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News and events

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Chris Caldarone appointed as Surgeon-in-Chief, Department of Surgery (February 2015)

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Dr. Christopher Caldarone to the position of Surgeon-in-Chief, effective immediately, for a five-year term. This follows an extensive international search over the last number of months which resulted in an impressive slate of candidates, both internal and external to SickKids. Read more on SickKids.ca

Ronald Zuker, winner of Smile Foundation of South Africa's Humanitarian Award (November 2013)

Professor Ronald Zuker (Department of Surgery) won the Smile Foundation of South Africa's Humanitarian Award. Zuker, a paediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon, focuses on facial reanimation and cleft lip and palate management. He is co-director of the Facial Paralysis Program at SickKids and serves on Operation Smile's Plastic Surgery Council. Zuker also recently received an honorary fellowship to the College of Plastic Surgeons of South Africa, and became an honorary member of the Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Southern Africa.

James Wright, elected CAHS Fellow (September 2013)

Dr. James Wright, Vice-President, Medical, Chief of Perioperative Services and Surgeon-in-Chief, has been elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS). Election to the CAHS is considered one of the highest honours for members of the Canadian health sciences community.

Fellows elected to the CAHS are recognized by their peers nationally and internationally for demonstrating leadership, creativity, distinctive competencies and a commitment to advance academic health sciences.

CAHS recognizes the full breadth of academic health science, including all of the medical and allied health sciences and ranging from fundamental science to social science and population health. Individuals are elected to the organization after a nominating and peer review procedure, which seeks to recognize those who have a demonstrated track record of academic achievement.

Karen Wong, full time Staff Surgeon for the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (August 2013)

Dr. Karen Wong joined the division in the summer of 2013 after completing research fellowships at SickKids and a clinical fellowship in Taipei under the supervision of former Toronto fellows Dr. Fu Chan Wei and Dr. Yu Ray Chen. Wong received her MD from the University of Toronto in 2006 and successfully completed her residency training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Toronto in 2011. She has been developing a Patient Reported Outcome Measure in cleft care (CLEFT-Q) under the supervision of Dr. Ann Klassen (McMaster) and Dr. Forrest and has recently transitioned into a PhD program. Her appointment will be as surgeon-scientist with a clinical focus on cleft and microsurgery.


James Drake, reappointed for third term as Head, Division of Neurosurgery (July 2013)

Dr. James Drake attended Princeton University receiving a degree in aerospace and mechanical engineering, followed by medical education in Ireland, and Neurosurgery Training in Toronto. After Fellowship at L’Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris, Drake joined SickKids in 1988. 

Drake is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, including the definitive textbook on cerebrospinal fluid shunts, The Shunt Book. He is the current Harold J. Hoffman/Shopper’s Drug Mart Chair in Paediatric Neurosurgery, co-director of the Centre for Mathematical Medicine at the Fields Institute of the University of Toronto, and the lead of the Centre of Image Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI). 

His clinical practice focuses on hydrocephalus, Neuroendoscopic procedures, functional neurosurgery, and the paediatric spine. His research is devoted to engineering applications to neurosurgery including image guided surgery and robotics, surgical simulation, high frequency ultrasound therapeutics, and mathematical models of the brain and skull. Drake leads an amazing division of clinical and academic surgeons, and we look forward to continued great accomplishments with his leadership.

Andrew Howard, Interim Head, Division of Orthopaedics (June 2013)

Dr. Andrew Howard, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Senior Scientist, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, has been named interim head of the Division of Orthopaedics.
Howard’s research focuses on prevention of road traffic injuries to children, and the biomechanics and epidemiology of child motor vehicle occupant injuries. Howard also studies the epidemiology of other major categories of unintentional childhood injury, including pedestrian and cyclist injuries, falls, sports injuries and unintentional injury to children in low-income countries.

Howard is the Director of the Office of International Surgery of the University of Toronto and an active member of the Canadian Network for International Surgery.

“Please join me in thanking Andrew for taking on this important role while we search for a new division head. We also wish Dr. Benjamin Alman success in his new position as Chair of the Department of Orthopedics at Duke University and thank him for his years of leadership,” says Dr. Jim Wright, Vice-President, Medical, Chief of Perioperative Services and Surgeon-in-Chief.


Blake Papsin, appointed Chief, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (April 2013)

Dr. Blake Papsin is a Professor at the University of Toronto and has been at SickKids since July 1996. Papsin trained in Otolaryngology at the University of Toronto and completed a fellowship at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, England. He has a M.Sc. in Psychoacoustics. Papsin is the Director of the Cochlear Implant program and the inaugural chair of the Cochlear Americas Chair in Auditory Development at the University of Toronto.

Papsin's clinical focus is surgical rehabilitation of hearing loss. His laboratory investigates the growth and development of the auditory system after cochlear implantation. He has published 174 peer-reviewed journal articles, 41 book chapters and has spoken widely on the subject of surgical rehabilitation of hearing loss. Papsin lives in Toronto with Lisa his wife, their five children and Chudleigh the wonder dog. 

Agostino Pierro, appointed Head, Division of General and Thoracic Surgery, Robert M. Filler Chair in Paediatric Surgery
and Senior Associate Scientist in Research Institute (April 2013)

Dr. Agostino Pierro was previously Nuffield Professor of Paediatric Surgery and Head of the Surgery Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London Institute of Child Health, London, U.K. Pierro’s clinical interests are neonatal, pancreatic, minimally invasive and neuroblastoma surgery, with research focused on necrotizing enterocolitis, minimally invasive surgery, regenerative medicine, metabolic response to surgery, parenteral nutrition and randomized controlled trials.

Long-time staff may remember Pierro, who was at SickKids in 1988 as a research fellow under the supervision of Dr. Robert Filler.

“Please join me in welcoming Agostino back to SickKids and in thanking Dr. Annie Fecteau, who has served as interim head since Dr. Langer stepped down after 12 distinguished years as Head of the Division of General and Thoracic Surgery,” says Dr. Jim Wright, Vice-President, Medical, Chief of Perioperative Services and Surgeon-in-Chief.

Margaret Mah, appointed Director of Perioperative Services (April 2013)

Margaret Mah first joined SickKids in the Finance Department in 2006 as Manager Finance/Controller. In 2010, she took on a role at Halton Healthcare Services as a Business Operations Consultant. She then returned to SickKids’ Finance Department in November 2011 where she re-assumed her former role. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Science Degree and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Toronto, and she is a Certified General Accountant.

Margaret is a proven collaborator with a constructive, solutions-oriented approach to challenges and issues. She has built outstanding relationships across SickKids, has experience managing large and complex projects and understands the nuances of relations within the organization, particularly between physician groups and the hospital. Margaret has an exceptional understanding of Ministry reporting requirements, and has fostered strong relations with both the LHIN and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Margaret will bring the leadership, knowledge and relationship-building skills that will continue to support and evolve the Perioperative Services group at SickKids. We would also like to acknowledge and thank Christine Van Klaveren, who enters retirement after serving SickKids for almost 25 years.


Martin Koyle, appointed Head, Division of Urology and Women’s Auxiliary Chair in Urology and Regenerative Medicine (March 2013)

Dr. Martin A. Koyle was most recently Division Chief at Seattle Children's Hospital and Professor of Urology at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. Originally from Canada, Koyle began his academic career at UCLA and then subsequently University of Colorado and The Children's Hospital, where has was Chair of Paediatric Urology and Vice-Chief, Division of Urology.

During his more than a quarter century in academic urology, Koyle has been known for his innovations and contributions to basic and clinical research. To date, he has contributed over 200 publications and chapters, co-edited the textbooks Pediatric Urology- Surgical Complications and Management, Guide to Pediatric Urology and Surgery in Clinical Practice, and A Surgical Guide to Circumcision.

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Martin to his new role as leader of a fabulous surgical division,” says Dr. Jim Wright, Vice-President, Medical, Chief of Perioperative Services and Surgeon-in-Chief. “I also want to acknowledge and thank Dr. Pippi Salle for his leadership of the division.”

Christopher Forrest, appointed Chair, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS), 
Department of Surgery, University of Toronto (November 2011)

Dr. Christopher Forrest has been Interim Chair of the Division since November 2011. Chris is currently the Head of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children, and is an internationally acclaimed craniofacial surgeon. Chris received his MD from the University of Toronto in 1983, and his Royal College subspecialty certification in plastic surgery at the University of Toronto in 1990. He also earned a Masters degree from the Institute of Medical Science under the supervision of Dr. Cho Pang in 1990. Following fellowship training, including a paediatric craniomaxillofacial surgery fellowship at Wayne State University in Michigan in 1992, Chris began his faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto in 1993. He became full Professor in 2006. Chris has served as the Medical Director of the Craniofacial Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children since 1999.

Forrest has published over 100 peer reviewed articles and over 30 book chapters. Over the years he has received numerous peer reviewed grants for his research on the impact of radiation on the developing craniofacial skeleton. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards including the WK Lindsay Research Supervisor award and the Operation Herbie Doctor of the Year Award. He has been an invited to give numerous visiting Professorships across Canada, the United States and worldwide. Finally, Forrest has been serving in the role as interim Chair of PRS since November 2011.

Christopher Forrest, reappointed Head, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery (November 2011)

Dr. Christopher Forrest is currently the Medical Director of The Hospital for Sick Children Centre for Craniofacial Care and Research and the Interim Chair of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Forrest took over as the Head of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2003 from Dr. Ronald Zuker. In 2009, the division expanded from five to seven staff surgeons making this is the largest division of full-time surgeons dedicated to paediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery in North America.

Forrest has had over 100 peer-reviewed publications and 150 presentations at scientific meetings. Forrest is an international authority on paediatric craniofacial deformities and the fellowship program at SickKids has trained surgeons from around the globe in paediatric craniomaxillofacial surgery and paediatric plastic & reconstructive surgery. A recent review by Richard Hopper from Seattle concluded SickKids was the premier program in NA.

James Wright, receives inaugural President’s Award (June 2011)

At the Annual General Meeting of the Board of Trustees on June 17, Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO, presented Dr. Jim Wright, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief of Perioperative Services, with the inaugural President’s Award for his outstanding leadership, commitment to high quality and performance, and dedication to improving access to surgical services for children across the country.

“Jim’s focus and determination to advance the quality of care that we provide to our patients and families is outstanding,” says Haddad. “In addition, he has advanced the culture of innovation and has demonstrated exceptional leadership in building a strong and engaged perioperative services portfolio.”

Wright first came to SickKids in 1983 as a research fellow and completed a fellowship in orthopaedic surgery in 1988. He joined the staff of SickKids in 1991 and was appointed Surgeon-in-Chief in 2005. In his current role, Wright has continued to improve communication and safety in the Operating Room, where he led the successful implementation of checklists encompassing all stages of the perioperative process. Leadership development has been an important focus for Wright over his tenure as Chief. He has played an important role in supporting the development of leadership modules, in collaboration with the Rotman School of Business, for physicians, surgeons and directors across the hospital.

Wright, who currently holds three CIHR grants, also remains very committed to research and has more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in various international journals. Improving access to surgical services has also been a major focus for Wright, not only at SickKids but across the country. As leader of the national surgical wait time project, Wright has been instrumental in bringing together surgeons from across the country to develop standardized acceptable wait times for children’s surgery and ultimately to reduce surgical wait times. 

These efforts have led to a 20 per cent reduction in the number of children who wait beyond acceptable time frames for surgery at SickKids. His efforts were recognized when SickKids was awarded the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) Leadership Award in 2009.

“Jim is an extremely worthy recipient of the inaugural President’s Award,” says Haddad. “SickKids is extremely fortunate to have someone of his commitment, passion and dedication as part of our team.”

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