News in brief for the week of December 11, 2011

A new chief at the MUHC, a Music grad wins a prestigious international guitar competition, and a McGill team helps highlight the dangers of youth gambling.

Rinfret takes helm of McGill University Health Centre

Normand Rinfret was named Interim Director General and CEO of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). Rinfret took over from Arthur T. Porter, who had held the reins of the MUHC since 2004. A seasoned, fluently bilingual executive, Rinfret has made his career with the MUHC for the past 32 years, serving as Associate Executive Director since 2004 and Chief Operating Officer since 2009. “We are confident in the oversight Mr. Rinfret’s stewardship will bring to the organization,” said Senator W. David Angus, Chairman of the Board of the MUHC. “He has solid experience in managing the MUHC’s operations and a clear understanding of the culture and complexity of an academic health care centre such as the MUHC.”

Music grad wins prestigious international guitar competition

Guitarist Tariq Harb, a Masters-in-performance graduate of the Schulich School of Music, won first prize in the Barrios WorldWideWeb Competition for classical guitar in Asunción, Paraguay on Dec. 4. The Barrios contest is a unique international competition that takes place over the Internet. Participation is open to young guitarists from 18 to 30 years of age. Contestants who reach the final round compete in front of a live audience in Paraguay, the country of origin of composer-guitarist Agustín Barrios. Harb, originally from Jordan, also won the 2011 Montréal International Classical Guitar Competition.

 Youth gambling researchers and lotto corps team up

The annual Holiday Campaign, through the partnership of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill and the National Council on Problem Gambling in Washington, D.C., highlights the risks of giving lottery tickets and scratch cards as holiday gifts to minors. These are increasingly popular gifts and stocking stuffers that can potentially lead down a road that is harmful. A record number of lottery corporations around the world are on board for this year’s campaign.

“It is inappropriate for underage minors to play the lottery and this can increase the potential for involvement in other forms of gambling and problem gambling later in life,” said Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky, co-director of McGill’s Centre.