I had a meeting last week with Mr. Allan Stordy, president and CEO of Arete Human Resources, a national company based in Calgary. I like Allan’s choice of a name for his HR firm; Arete is Greek for excellence.
I met Allan a few years ago when I was an executive with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Allan was the patient representative on the advisory board of CIHR’s Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis. I am pleased that several levels of governance at CIHR include citizen and patient board members. Allan has a chronic medical condition so brings his valuable patient perspective to research programs and other issues within the Canadian health care system.
While board members who are patients may not be on the leading edge of research activity, they do share perspectives about the most pressing patient concerns. For instance, dialysis patients tell us that the most urgent priorities for research are access to dialysis and transplantation, and better control of post-dialysis itching. We listen carefully to patients to ensure that we fund research that is practical and of societal relevance.
As Chancellor of the University of Calgary, my role is largely about fostering relations with our community. Along with my Senate colleagues, I engage in two-way dialogues between the university and the Calgary community. The birds-eye perspectives of our citizenry are valued and help shape the educational and research programs offered by our university.
The purpose of this morning’s meeting was to stay in touch with Allan Stordy and to brainstorm how he could become more engaged in the affairs of the University of Calgary. We would benefit from his unique perspectives and wisdom.