Report from the Chair
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Cardiac Surgery
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The Hospital for Sick Children
Mount Sinai Hospital
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Surgeon-in-Chief - Dr. J.H. Wedge


Dr. W.G. Williams - Cardiac Surgery
Dr. R. Humphreys - General Surgery (Acting)
Dr. R. Humphreys - Neurosurgery
Dr. W. Cole - Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr. R.M. Zuker - Plastic Surgery
Dr. A. Khoury - Urology


The Department of Surgery has been the beneficiary of four endowed Chairs realized through The Hospital for Sick Children Campaign which has emphasized funding for research under the banner "Help Make Sick Kids Better". These are the Robert B. Salter Chair in Pediatric Surgical Research, the Robert Filler Chair in Pediatric Surgery, the Shoppers Drug Mart-Hoffman Chair in Neurosurgery and the Newcourt Chair in Congenital Cardiac Surgery. Dr. Jack Langer has been appointed Head of the Division of Pediatric General Surgery and will be the inaugural holder of the Filler Chair. Dr. James Wright has been appointed to the Robert B. Salter Chair in Pediatric Surgical Research and Dr. James Rutka to the Shoppers Drug Mart-Hoffman Chair in Neurosurgery. Dr. Rutka’s tenure in the Hoffman Chair will be brief because he has been appointed Chair of the University Division of Neurosurgery, effective July 1, 1999 and will, therefore, occupy the University of Toronto Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery. A search will commence in the near future for a new occupant for the Shoppers Drug Mart-Hoffman Chair in Neurosurgery. Also the search for the Newcourt Chair in Congenital Cardiac Surgery will commence shortly. I predict that these endowed Chairs will result in a legacy of innovation, creation of new knowledge and international recognition for our surgical programs.

Productivity in research continues to escalate with the Department now holding over two million dollars of external peer reviewed funding. The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery deserves special mention for its successful research programs with the grant capture and publications by Drs. Cole, Wright and Alman being truly spectacular. The support of The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute by the Hospital Foundation deserves acknowledgment as we bring in a new era of close co-operation and collaboration between basic scientists and clinical scientists. The Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre, under the direction of Dr. James Rutka, is leading internationally in the development of novel approaches in looking at the most common and most lethal of solid organ tumors in children. The acquisition, through a highly competitive process of the Children’s Heart Surgeons Society database by our Division of Cardiac Surgery will place us at the forefront of pediatric cardiac surgery. This rich source of information from the world’s top pediatric cardiac surgical centres will generate many studies that require a critical mass layer than is available in any one unit.

Our post-residency subspecialty fellowship programs are arguably the most highly developed in the world. We continue to attract the best and brightest from Canadian, American and international centres who will further our goal of dissemination of new knowledge worldwide. I continually marvel at the contribution of these individuals through their infusion of new ideas and better approaches to clinical problems from which we and our patients are the beneficiary.

Of particular note this year are the retirements of Dr. Mercer Rang of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Dr. Hugh Thomson of the Division of Plastic Surgery. Both these individuals are international leaders in their areas of clinical expertise. Dr. Rang was honoured by a meeting in Toronto of the Salter Society, which consists of numerous former fellows of the Division from around the world. Dr. Rang gave an inspiring address as the Robert B. Salter annual lecturer in the Division. Dr. Thomson, who is an international authority on cleft lip and palate, has received numerous awards and recognition for his long-term contribution to the field.

Recent appointments, some of whom will not be in place until the new academic year include: Dr. Jack Langer as Head of the Division of General Surgery, Dr. Chris Forrest, who has moved from the Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre to be the Director of the Craniofacial Program at The Hospital for Sick Children, and Dr. David Grant from the University of Western Ontario, who will be Director of GI Transplantation within a pediatric multi-organ transplant program at the Hospital. Dr. Langer was a former fellow in pediatric surgery at The Hospital for Sick Children and has been on the faculty at McMaster University and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, prior to returning to our Hospital. Dr. Andrew Howard, also a former Hospital for Sick Children fellow, will join the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery from the University of Ottawa and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario to replace Dr. Rang.

From the preceding, it is obvious that I take great pride in the accomplishments of all of our surgical divisions. These have been validated by external reviewers, visiting professors and external agencies. Major children research hospitals in the United States see us as a development site for future leaders in international pediatric surgery and related specialties.