Dr. Mihaela Nicula is known by many at West Park as a tremendous advocate for geriatric services and the patient populations we serve. She joined West Park in 2015 and has been steadfast in her commitment to advancing the Centre’s Specialized Geriatric Services Strategy.
On March 4, 2021, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) formally recognized Dr. Nicula for her dedication and leadership by presenting her with a CPSO Council Award. Each year, the CPSO honours a select few outstanding physicians who have demonstrated excellence and embody society’s vision of an ideal physician, while striving to reflect diverse aspects of medical speciality, practice setting, populations served, and career stage across the province.
The criteria for selection are based on the Royal College’s CanMEDS framework which identifies and describes the seven key roles that are required by physicians to effectively meet the health care needs of the people they serve.
Nominated by West Park’s President & CEO, Anne-Marie Malek, and Chief of Staff, Dr. Bikramjit Dhillon, for the key role that she has played in establishing the Centre’s Specialized Geriatric Services Strategy. Dr. Nicula has certainly demonstrated the seven roles identified in the CanMEDS framework through her work, and during her time at West Park. Over the past five years, she has developed an extensive network including the West Toronto Ontario Health Team, Regional Geriatric Program, community agencies and peer organizations, and successfully implemented a multipronged approach to service delivery.
“Dr. Nicula has supported various funding proposals, improvement initiatives, and opportunities to collaborate with various specialties of medicine across the organization,” Malek says of Dr. Nicula’s contributions. “She is well known for her caring and compassionate approach with patients and families in her pursuit of providing the highest quality of care.”
Dr. Dhillon adds, “due to Dr. Nicula’s efforts, the breadth of our program and service offerings has significantly increased access to Specialized Geriatric Services in the West Toronto, a region historically underserved despite increasing demands.”
Starting with inpatient consultations across the rehabilitation and complex continuing care units, Dr. Nicula has successfully expanded service offerings to an interprofessional geriatric consult team, a telemedicine clinic, an outpatient geriatric medicine clinic, and a geriatric inpatient unit. Under her leadership, the Centre has also been able to respond to increased demand during the height of the pandemic, through the recent implementation of West Park’s new 20-bed Frail Seniors to Home program.
But Dr. Nicula’s contributions extend well past the West Park campus.
Her knowledge and expertise reach students through her appointment as an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine with the University of Toronto. She also works collaboratively to support a number of regional initiatives which include co-chairing the Seniors Friendly Hospital Committee, membership on Regional Geriatric Program Performance & Quality Steering Committee, and the West Toronto Sub-region Integrated Care Planning Group. Most recently, Dr. Nicula agreed to lend her expertise to system-wide planning and integration activities through her work with Ontario Health Teams.
Dr. Nicula has and continues to play a pivotal role in designing programs that are responsive to the populations they are meant to serve. West Park is proud to acknowledge Dr. Nicula’s leadership and ingenuity in establishing a broad range of geriatric services.
Congratulations on receiving this prestigious and well-deserved award, Dr. Nicula!