June 26, 2020: Improving COVID-19 Clinical Decisions: The Frailty Factor


Janet McElhaney MD, FRCPC, FACP (Professor)

Vice President of Research & Scientific Director, Health Sciences North Research Institute



Peter de Bakker MD, FRCPC (Assistant Professor)

Research Coordinator, Internal Medicine Residency



Multiple social and biologic factors place older adults at increased risk for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. In Ontario, 38% of COVID-19 cases and 41% of the deaths have occurred in adults 60 years of age and older. Within a clinical setting, the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) summarizes the overall level of fitness or frailty of an older adult while the Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM) is an assessment of patient in-bed mobility, transfers and ambulation.   The CFS and HABAM can be utilized by clinicians to predict health outcomes of COVID-19 patients and provide important information to improve shared decision making with their patients and their families.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe how the combination of age and multiple chronic conditions contributes to an increase risk for COVID-19 and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
  2. Incorporate the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) and Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM) as point-of-care tools to predict health outcomes of COVID-19 in community, congregated, acute and critical care settings.
  3. Adapt the 48/5 care pathway to any care setting to improve patient outcomes for COVID-19.




June 19, 2020: Six Essentials for Resiliency During COVID-19 Pandemic


Michael Kaufmann MD, CCFP, FCFP, dip ABAM

Emeritus Medical Director, Ontario Medical Association Physician Health Program


Diane Whitney MD, FRCPC, BCETS (Assistant Professor)

Program Director, Psychiatry Residency



Jonathan DellaVedova MD, FRCPC (Assistant Professor)

Wellness Lead Clinician, Postgraduate Medical Education


Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the psychological impacts of SARS upon healthcare professionals to inform an approach to emotional support, coping and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Demonstrate an approach to self-awareness: “What colour are you?” used by the Canadian Military to enhance resilience practices.
  3. Discover six essential personal resiliency practices guided by the BASICS paradigm.


In recent years, the focus for physician and healthcare professional resilience has turned to organizational and workplace factors.  With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, personal resiliency strategies, those under our immediate control, are more important than ever. The BASICS paradigm can be used to highlight six important resilience domains. These include the physiological, psychological, social, intellectual, community and spiritual. One essential strategy from each domain will be highlighted, incorporating lessons learned from previous pandemics.




June 12, 2020: COVID-19 PPE: Indications, procurement, conservation & reuse in Northern Ontario


Bhanu Nalla MBBS, FRCPC (Assistant Professor)

Lead Physician, Sudbury HSN Organ Donation & Tissue Transplantation Committee


Sarah Newbery MD, CCFP (Associate Professor)

Assistant Dean, Physician Workforce Strategy



Paul Preston MD, CCFP, CCPE, CHE (Assistant Professor)

Vice President Clinical, Ontario Health (North)


Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify types of personal protective equipment (PPE) and define their role during COVID-19 Pandemic.
  2. Describe rational for healthcare PPE working groups including planning challenges for the procurement, conservation and reuse of PPE.
  3. Appraise levels of risk to healthcare personnel providing care to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients and associated PPE recommendations.


During the COVID-19 Pandemic, personal protective equipment (PPE) is key in the provision of healthcare for healthcare personnel to protect themselves, their families, patients and others.  Worldwide PPE shortages are creating tremendous challenges for healthcare facilities across Northern Ontario in their procurement of PPE including facemasks, gowns, eye protection, N95 respirators and gloves.  Optimization strategies for PPE vary when PPE supplies are in demand, running low or absent.  Important PPE principles include clear indications, approaches to conservation and safe reuse when possible.