part of the team that started the South African regional FAIMER institute (2007). Since 2008-2012, she has also played various roles in the design, teaching and administrative functions of SAFRI, has as its aims to develop networks and research capacity of health educators in the sub-Saharan African Region.

Dr Van Wyk has served as Teaching and Learning representative for the NRMSM on the senate and became part of the task team that formulated the T and L policies for the UKZN. Once of these relates to the “up-skilling” of all academics (with educational qualification) in educational matters. Dr Van Wyk has been teaching on these modules for the UKZN Education Induction Programme (UEIP) initiative on the Assessment and Teaching and learning courses.  She also teaches on the Post-Graduate Diploma in Higher Education for the Centre of higher Education. The challenges in health professions sector have to innovative designs to expand training in research and education. This has culminated in the design of the programme to be delivers in e-learning format for Staff Development in the College of Health Sciences. Since 2006, she served on various panels such as those for the internal review for Quality Assurance of modules in the Department of Education prior to SAQA’ (HEQA) audit. In 2007 Dr Van Wyk  became a  founding member of the Women in leadership leverage (WILL) group at the Faculty of Health Sciences (UKZN) and served on the executive committee of this group designed to promote the development of research capacity and leadership ability in women within the University of KwaZulu Natal. Since 2011 serves an educationist for Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) for accrediting of undergraduate medical curricula. Her mentoring in research and post graduate supervision began in 2009 when she participated in  cohort supervision for Masters and PhDs.

Dr Van Wyk journey into contributing to health education and research at an international level began when she became one of the founding members of the Sub-Saharan African FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI).  SAFRI’s purpose is to improve the teaching and research capacity of health educators and foster growth of research into health professional education within the sub Saharan African region.   Since 2007, she became the Programme director and executive member for SAFRI FAIMER as well as taught on the Design modules in Teaching & Learning, Programme Evaluation; Faculty Development, Research as well as supervised Post Graduate projects as part of SAFRI.   The University of Venda recognised her expertise in curriculum design and staff development toward teaching problem based learning though inviting her to be a consultant during their Curriculum Indaba on Problem- based learning in 2005. This trend toward collaboration for the improvement of international health professional education continued when she was invited as a guest lecturer to collaborate on the Brazil FAIMER Regional institute.

Dr Van Wyk has engaged in research of her own and has presented papers at both international and national conferences. These research projects have been in collaboration with colleagues both in South Africa and internationally. These conference presentations include (2014) Towards Unity for Health (November 19-24) in Fortaleza Brazil, 2013 AMEE  Prague 24-28 August 2012 and 2013  and 2012 The Network Conference Thailand and Canada respectively. On a national level she has presented at the SAAHE for several years.

Dr van Wyk has worked toward disseminating research and contributing towards debates in health professions education though serving as a reviewer for the South African Journal of Family Practice, BMC-Medical Education, and an evaluator for the National Research Foundation. S also served as a reviewer and is currently a deputy editor for the African Journal for Health Profession Educators (AJHPE).

To conclude, it can be seen from the contributions and collaborations in her research that Dr Van Wyk has impacted on capacity building for the health education and research both locally and internationally. She has assisted in furthering the body of knowledge on health professional education though her own research and collaborations with others as well as serving as reviewers for journals. From the attached references from students it can be attested that on a personal level. Dr van Wyk models the teaching methods that she advocates and her mentoring and assistance has helped develop and inspire academic both within KwaZulu Natal and internationally.

We are extremely proud of the achievements of Dr van Wyk and that we are able to recognise her significant contribution to South African health professions education through this award.

Updating the membership list

Over the past few years the SAAHE membership list has grown, as more and more people attend the national conference. Up until now this has been the primary means by which the organisation has expanded and acquired new members, since by attending the conference you were considered a part of the SAAHE community.

We would now like to begin a more formal approach to membership so that we can keep our list updated and more accurate. Membership is still free but requires that you formally opt-in to be a SAAHE member. This will allow us to update our records, as well as determine who would like to continue receiving SAAHE newsletters.

To register for SAAHE membership, please complete the registration form. Note that if you consider yourself a SAAHE member and are receiving these emails, we still ask that you complete the registration form, since it includes information that we currently do not have as part of our national member database. Completing the form will take less than 2 minutes.

2015 Conference: Abstract submission extended until May 1

The deadline for submission of abstracts is extended until May 1. You can submit an abstract here.

Participants can submit their abstracts and select one of the following formats:

  • Poster
  • Student poster
  • Oral Platform Presentation
  • Mini-workshop
  • Pre-conference workshop

There are 7 main sub-themes for the conference:

  1. Partnering for change
  2. Changing education and society through technology or simulation
  3. Creating health systems that promote/enhance change;
  4. Communities changing students / students changing communities
  5. Building human resources as agents for change
  6. Measuring change / managing change
  7. Transforming health professions education

Registration for the Conference

The registration page will be launched very shortly and you will receive a personal invitation to start your registration. You can find the most updated information concerning the program, the key-note speakers and the fees on the website.

2015 SAAHE conference abstract submissions are open

Abstract submissions for the 2015 conference are now open. The theme of the 2015 SAAHE / The Network: TUFH conference is “Education for change“. Participants can submit their abstracts in one of the following formats: Poster, Student poster, Oral Platform Presentation, Mini-workshop and Pre-conference workshop.

In addition, there are 7 main subthemes:

  1. Partnering for change
  2. Changing education and society through technology or simulation
  3. Creating health systems that promote/enhance change
  4. Communities changing students / students changing communities
  5. Building human resources as agents for change
  6. Measuring change / managing change
  7. Transforming health professions education

All information concerning the abstract submission process can be found here. Please note that the deadline for the submission of abstracts is April 13, 2015.