Drs. Ray Buncic and Chaim Roifman appointed to Order of Canada
By: Louise Allyn Palma, Intern, Communications and Public Affairs
Dr. Ray Buncic, Staff Ophthalmologist, Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, and Dr. Chaim Roifman, Staff Physician, Immunology and Allergy at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) were recently appointed as Members of the Order of Canada.
The Order of Canada, established in 1967, is Canada’s highest merit for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Canada with their service and dedication in their sector. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada announced 83 appointments to the Order of Canada on June 27.
“On behalf of SickKids, I am delighted to congratulate Drs. Buncic and Roifman on this incredible accomplishment. These individuals have made a significant impact on health care both here in Canada and around the world. This is an extraordinary achievement, and we are extremely proud of their significant contributions,” says Dr. Ronald Cohn, SickKids President and CEO.
Buncic is also a Project Director at the SickKids Research Institute, where his research has focused on paediatric and central nervous system disorders. He has been internationally recognized for his participation in the academy’s paediatric neuro-ophthalmology course based in the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Claud Worth Gold Medal from the British Isles Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Association. Buncic has cared for children with cerebral palsy at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital for 40 years and has acted as ophthalmic consultant for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Through his clinical work and a series of neuro-ophthalmology lectures in the Department of Ophthalmology at SickKids for many years, he has taught over a hundred fellows in paediatric ophthalmology alone and residents at the University of Toronto since 1972.Buncic, a former Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at SickKids, continues to care for patients with diseases of the visual system involving the eyes to the back of the brain. Patients who struggle with neuro-ophthalmology disorders may have suffered multiple sclerosis strokes, brain tumours and other brain diseases.
He has been named a Member of the Order of Canada, with this citation: “For his pioneering contributions to the field of paediatric neuro-ophthalmology, notably through his mentorship of multiple generations of paediatric eye specialists.”
He was recently awarded the Janet Rossant Research Innovation Prize at SickKids and the Israeli Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (IAACI) Exceptional Mentor Award in 2018. He is also the director of the Canadian Centre for Primary Immunodeficiency.Roifman, a former division head for Immunology and Allergy, currently a Senior Scientist, Molecular Medicine at the SickKids Research Institute. He is also the Clinical Fellowship Director for Immunology and Allergy at SickKids. His research is focused on understanding the underlying causes of immunodeficiency and lymphoid malignancy. Almost 25 years ago, Roifman discovered a rare congenital disorder, Roifman syndrome. This disorder is associated with immune deficiency, abnormal growth and formation of bones, vision problems and cognitive delay. With the discovery of the mutated gene which causes Roifman syndrome, children are able to be diagnosed earlier which will help prevent medical complications like infections and lung disease.
Roifman has been named a Member of the Order of Canada, with this citation: “For his advancements to the field of immunology, notably in the diagnosis and management of paediatric primary immunodeficiency.”
Congratulations Drs. Buncic and Roifman who continue to make outstanding contributions to the health-care and scientific communities!
For more information about the Order of Canada, please visit the Governor General’s website at www.gg.ca.