New SMA president vows to rebuild connections severed during pandemic

The newly elected head of the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) promised to re-establish connections between physicians, provided no future COVID-19 waves call for public health measures.

The SMA elected Saskatoon respirologist Dr. John Gjevre during the 2022 virtual Spring Representative Assembly on Friday. Gjevre said some physicians are feeling isolated and disconnected because of the pandemic. It’s his goal to meet members where they work to make those connections.

“The SMA needs to rebuild relationships among its members,” he said in a press release. “We need to reach out and see people face to face and hear their concerns. We need to rebuild collegiality, networks, and a sense of community among physicians.”

Turn: SMA assembly delegates elect Dr. John Gjevre as new president

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Gjevre replaces Melfort physician D.r Eben Strydom to become the 56th president of the SMA. He will serve a one-year term.

Gjevre acknowledge the hard work and resilience of health care workers after taking his role.  He said that’s something worth celebrating in the days ahead.

“People have worked hard and have managed to keep our health system going province-wide, not always perfectly, but these have been unusual times,” he said. “A lot of people have done a lot. COVID has been challenging for many physicians. We need to celebrate the resilience of physicians, health care workers, and the health system.”

Gjevre is a respirology professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine. He graduated from the Mayo Medical School in 1991, and followed with fellowships in internal medicine and critical care from the Mayo Clinic, and a fellowship in respirology from the University of Manitoba. He joined the USask faculty in 2022.

Gjevre has been an SMA Representative Assembly delegate for several years, joining the organization’s board of directors in 2017.

He is also active in the Canadian Thoracic Society, and currently serves on the board of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine.

The SMA is a voluntary member-based professional association for physicians, medical students, and resident in Saskatchewan. It is the provincial chapter of the Canadian Medical Association.

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