July 2023Milestones

Dr. Vicky Tagalakis appointed Chief of Department of Medicine

Dr. Vicky Tagalakis has been named Chief of the JGH Department of Medicine, which is comprised of 21 divisions and over 270 members of staff.

Dr. Tagalakis is an Associate Professor of Medicine at McGill University and joined the JGH in 2003. In addition to being an attending physician in the JGH Division of General Internal Medicine, she is a Research Scientist in the Centre of Epidemiology and Community of Studies in the Lady Davis Institute at the JGH.

From 2017 until this year, Dr. Tagalakis has served as Director of the McGill Division of General Internal Medicine. In addition, she is a member of the Centre of Excellence in Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Care at the JGH, where she oversees the care of individuals with thrombotic disorders, particularly patients with cancer who are affected by blood clot disorders or who are at risk.

Dr. Tagalakis is co-founder and co-lead of the Population and Health Services Research Platform of CanVECTOR, a national research network dedicated to venous thromboembolism. Under her guidance, the Platform takes advantage of large-scale healthcare administrative databases to conduct national and international population-based studies about the quality of care and effectiveness related to managing venous thromboembolism.

Her research is focused on population-level epidemiologic studies that investigate the prognosis, risk factors and management of blood clot disorders among special patient populations, such as individuals affected by cancer.

In her new position (also known as Physician-in-Chief), Dr. Tagalakis succeeds Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin, who was Chief for more than 17 years. He has been named Physician-in-Chief Emeritus and stays on in his role as Director of the JGH Cardiovascular Prevention Centre, which he founded.

Throughout her career and in her previous leadership positions, Dr. Tagalakis has supported initiatives that prioritize academic excellence in research, quality improvement of clinical care, and medical education.

In addition, she is highly regarded for her mentorship abilities and her dedication to fostering collaborations and promoting leadership qualities among members of staff.

As Chief, those efforts will continue, she says, with a particular focus on encouraging, mentoring  and supporting young clinician investigators and researchers in the Department who are at an early point in their careers. “Our new physician recruits are the future of the Department and it will be important to support them early on,” she notes.

As well, Dr. Tagalakis understands the crucial role played by the Department’s clinician teachers and clinician-educators in providing the highest level of training and teaching experiences to medical students and trainees at the JGH.

She says it will be a priority to ensure that teachers and educators are supported in the Department’s training programs, in the integrated network of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal—particularly with reference to the transformative approach known as Care Everywhere—and at the forefront of the innovative delivery of patient care.

Dr. Tagalakis recognizes that changes are coming in the healthcare system, and along with them, there will be challenges. “The members of the Department are devoted clinicians, champions of best patient care practices, and advocates for their patients,” she says. “Our members are prepared for the coming changes in the way we deliver care.”

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