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Meet the CCCTG’s new Chair, Kusum Menon

July 1, 2023

On July 1, the CCCTG welcomed Dr. Kusum Menon as Chair of the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group (CCCTG).

Kusum has been an active part of the CCCTG for over 20 years. Previous to her election as Vice Chair/Chair-elect in 2019, she served as Chair of the Website Committee and Chair of the Grants and Manuscripts Committee. Kusum’s leadership will mark the first time that the CCCTG Chair has been held by a pediatric intensivist.

Based out of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the CHEO Research Institute, Kusum holds a CHEO Foundation Research Chair in Pediatric Intensive Care. She is a Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, and is the Canadian PI of the Stress Hydrocortisone in Pediatric Septic Shock (SHIPSS) study. Kusum’s other research interests include redefining sepsis, the role of social determinants of health in sepsis, and understanding and optimizing the consent and assent processes in pediatric intensive care research.

She takes on the leadership from Dr. Robert Fowler, whose impact over the pandemic as a collaborative leader has been a tremendous contribution to the CCCTG. Rob continues to serve the Trials Group as Nominated PI of the COVID-19 Network of Clinical Trials Networks and he succeeds Dr. Paul Hébert in the role of Past Chair.

We take this opportunity to thank Rob for his indefatigable service and to officially welcome Kusum as Chair of the CCCTG.

Board changes for 2023-2024

Joining the leadership team is Dr. Bram Rochwerg, who was confirmed Chair-Elect at this spring’s Annual General Meeting. Dr. Stephanie Sibley has joined the Board of Directors and will take over Bram’s previous leadership of Grants and Manuscripts Review.

Dr. Andrew Seely has taken the lead of Career Development and Mentorship from Dr. Dominique Piquette, who led this work for two very successful terms.

This year’s Annual General Meeting also saw the reappointment of Dr. Sangeeta Mehta as Equity Diversity and Inclusion director, and Nicole Zytaruk as director of Scientific Meeting Planning.

The CCCTG’s successful model depends on leadership from members across the organization, career stages and Canada. The Trials Group is grateful for our new and continuing directors and members.  We extend special thanks to outgoing directors, Paul Hébert and Dominique Piquette, for their outstanding years of Board service.

Read on for a short Q & A with Kusum Menon, the CCCTG’s new Chair.

What has most influenced your approach to leadership?

My approach to leadership has been shaped by some amazing mentors including but not limited to Deborah Cook, Maureen Meade, Paul Hébert and Rob Fowler who taught me (in no particular order) to listen, to process and not to be afraid to make difficult decisions.

What big things are ahead for the Trials Group?

The CCCTG is such a productive and creative group that the future is boundless. However, past successes do not always guarantee future sustainability. Therefore, our biggest priorities include securing ongoing longer-term funding and developing and mentoring the next generation of CCCTG leaders.

Any wise words of advice for aspiring critical care trialists?

No one wakes up and suddenly decides they want to be a trialist. Start with a question that you are passionate about and think of the many parts of that question that need to be answered. The background work to doing a trial is half the fun. The systematic reviews, surveys, observational and pilot studies allow you to refine the question, learn different methodologies and make some wonderful friends along the way. While so many of us tend to be very goal oriented, when it comes to doing RCTs the process is just as fun and important.  

Read more about Kusum here.


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