In December, we announced that current SEAMO Medical Director Dr. ChrisHeadshot of Dr. Stephen Vanner Simpson would be moving to a new role as Executive Vice-President, Medical for Ontario Health. Dr. Stephen Vanner from the Department of Medicine will be taking over as interim Medical Director of SEAMO beginning in February while our organization undergoes a search for a permanent replacement in the role. Dr. Vanner will serve as interim Medical Director for at least six months.

Dr. Vanner has been with Queen’s University since 1991 and has been a part of SEAMO since its inception in 1994. During that time, he has served on the Governing Committee, Resources Committee, and chaired the Deliverables Committee. Currently, he sits on the Accountability and Resources Committees. Dr. Vanner is also the director of TIME (Translational Institute of Medicine) at Queen’s and the Director of Clinical Research of KHSC and the Faculty of Health Sciences. His CIHR-funded research program is in the area of pain signaling from the GI tract, particularly in disorders of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Vanner said he is looking forward to joining the team during this “exciting and challenging” time. “I see this as an opportunity to assist the leadership in the Faculty both in the deanery and the clinical departments.” Dr. Vanner said he looks forward to all aspects of the role and has a particular interest in working on four areas during his tenure as interim Medical Director: (1) continuing to develop the Accountability Framework; (2) growing research and innovation; (3) assisting with the development of a new strategic plan for SEAMO; and (4) enhancing academic promotion for faculty members. “From a practical point of view, I’m also looking forward to helping the organization transition out of the pandemic. This will require a lot of resources to do this as quickly and effectively as possible during the next six to nine months.”

For Dr. Vanner, taking on the interim role of Medical Director means having an opportunity to work closely with our talented SEAMO faculty members, “Having someone who’s dedicated to this role, whether it’s working with individual faculty or the leadership, will help to maximize opportunities and assist members in reaching their goals.”