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New & Evolving
Academic Leaders

Adaptive. Accessible. Connected.
Leading for Sustainable Impact

Program Overview

The New and Evolving Leaders (NEAL) program is designed for people in an academic health science context who are committed to becoming change agents in their spheres of influence and beyond by centering principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigeneity and accessibility in their leadership practice. This program is intended for those who are committed to challenging the status quo, and looking to develop tools, skills, and evolving practices to positively shape our future academic health sciences system.

Program Description

Leading in academic health sciences requires people to simultaneously manage departmental or unit accountabilities within a complex continually changing environment, enact multiple roles (researcher, teacher, learner, administrator, collaborator, clinician), influence positive change for equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism – all while strategizing about how to sustain and improve a challenged system, in time of global uncertainty.  To be successful, leaders need to be equipped with specific skills appropriate for successful outcomes within academic health sciences, but more importantly, with a deep understanding of their own core sense of purpose and unique capacity for influence. The goal of the NEAL program is to equip leaders in academic health sciences with skills, resources, connections, community and transformative relationship with self, to enable them to work collaboratively in shaping and shifting our broader system for more inclusive, and sustainable research, teaching and system influence.

NEAL is designed for people in academic health science contexts who either (a) have formal roles as leaders or (b) who may be an influencer or change agent working to shape and shift our broader system for positive health outcomes.  We encourage those who are working in community-based settings, academic units, research settings, and hospital-based settings to consider the NEAL program. Participants should have a commitment to becoming change agents in their spheres of influence and beyond by centering principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigeneity and accessibility in their leadership practice.

The program is intentionally shaped to bring together a diverse set of participant leaders to consider how we all need to work collaboratively in shaping and shifting our broader system for positive health outcomes.

Other key features of the program:

  • Engagement with faculty and peers who are thought leaders from diverse spheres and lived experience
  • Deep exploration of your strengths, sense of purpose and potential for meaningful impact.
  • Deepened facility and confidence with core principles of inclusive, antiracist leadership
  • Tools, skills, and evolving practices to positively shape our future academic health sciences system.
  • Support to apply your learning in your workplace.
  • Coaching, creative exercises, reflections, personalized feedback and dynamic learning sessions that support your personalized learning agenda and authentic leadership style
  • Individualized and collaborative coaching experiences
  • Emphasis on collaborative approaches to leadership and inviting diverse perspectives and models for leadership development (including non-Colonial knowledge systems and approaches)
  • Engagement with leadership peers from a diversity of academic, community and healthcare contexts beyond your own
  • Maximizing opportunities for workplace based learning and application
  • Providing the learning context to explore relevant stretch goals and to engage in collaborative problem solving on shared challenges
  • Shadowing an admired leader
  • Initiation of a meaningful change effort in an academic context during the course of the program
  • University of Toronto Certificate of added qualification upon program completion

Note to Physician Leaders: NEAL is a Canadian Society of Physician Leaders-approved leadership CPD activity required as part of the Academic Route for the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) designation.

Program Structure

A new cohort of the New and Evolving Academic Leaders program starts each fall and the program runs until May. In the NEAL program, the group builds a learning community through three intensive one-week modules over the year, themed as Foundations, Influence and Adaptation.  In these modules, diverse faculty share resources and build capacity for reflective and relational practice, system thinking, influence and impact, and leading from adaptive purpose.  Between modules, participants deepen their learning with coaching, peer connections, diverse assignments and leading a capstone project through engaging others.

Application Process

Enrollment in NEAL depends upon a successful application. Application details can be found here.

Access and Inclusion Bursary

We have established this Bursary to enhance financial support, recognizing that funding access varies across health professions and institutions. Our available funds for this Bursary vary from year to year, and therefore the number of bursaries we can award will vary and become available each winter.

For details on what funding is available and instructions on how to apply, click here.

Accreditation Details

The New and Evolving Academic Leaders (NEAL) Program 2023-2024 has been accredited for up to:

  • 86.5 College of Family Physicians of Canada – Mainpro+ credits
  • 76.0 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – Section 1 hours
  • 9.0 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – Section 3 Simulation hours
  • 1.5 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – Section 3 Self-Assessment hours

Review complete accreditation details.

Program Team

Cate Creede-DesmaraisProgram LeadTHEY / THEM

Cate is the Program Lead of the New and Evolving Academic Leaders program (NEAL) and is a Partner in the Potential Group consulting firm, which focuses on strategic change in academic healthcare and education. Cate is an educator, certified coach, and experienced strategy lead.  Their focus has been on coaching, design, facilitation, capacity building and constructing effective conversations and processes that support systemic change and social innovation. They have supported more than 250 strategic change initiatives in higher education and academic and community healthcare across Canada in the past decade, and have been involved in intersectional feminist, gender and queer advocacy since the 1980s.

Manpreet SainiProgram CoordinatorSHE / HER

Manpreet coordinates the New and Evolving Academic Leaders (NEAL) Program and special projects at the Centre for Faculty Development. She has extensive experience managing and coordinating multiple projects and programs. Through her work, she aims to ensure programs run efficiently and effectively for participants and faculty. Her previous roles include education coordinator with the Wilson Centre and research assistant with York Region Paramedic Services.

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Daniel GraceTheme Co-LeadHE / HIM

Dr. Daniel Grace is an Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH), University of Toronto, and the Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Health. Daniel is also the 2SLGBTQ+ Health Lead and Director of the Centre for Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research, which he established at the DLSPH. He leads a national 2SLGBTQ+ training and mentorship platform, working collaboratively with community and academic stakeholders across Canada. He is an internationally recognized medical sociologist whose mixed methods program of community-engaged research works to advance the social, mental, physical, and sexual health of 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

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Praseedha JanakiramTheme Co-LeadSHE / HER

Dr. Praseedha Janakiram is a family physician at Women’s College Hospital Crossroads Refugee Clinic, with additional practice interests in HIV primary care and women’s health. She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at the University of Toronto. Praseedha is the current Faculty Lead for the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration in Family Medicine - a partnership supporting the launch and development of the first family medicine training program in Ethiopia over the past ten years. Praseedha has former clinical experience in Malawi, Pakistan, Nunavut, Yellowknife and Ethiopia and served as Acting Vice Chair Global Health and Social Accountability at the DFCM in 2019.  Praseedha has been recognized for her excellence in leadership, education and global health through numerous awards.

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Mojola OmoleTheme Co-LeadSHE / HER

Dr. Mojola Omole is a breast surgical oncologist and general surgeon at Scarborough Health Network in Toronto. She is an executive board member of the Black Physicians of Ontario and a consultant for anti-Black racism and anti oppression training. She is the chief medical officer and device consultant for the Stage Zero Collection, the first educational bra garment designed to teach people about breast cancer symptoms in darker skin tone. Her fellowship in global surgery was the catalyst for her work as a global surgical oncologist. She has worked in Nigeria, Rwanda and Nicaragua. Her fellowship in global journalism at the Munk School at University of Toronto has lead her to work as a freelance journalist and currently she is the co-host of the CMAJ podcast.

CFD Membership

All NEAL participants will be automatically enrolled as a CFD General Member for the academic year following completion of the program.

Contact

Cate Creede-Desmarais
Program Lead
catherine.creede@utoronto.ca

Manpreet Saini
Education Program Coordinator, Leadership and Special Projects
manpreet.saini@unityhealth.to

Registration Details

Level: Advanced

Who should apply: NEAL is designed for people in academic health science contexts who either have formal roles as leaders or who are working to shape and shift our broader system for positive health outcomes.  We encourage those who are working in community-based settings, academic units, research settings, and hospital-based settings to consider the NEAL program. Participants should have a commitment to becoming change agents in their spheres of influence and beyond by centering principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigeneity and accessibility in their leadership practice.

Location: Online and in-person

Program length: 1 year

Cohort size: 25-30 participants

Upcoming Dates:

Applications open mid-January.

New cohort starts every September/October.

Please click here to see our Upcoming Dates.

Fees:

Standard Tuition Rate*:
Early bird member rate – $12,350
Member rate – $12,850
Non-member rate – $14,777.50

Basic Sciences Tuition Rate1:
Early bird member rate – $10,150
Member rate – $10,650
Non-member rate – $12,247.50

Early bird rates are only applicable to CFD Members. You must be registered as a CFD member prior to submitting your application to receive the member rates. CFD General Membership is $90/person for the year. Membership is FREE for Unity Health Toronto staff, physicians, learners and patient/family partners and Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto staff, faculty (incl. status only) and learners. Click here to sign up or for more details.

Underrepresented faculty members from the Temerty Faculty of Medicine who are sponsored by their departments to participate in the 2024-25 NEAL Program, are eligible to have 50% of their tuition funded by the Dean’s Office. For more information, Temerty Medicine department chairs and prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of the Dean at medicine.dean@utoronto.ca

*fees are subject to change

1for those who identify as basic scientists in the following departments: Anatomy, Biochemistry, Immunology, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Medical Biophysics, Molecular Genetics, Nutritional Sciences, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Physiology.

Register:

Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort are now closed.

Certificate: Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of all program requirements.

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What our alumni say about the program

"If you are looking for an opportunity to build your academic leadership skills in a safe and supportive environment, then NEAL is for you.  Before NEAL I was in a leadership role; after NEAL I felt like a leader. NEAL helped me increase my competence and confidence as an academic leader. "

Karen Weyman MD, MEd, CCFP, FCFP (NEAL 2017), Chief, Department of Family and Community Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, Associate Professor, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

"I recently completed the NEAL Program; all done virtually. The program helped me gain the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to advance in academic leadership positions. I learned a great deal about myself, team-building and social/professional interactions with others who have their own values and belief systems. Participating in the course virtually was fantastic. It increased efficiency of knowledge translation, limited travel and preparations time and allowed the possibility for participants and teachers to join from anywhere in the world. The virtual social events were a blast! I very highly recommend this program."

Fuad Moussa MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS, FCCP (NEAL 2021), Physician Lead, Schulich Heart Centre Education Council , Curriculum Lead, Cardiac Surgery Residency Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

"I attended the 2020-2021 NEAL program and thoroughly enjoyed the course. The organizers adapted the course online seamlessly and provided us with a comparative experience to in person. This course was an excellent learning experience and has allowed me to use many of its teachings in my daily work. I recommend this course to all who want to learn about the art and science of leadership within an academic setting."

Dr. Ahtsham U Niazi MD, MBBS, FCARCSI, FRCPC (NEAL 2021), Vice Chair of Education, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

"The NEAL program helped me re-align my leadership trajectory. The small groups sessions, mentorship meetings, fire-side chats by academic leaders, and project-based learning assisted me to reflect on my leadership learning opportunities. I believe the NEAL program gave me the leadership training that is allowing the team I am part of to succeed in academic health care."

Kent Stobart MD MSc FRCPC CCPE (NEAL 2017), Vice-Dean of Education, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

"For those that aspire to lead equitably and by inclusion of multiple perspectives, NEAL helps attendees develop the skillsets to listen and communicate authentically, and lead based on principles and values. As satisfying as one’s personal growth is, it was truly a pleasure to witness virtually all of my classmates develop their leadership vision and distinctive voice."

Susanna Mak MD, PhD (NEAL 2020), Division Director, Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

"I had held leadership positions before, but Neal allowed me to exercise my leadership through deliberate practice. I acquired new perspectives, agile tools and creative methods that are useful to me on a daily basis. The team of teachers was able to quickly create a climate of psychological safety that allowed us to explore in a reflective way our achievements and our challenges. Individual and group coaching sessions, work on a personal project, fireside chats with leaders, active learning activities, renowned lecturers have contributed to my growth as a person and as a leader."

Luce Pélissier-Simard MD, MSc, CMF (NEAL 2020), Director, Office of Social Responsibility, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke

"I attended the NEAL program amid the pandemic in 2020-21. Although the learning opportunities were all remote, the program provided me with a solid leadership training and resources to take into my new leadership role. Focused on reflection and discussion, this program emphasised self-awareness and authenticity, rooting them in solid evidence gathered from various relevant disciplines. The program successfully created a sense of cohort and a great deal of connection and camaraderie among the learners. I highly recommend the NEAL program as a steppingstone in your personal journey as an academic leader – you will not regret it! "

Yana Yanusova PhD, CCC-SLP (NEAL 2021), Vice Dean (Acting) Students, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto

"I completed NEAL in the fall of 2020. Despite the pivot we had to make due to the pandemic, it was one of the most transformative learning experiences I’ve ever had. The combination of lectures, mentors and support from my peers helped me grow as a leader, particularly with regards to my self-awareness and situational assessment. As a result, I was able to take those learnings and become the co-founder of the Black Health Education Collaborative. And as the President of the Black Physicians’ Association of Ontario, I was better equipped to support my team and the growth of our organization, all during the pandemic. It's a fantastic leadership program!"

Onye Nnorom MDCM, CCFP, MPH, FRCPC (NEAL 2020), Black Health Theme Lead, MD Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, President, Black Physicians' Association of Ontario, Host, Podcast RaceHealthHappiness.com

"I took the NEAL course in 2020-21 and it was amazing. I had planned to travel to Toronto, but in the end had the convenience of doing it from my home! I really think the virtual experience was excellent. We had some amazing discussions in breakouts and the overall class together. Even the social events were excellent. I felt like I got to know my colleagues in the course well. In terms of content, it covered so many aspects of leadership, it is hard to imagine there was anything that was not addressed. After each module, the ability to give feedback, and have it incorporated into the next module was excellent. It really made the course exactly what we were all looking for. Overall, I would highly recommend the NEAL course!"

Donna Johnston MD, FRCPC, FAAP (NEAL 2021), Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Vice Chair, Clinical Operations, Department of Pediatrics. University of Ottawa

“NEAL was an incredibly valuable experience, which taught me things that I had been unaware of. This awareness made me a more effective and authentic leader. One of the aspects I appreciated most was that the program equipped me with new tools and strategies to handle and thrive in leadership situations. Importantly, NEAL allowed me to meet and build a connection to other leaders across the system; a new community to continue to grow with. The instructors and the format made it incredibly engaging and a joy to participate in. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to change their leadership trajectory in a meaningful way.”

Laura Rosella PhD, MHSc (NEAL 2019), Director, Population Health Analytics Lab, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

“The program helped me to recognise that academic administration and academic leadership are different concepts. That recognition has enabled me to create safe places to share ideas; empower talented people and work to span boundaries for the purpose of creating new possibilities. It inspired me to change my thinking and enabled me to build new resiliency to my leadership challenges.”

Todd Duhamel PhD (NEAL 2016), Associate Dean (Health Sciences), Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Manitoba

“The NEAL program is a must have for those interested in any type of academic leadership as it provides insight into your own style as well as prepares you with the tools needed to manage a host of leadership challenges. Beyond the excellent education received, you join a community of other leaders that will provide years of ongoing support. For years, I thought I did not have the time to get through the program, but the time spent was not only well worth it but profoundly enjoyable.”

Michelle Hladunewich MD, BSc(med), MSc, FRCPC (NEAL 2015), Chief of Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Medical Lead, Glomerulonephritis and Specialty Clinics, Ontario Renal Network

Upcoming Events

  • CFD13-%20CFDLogo_SubBranding_MemberEvent_DRAFT2.png
    20
    Jun
    Join us for our annual Members Event - free for all CFD Members.
    • Member Event
    • loc_In person
    Start 01:30 pm EDT
    End 04:00 pm EDT
    Delivery Toronto
  • CFD13-%20CFDLogo_SubBranding_SteppingStones_Card.png
    19
    Sep
    Stepping Stones is our foundational program at the CFD, supporting health professionals in their education roles and activities including teaching, education scholarship, advocacy and academic leadership.
    • Stepping Stones
    • Program
    • loc_virtual
    Start 09:00 am EDT
    End 07:30 pm EDT
    Delivery Online
  • CFD13-%20CFDLogo_SubBranding_NEAL_v01_Neal%20Card.png
    25
    Sep
    The program is designed for people in an academic health science context who are committed to becoming change agents in their spheres of influence and beyond by centering principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigeneity and accessibility in their leadership practice. This program is intended for those who are committed to challenging the status quo, and looking to develop tools, skills, and evolving practices to positively shape our future academic health sciences system.
    • Program
    • loc_virtual
    • loc_In person
    Start 08:30 am EDT
    End 04:30 pm EDT
    Delivery Toronto

FAQs

Q. How do I create and/or activate my account to log into the site?

A. To create a CFD user account please click here. If you have already created an account, click here to log in. Please note you will be required to set up a new account and password for our new website. We will connect your account with your previous CFD event records.

Q. Is there a cost to attend your programs?

A. There is a cost to participate in some of our programs. The cost of each of our programs varies and in some cases, the cost varies depending on your status with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto and/or in which hospital you work as well as whether or not you have an annual CFD Membership.

Q.I do not have a faculty appointment in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Can I still attend your workshops, programs and/or events? Is there a fee?

A. Anyone whose education activities include teaching, leading, scholarship and advocacy are welcome to attend our workshops, programs and/or events. Specific pre-requisite criteria may apply. Please refer to each workshop, program or event page for details. All fees and discounts (where applicable) can be found in the workshop, program and event pages.

Q.I am interested in having one of your workshops offered at my home site/department. Do you offer this type of service?

A. Please contact us for further information.  The availability of this service is dependent on the resources and capacity of the CFD at the time the request is made.

Q: Is having a CFD Membership the same as having a CFD account?

A: No, a CFD Membership is not the same as a CFD account. However, in order to complete your CFD Membership registration you will be prompted to create a CFD account if you do not already have one. To register for a CFD General Membership and create your account click here.

Need more help?

Our Programs

The CFD offers a number of exceptional programs to meet current and emerging faculty development needs across the health system. View the full listing of CFD’s programs to determine which may best meet your interests and needs.

Our Programs

The CFD offers a number of exceptional programs to meet current and emerging faculty development needs across the health system. View the full listing of CFD’s programs to determine which may best meet your interests and needs.

Centre for Faculty Development
Li Ka Shing International Healthcare
Education Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital
209 Victoria Street, 4th floor

Mailing Address:
30 Bond Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 1W8

cfd@unityhealth.to

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