McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

WRC assistant dean wins Sibley Award for teaching

Published: September 14, 2016
Dr. Cathy Morris, 2016 recipient of the John C. Sibley Award for excellence in education
Dr. Cathy Morris, the 2016 recipient of the John C. Sibley Award for excellence in education by part-time faculty.

Dr. Cathy Morris, the founding assistant dean of the Waterloo Regional Campus of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, is the 2016 recipient of the John C. Sibley Award for excellence in education by part-time faculty.

Morris, a faculty member for 26 years, will receive the award which is presented annually to a part-time faculty member of the Faculty of Health Sciences who has contributed in an outstanding manner to the education of health professionals. The award is named for a former associate dean of the Faculty who was known for his interdisciplinary approach to community health.

“This is an exceptional privilege to be nominated and recognized by the medical educators whom I truly admire and respect,” said Morris, an associate professor of medicine.

“Having the opportunity to bring medical education to the community enriches the clinical experience. It is a driver of quality for patients, hospitals and healthcare providers. We all win when an educational mandate becomes embedded in the culture of care. In the end, these are the real rewards.”

Regional assistant dean since the campus was established in 2007, Morris brings extensive teaching experience and community involvement into the role.

Morris obtained a degree in physiotherapy from the University of Toronto before coming to McMaster for a Masters of Health Science (1978), her medical degree (1981) and her internal medicine residency (1986). She joined McMaster faculty in 1990, and continued to serve as a general internist at Hamilton Health Sciences. In 2000 she became lead hospitalist at Cambridge Memorial Hospital, and later chief of staff. She is now chief of staff and medical director at St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph.

Under her leadership as regional assistant dean, the Waterloo campus has grown to 84 undergraduate medical students and 43 residents. Morris’ colleagues praised her leadership and contributions to education.

“While Dr. Morris has received several accolades for her leadership and contributions to medicine, in my opinion, her greatest award is the successful graduation and CaRMS match of each student from WRC,” said associate clinical professor Dr. Margo Mountjoy in her nomination.

“Her impact on the teaching and learning of medicine in the region is vast.”

Dr. Alan Neville, associate dean of health professional education, said that in the 35 years he has known Morris, she has “consistently demonstrated the leadership skills to bring community based physicians and regional hospitals into the network that is now McMaster’s distributed medical education community.”

Dr. Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences, added: “I cannot imagine there is any individual who has made a greater contribution to the academic life of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University as a part-time faculty member.”

Morris will be presented with the award on Sept. 14.

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