The Community of Distinction, a high-profile gallery in the Ewart Angus Centre of McMaster University's Health Sciences Centre, honours Faculty of Health Sciences' alumni, faculty and staff who have brought distinction and recognition to McMaster University and the Faculty of Health Sciences through outstanding scholarship and innovative research.
"We're a relatively young Faculty, but we have a clear history of excellence and innovation. It's important we recognize the individuals and groups who have put us on the map," explains John Kelton, dean and vice-president of the Faculty.
The gallery was established in 2003 and honoured nine members. Annually, up to five individuals may be selected for inclusion in the Community of Distinction.
* Click to expand member descriptions
Members of the Community of Distinction
(Year of Induction)
James Anderson, MD, was the founding chair of the Department of Anatomy (1966-1975) and a member of the Faculty until 1988. He helped develop the unique educational programs of the Faculty of Health Sciences. Known for his appreciation of the principles of self-directed learning, his expertise in both anatomy and anthropology, as well as a sharp wit, he engendered admiration and affection among colleagues and students. His skill as a charismatic educator and tutor extended beyond the University to leadership roles in the community, including the launch of Cool School, an alternative school for Hamilton youth. He was honoured as Hamilton's Citizen of the Year in 1974.
Oded Bar-Or, MD, dedicated his life to helping children develop healthier lifestyles. As a visiting professor, then professor of the Department of Pediatrics from 1981 through 2003, he earned worldwide renown as the father of pediatric exercise science. In 1983 he established the world's first Children's Exercise and Nutrition Centre at McMaster, laying the groundwork for revolutionary work combining science and clinical applications in the field of childhood exercise, nutrition and obesity. Also known as a gentle soul and gifted mentor, his distinguished accomplishments led to many awards and honours, including honorary degrees from three universities.
Howard S. Barrows
Howard S. Barrows, MD, made an indelible mark on the now-renowned problem-based learning method developed at McMaster's medical school. As a visiting professor, then a faculty member from 1971 to 1980, Dr. Barrows pioneered educational tools and learning methods that have defined modern medical training. His innovations included standardized patients and performance-based testing. His creativity in a career that spanned more than 40 years is internationally recognized and continues to influence the training of health care professionals at institutions world-wide.
John Basmajian, MD, is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of rehabilitation science, specifically in the area of electromyography. At McMaster he was a professor of medicine with a joint appointment to biomedical sciences from 1977 to 1986. Well known as a pioneer of biofeedback, a technique widely used in rehabilitation, he is also the inventor of several medical devices. The author or editor of 66 books and nearly 400 scientific articles, Basmajian has been a mentor to many students, physiotherapists and physicians.
John Bienenstock, MD, is a renaissance man as a scientist, artist, administrator and visionary — and his ability to think outside the box has inspired a generation of scientists and clinicians. The Distinguished University Professor is recognized as a global authority on lung and gut and their interaction with the brain. From 1968 until after becoming professor emeritus of medicine and pathology in 1998, he forged the infrastructure for the Faculty's robust research enterprise. He was vice-president and dean of the Faculty (1989-1997). The inductee of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is also a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Arthur N. Bourns
Arthur Bourns, Phd, played an integral role in the founding of McMaster's medical school by translating McMaster President Harry Thode's vision into a plan of action. In 1963, the chemistry professor wrote the detailed briefs to the provincial government advocating for a McMaster medical school and a unique university hospital. He continued his active support of the fledgling school during his tenure as president of McMaster University 1972 to 1980. Dr. Bourns has been recognized internationally for his research in physical organic chemistry and for contributions to science policy. The recipient of five honorary degrees, he was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1982.
Moran Campbell, MD, was the founding Chair (1968-1975) of the Department of Medicine for McMaster's medical school, to which he remained dedicated for his lifetime. As a scientist, physician and educator, he was recognized internationally as the foremost respiratory physiologist of his generation, with distinctions including Officer of the Order of Canada. Dr. Campbell's innovation and dedication to the pursuit of excellence in research and education had a profound effect on the development of knowledge and practices in the treatment of respiratory illness. His iconoclastic and mercurial style was a delightful mix of erudition, joie de vivre and dedication to the art and science of medicine.
May Cohen, MD, worked to promote the equality and well being of women, both as providers a nd beneficiaries of health care. She joined the Department of Family Medicine in 1977 and was associate dean, Health Services from 1991 to 1996. As an educator, researcher and clinician, she sought to raise awareness of gender and equity issues in medicine. Cohen has been highly regarded for combining caring with passionate activism to improve the lives of women. Her legacy continues with the annual May Cohen Lectureship in Women's Health and the Eli Lilly May Cohen Chair in Women's Health.
Barbara Cooper was the first associate dean and director of the School of Rehabilitation Sciences from 1991 to 1996. Her leadership and vision were seminal to the early development of the school and provided a strong foundation for its current excellence and international stature. A McMaster faculty member from 1981 until retirement as a professor emeritus in 2000, she was a champion of research. She took national roles in rehabilitation program development and established a northern studies program to promote an affinity for rural practice. An accomplished visual artist, she was also an expert of colour use in environmental design.
Edwin E. Daniel
Edwin E. Daniel, PhD, cultivated and nurtured students to become leaders in education and research around the world during his career as a professor at McMaster University. From 1975 until after he became professor emeritus in 1994, he was an admired teacher and mentor of students from a wide range of disciplines, dedicated to the problem-based learning model and instrumental in exporting it to campuses around the world. Internationally known for his groundbreaking work on smooth muscle function, he was a brilliant scientist whose breadth of knowledge and critical thinking ability led to many achievement awards, including being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Peter Dent, MD, is a pediatrician dedicated to the health and well-being of children. Joining McMaster in 1968, he began as a clinician scientist with a research focus in cancer immunology and pediatric rheumatology. As the chair of the Department of Pediatrics (1981-1990), his stamina and political capability were key to the creation of the McMaster Children's Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House for families of pediatric patients. During his final decade in administration (2002 to 2012), he served as the Faculty's associate vice-president, clinical services where he worked to align university and hospital priorities. He has received top local, national and international awards for his achievements.
Alba DiCenso was a national and international trailblazer in fostering the integration of nurse practitioners into the health care system, as well as advancing evidence-based nursing and health service and policy research. A McMaster nursing alumna, she joined the School of Nursing faculty in 1978. Known for her dedication and compassion, she spent a decade as the Chair in Advanced Practice Nursing increasing Canada's capacity of nurse researchers, and for 10 years headed a consortium of six universities as the Director of the Ontario Training Centre in Health Services and Policy Research. She became a professor emeritus in 2013, and was inducted into the Order of Canada.
Jerry Dolovich, MD, founded the Division of Allergy and Immunology at McMaster and was a professor of pediatrics from 1968 to 1997. Credited with important discoveries in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma and allergies, he had a worldwide influence in his specialities. He was a humane and compassionate clinician, who made patient care and patient education top priorities in both his research and teaching. In 1990, Dolovich wrote the first Canadian Asthma Guidelines. In 1997, he was named distinguished clinician by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Murray Enkin, MD, brought care and compassion together with a progressive attitude to advocate change within the field of obstetrics and gynecology. He joined the Faculty of Health Sciences in 1965 and taught until 1988. Enkin sought valid evidence for the improvement of childbirth practices and an increase in options for pregnant women. His broadminded views led him to be an early supporter of midwifery education and practice. Enkin co-wrote the internationally published and widely read reference book, A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth.
Nathan B. Epstein
Nathan B. Epstein, MD, founding chair of the Department of Psychiatry (1967 – 1975), is recognized throughout the world as a pioneer of family therapy. When he arrived in Hamilton in 1966, clinical psychiatric services were a virtual "wasteland". With his talent for leadership and administration, this charismatic physician successfully de-stigmatized "mental illness" and streamlined many community resources.
He established academic clinical services at St. Joseph's Hospital and McMaster Medical Centre, developed an outstanding child and family centre at Chedoke Hospital and introduced a highly effective family therapy program based on his own extensive research. Under his direction, the former Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital, now the Centre for Mountain Health Services was developed into a clinical training and academic setting. He established a unique collaboration of psychiatry with academic family practice units where psychiatrists saw patients with family doctors in their offices and taught these faculty and their residents.
Well-liked with enormous energy, Epstein opened a huge window on what psychotherapy was, and was not. Thriving interdisciplinary family health networks in Hamilton are a direct result of his efforts.
John Evans, MD, was appointed founding dean of McMaster's Faculty of Medicine in 1965, serving until 1972. Under his leadership, a group of innovative educators began developing an undergraduate medical program that defied convention by emphasizing self-directed learning. Evans pioneered the problem-based learning curriculum that influenced health care education worldwide and became the hallmark of McMaster's integrated Faculty of Health Sciences. Evans also made significant contributions as an international health adviser and researcher, conducting a global study of public health and population-based medicine in 1979 and chairing the international Commission on Health Research for Development in 1988.
Barbara Ferrier, PhD, a strong advocate for the principle that "personal qualities" are as important in future physicians as good marks, made outstanding contributions to the advancement of medical education at McMaster through her commitment to teaching, enthusiasm for research and expertise in curriculum development.
She earned a PhD in chemistry in Edinburgh, joining McMaster's Department of Biochemistry in 1972 where she remained a dedicated faculty member long after her appointment as a professor emeritus in 1998. During her career, her scholarly interests shifted from biochemistry to innovations in education. She was the first director of the "preliminary course" – a special "McMaster style" summer course which prepared students entering the MD program who had little, or no, background in biological or behavioural sciences.
An insightful tutor, Ferrier is remembered for her ability to inspire excellence in her students. She contributed to the medical school's revamped MD COMPASS curriculum which puts greater emphasis on the fundamental mechanisms which impact health. A strong advocate of problem-based learning (PBL), as director of the university's Arts and Science program, she influenced its inclusion in the program. Her influence reached beyond McMaster to the community and provincial committees.
Susan French, RN, PhD, is recognized as a nursing leader who, during her 31 years at McMaster, helped transform nursing practice, research and teaching in North America. As Associate Dean of Health Sciences, Nursing, from 1980 to 1990, Dr. French guided the school to its status as one of Canada's most respected nursing schools. She played a key role in the development of a national accreditation program for undergraduate nursing. Her impact in capacity-building spread her influence internationally, beginning with multi-phase projects which developed nursing programs in Third World countries.
Jack Gauldie, PhD, is a world-renowned expert in the field of gene therapeutics, and best known for his contributions to mucosal immunology, cytokine biology and the regulation of inflammation, fibrosis and tissue repair. He joined the Faculty in 1971 and continued a distinguished career of research, education and administration until 2015. Gauldie was designated as a Distinguished University Professor in 1998. While serving in many important roles, including chair of the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine (1989-2004), his outstanding leadership influenced the direction of research locally, provincially and nationally. Several generations of McMaster scientists count Jack Gauldie as their mentor and role model.
Michael Gent, DSc, one of the world's leading biostatisticians, was a founding member of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and served as its chair from 1973 to 1979. During his 33 years at McMaster beginning in 1969, he built the university's international reputation as a pre-eminent site in clinical trials. A leader in shaping health care research, he demonstrated remarkable research productivity, conducting trials and publishing results that changed the global practice of health care. He has been considered an inspiring teacher, a rigorous scientist, and a leader demonstrating charm, wit and honesty. He became professor emeritus in 2002, and contributed to future developments in his field by establishing the Michael Gent Professorship in Healthcare Research.
Gerhard Gerber, PhD, was a biochemistry researcher and professor who became an entrepreneurial visionary in developing McMaster as one of Canada's top research intensive universities. He joined McMaster in 1978 and created an innovative co-op educational program while chair of the Department of Biochemistry for five years from 1991. However, it was during his term as McMaster's vice-president research and international affairs from 1996 to 2001 that he attracted significant new federal funding, established important research infrastructure and created a culture stressing the economic and social value of research that still impacts the Faculty of Health Sciences and the University. He became a professor emeritus in 2007.
Frank Graham, PhD, developed an international reputation for himself and McMaster University with his pioneering developments in the field of gene therapy and his reputation for innovation and excellence in molecular virology. He joined the cancer research group of the departments of pathology and biology in 1975 and became one of the most cited scientists in biology for his work defining mechanisms of cancer transformation caused by adenoviruses. Renowned as an effective mentor and collaborator, accolades include being named a McMaster Distinguished University Professor and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. The professor emeritus retired to Italy in 2003.
Frederick E. Hargreave
Frederick E. Hargreave, MD, known to everyone as Freddy, was a world-renowned respirologist who helped change the way asthma is diagnosed and treated through research driven by the clinical needs of his patients. For more than four decades after joining McMaster in 1969, the brilliant clinical scientist developed tests to measure airway responsiveness and inflammation that became the gold standard. A founder of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, he was a superb mentor who trained many of the world's current leaders in asthma research. He became professor emeritus in 2004, but remained active in research. He was also held in the highest regard by his patients.
Jack Hirsh, MD, is an internationally renowned medical researcher who pioneered the investigation and treatment of deep-vein thrombosis, and his basic and clinical research has led to safer, more effective anticoagulants. He joined McMaster in 1970 and served as chair of the Department of Medicine from 1981 to 1988. A tireless mentor, his students have become health care leaders throughout Canada and around the world. Since becoming a professor emeritus in 1994, he has been named a member of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, been inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and won the Gairdner Foundation International Award for Achievement.
Richard H. Hunt
Richard Hunt joined McMaster in 1982 after a distinguished career as a medical officer in the Royal Navy. He quickly built the Division of Gastroenterology (GI) to become the premiere Canadian and one of the top academic GI divisions internationally. He became one of the most productive and highly cited gastroenterologists, and attracted exceptional trainees and visiting professors from around the world. Hunt provided leadership for Canadian, U.S and international gastroenterology associations. Before retiring in 2013 as a professor emeritus, he endowed the Richard Hunt/ AstraZeneca Chair in Gastroenterology. His many significant honours include becoming Master of both the American College of Gastroenterology and of the World Gastroenterology Organization.
Norman L. Jones
Norman L. Jones, a physiologist and clinician scientist, arrived at McMaster in 1968 from the United Kingdom with his friend and colleague, Moran Campbell. They transformed McMaster into an international powerhouse for research, education and clinical programs in respiratory medicine. Dr. Jones became renowned for his development of the science of exercise physiology.
With his quiet style, scholarly approach and strong leadership, he served as a mentor and a role model, inspiring the next generation of clinician-scientist leaders. He retired as professor emeritus in 1991.
Dr. Jones was founding editor of the Canadian Respiratory Journal, which established an annual award in his honour.
Karyn Kaufman helped establish midwifery as a regulated health profession in Canada and served as the inaugural assistant dean of McMaster's midwifery education program from 1993 to her retirement in 2006.
With an education in nursing, midwifery and public health, she arrived in Hamilton in 1972 and worked first as a clinical nurse specialist, later becoming a professor in McMaster's Department of Family Medicine. She was appointed by the Minister of Health to a task force on the implementation of midwifery in Ontario and then she established the first midwifery education program in Canada.
Her visionary leadership and advocacy have resulted in safe, effective and compassionate midwifery care across the country.
Mary Law has been pivotal in the advancement of academic rehabilitation science in Canada. While at McMaster from 1987 to 2015, she was co-founder of CanChild, a national, multi-disciplinary research centre which changed the approach to child disability research to include their families. From 2000 to 2010, as the associate dean, health sciences (rehabilitation), she established the School of Rehabilitation Science as a premier school, quintupling the research mandate while adding innovative programs including McMaster's first online master's degree. Called 'an icon of her profession' and noted for her determination, she received a lifetime award from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy and joined the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Jonathan Lomas, MA, is known as the 'father of knowledge translation' for his groundbreaking research and his championing of the use of evidence to guide clinical practice and health system decision making. His tireless advocacy broadened and enhanced the impact of McMaster-spawned evidence-based medicine. A professor of health policy for the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from 1982 to 1997, he was co-founder and a leader of the influential Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis. Lomas has consulted for international organizations and governments at all levels around the world. Among other honours, he is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Alan McComas was an award-winning physician when he was recruited to McMaster's medical school in 1971 as its first head of neurology. The neurophysiologist was a proud ambassador for the university as he became recognized internationally for his research on the neurophysiology of muscle disease. His method for the calculation of a number of viable motor units in muscle is considered the gold standard for this measurement. A captivating presenter, he was renowned as a mentor and extensively published. He was the chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences from 1988 to 1993 before he retired as professor emeritus in 1996.
Ludmila (Niky) Melichar
Ludmila (Niky) Melichar, MA, first played a key role in the development of the Faculty of Health Sciences as the hospital's lead in the building of the McMaster University Medical Centre, a unique facility combining hospital, research and education roles. Joining the Faculty as an administrator in 1973, her portfolio ranged from managing the biomedical research office and facilities, to the construction of several major buildings on campus and strategic planning. As an assistant professor (part time), she taught organizational behaviour. Her leadership, wisdom, negotiating skills and integrity influenced faculty, staff, and students. She retired three times, in 1994, 2000 and 2005, as her extraordinary talent and understanding of the complexities of organizations continued to be sought for special projects.
C. Barber Mueller
C. Barber Mueller, MD, came to McMaster University as the founding Chairman (1967-1972) of the Department of Surgery during the formative years of the university's medical school. His vision was influential in the development of the McMaster philosophy of medical education. His exemplary skills as a surgeon, combined with a devotion to teaching in a kind, thorough manner, earned him many academic and professional honours during a 45-year career. Dr. Mueller's dedication and contributions to knowledge, education and clinical care have created a legacy at McMaster and helped set the standards of modern surgery.
J. Fraser Mustard
J. Fraser Mustard, MD, joined the Faculty of Health Sciences in 1966, becoming involved in developing both the medical school curriculum and its research capability. From 1972 to 1982 he was dean and vice-president, and during that time he was responsible for the School of Nursing assisting in the development of nursing at Aga Khan University in Pakistan. His influence extended beyond the University with contributions to research and health care policy. He is world-renowned for his work on platelets, vessel injury and the effect of aspirin. In 1982, Mustard founded the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
Bernie O'Brien, PhD, was a pre-eminent health economist who established McMaster University as a world leader in assessing the benefits and costs of health care interventions. Before his untimely death at the age of 44, he had an illustrious career as a professor and researcher, garnering national and international awards in recognition of his pioneering accomplishments in developing new methods for economic evaluation in health care. A professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from 1990 to 2004, he was a passionate teacher and a gifted collaborator with a distinct talent for building bridges for shared research programs between academic, clinical and industry interests.
David R. (Dan) Offord
David R. (Dan) Offord, MD, was one of the world's authorities on child psychiatry and a passionate advocate for children and youth. As a professor at McMaster (1978-1999), and through his many leadership roles in children's mental health research and treatment, he displayed scholarship and practical clinical concern for all children while maintaining an affable demeanor. Dr. Offord earned many distinctions, including the Order of Canada, and established the Faculty of Health Sciences as an international leader in child psychiatry research. The Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University was named in honour of its founding director.
Alma Reid, PhD, was director of the School of Nursing from 1949 to 1970. During this time her dedication and vision lead the school to great change. As well as increasing enrolment, she was instrumental in integrating the School of Nursing into the Faculty of Health Sciences, fostering the interdisciplinary spirit at McMaster. Reid promoted nursing within McMaster, as well as nationally and internationally, taking leadership roles within many professional organizations. As a teacher, she is known for encouraging self-direction and valuing personal differences.
Raelene Rathbone, MD, PhD, is an exemplary role model as a physician, researcher and academic administrator. At McMaster from 1971 until becoming a professor emeritus of pathology in 2002, she was recognized internationally as a scientist for her contributions to research on platelet physiology. She was renowned too as an administrator for her sensitivity, mentorship, pragmatism and enthusiasm in her many roles. These included associate vice-president of the Faculty (1992-2000) and acting as associate dean for education, for research and as the Faculty's dean and vice-president. She also played a key role in establishing the unified city-wide Research Ethics Board.
Beatrix Robinow, BA, was McMaster University's first Health Sciences Librarian, playing a leading role in designing and establishing a library that would serve as the heart of the fledgling Faculty of Health Sciences. She joined McMaster in 1966 and, until her retirement in 1982, was known for her enthusiasm, creativity and skill in overseeing a library that became the focal point of the health sciences community. She also took a leadership role in the international Medical Library Association. The continual growth of the highly-respected Health Sciences Library and the establishment of a Library Enrichment Fund in her name are testaments to her contributions.
Helen Saarinen-Rahikka, MHSc, was a physiotherapist and educator with an international reputation as a leader in physiotherapy. As inaugural chair of the Physiotherapy BHSc program (1989-1992), she pioneered an innovative, problem-based curriculum, the first of its kind in the world. She taught for 24 years (1972-1996) as the program evolved from a diploma at Mohawk College to a master's degree at McMaster University. Known for her ability to recognize potential and facilitate excellence, she encouraged and mentored two generations of students and physiotherapy clinicians. The Helen Saarinen Lectureship is held annually in her honour in the School of Rehabilitation Science.
David Sackett, MD, founded Canada's first Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics and chaired the Division of Internal Medicine. At McMaster from 1967 to 1994, he developed and mentored a new breed of applied clinician-scientists and worked with them to create and disseminate evidence-based medicine throughout the world. His collaborative research teams were the first to validate the efficacy of aspirin and carotid endarterectomy for patients with threatened stroke, to develop effective strategies for helping hypertensive patients and to generate compelling evidence of the effectiveness of nurse practitioners.
John Sellors, MD, was a graduate of the first class of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster in 1972 who went on to exemplify the impact primary care physicians can make locally, nationally and globally. A Stoney Creek doctor for 22 years, he was a faculty member in family medicine at McMaster from 1979 to 2011, including a term as the department's director of research. He was internationally known for his work in reproductive health, particularly cervical cancer prevention. An exceptional researcher and educator, he used his sense of humour to bring people together. He was also responsible for building new collaborations between pharmacists and family physicians.
Jack Sinclair, MD, brought evidence-based medicine to the field of neonatology. A respected scholar of medicine, skilled clinician, and inimitable mentor, Dr. Sinclair was a professor of pediatrics at McMaster University from 1970 until retirement in 1999. He built Hamilton's neonatal clinical care and training programs, and introduced rigorous evaluation of the care provided to premature and seriously ill newborns. His leadership led to standards of excellence in neonatal research and care that are recognized and practised around the world. In tribute, an endowed chair in neonatology has been established in his name at McMaster University.
Ruth Snider developed internationally recognized standards for the psychosocial care of children in hospital and established Canada's first education program in child life studies.
The founding director of the clinical child life program at the McMaster University Medical Centre, she joined the Department of Pediatrics as a clinical lecturer in 1977 and retired as an associate clinical professor in 1992.
Graduates of her postgraduate child life diploma program work around the world, improving the lives of children by giving them a voice during their illness.
A tireless advocate, she was instrumental in establishing the Canadian Association of Child Life Leaders. Her awards include the Child Life Council's Distinguished Service Award.
William Spaulding, MD, was one of the pioneers who developed the innovative medical school launched at McMaster University. As the Associate Dean of Health Sciences from 1965 to 1970, he was pivotal in developing the self-directed, problem-based approach to learning that today is used around the world. After his 1987 retirement, he co-authored the book Revitalizing Medical Education: McMaster Medical School - The Early Years, capturing the excitement and challenges of the Faculty of Health Sciences' early history.
Henry (Harry) Thode
Henry (Harry) Thode, PhD, was president of McMaster from 1961 to 1972. Under his guidance, McMaster became what it is today; respected worldwide for groundbreaking research and excellent education. His vision and leadership allowed for the innovative approach of the medical school, and later, the development of the Faculty of Health Sciences. Thode also initiated the construction of the Health Sciences Centre. As a scientist, he is known for his contributions to the field of atomic energy. As a leader, he is known for his commitment and devotion to McMaster.
John Thomas, PhD, pioneered the development of health care ethics in the Faculty of Health Sciences and he was instrumental in establishing the discipline at both the national and international levels. The philosophy professor was involved with the medical and nursing schools for more than three decades and he was officially an associate member of the Faculty from 1985 until his retirement in 1991. Thomas created undergraduate courses in health ethics, served on ethics committees and profoundly impacted clinicians, policy-makers and patients through his scholarship, consultations and teaching. A quiet, wise, gentle leader, Thomas brought out the best in his colleagues and students.
George Torrance, PhD, became a world leader in the economic evaluation of medical treatments and health services during his 30-year career at McMaster which began in 1967. With expertise in both health sciences and business, he was a pioneer in the development and application of methods to improve health care decision-making. He helped revolutionize the science and practice of assessing health status and determining the quality of life, and played an essential role in the Faculty's reputation as a world leader in population health sciences. An outstanding teacher, colleague and mentor, he contributed to the career development of multiple generations of clinical and health services researchers.
Karin von Schilling
Karin C. von Schilling, MScN, a professor in the School of Nursing from 1968 to 1988, influenced the move to multidisciplinary, problem-based education of health care professionals both at McMaster University and internationally. Known for upholding the highest standards for education and service, students sought her wisdom and assistance to enhance their learning. She also brought McMaster's expertise to Germany, Austria and Sweden, promoting multi-professional team-building and introducing problem-based learning. A strong advocate for children, she was instrumental in the implementation of family-centred, multidisciplinary child care in Hamilton, and was the first School of Nursing professor to be cross-appointed to the Department of Pediatrics.
William Walsh, MD, was a pillar of the new medical school and an integral part of the Faculty of Health Sciences from his appointment as the Assistant Dean of Medicine in 1965 to his retirement in 1990. As one of the founders of the medical school, he was instrumental in developing its revolutionary curriculum. His reputation as a leader in the medical community helped the school gain acceptance among area health professionals. He held various leadership posts including Director of Continuing Medical Education and Associate Dean of Education. A creative and pioneering educator, Dr. Walsh fostered commitment to the discipline of medicine.
Alvin Zipursky, MD, founding chair of the Department of Pediatrics from 1966 to 1972 and 1978 to 1981, is world-renowned for his seminal investigations into the prevention of RH hemolytic disease in newborns.
His exceptional leadership, commitment to excellence and passion for learning laid the groundwork for what is now an internationally recognized academic department with outstanding clinician teachers who became the nucleus for McMaster Children's Hospital. Under his leadership, programs in pediatric hematology/oncology, neonatal intensive care and developmental pediatrics achieved global respect.
During his career, which spans more than 50 years, he founded and chaired the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO), a provincial organization providing support to thousands of young cancer patients and their families. Some of his most important achievements include the creation of a Child and Family Centre, setting up a multi-disciplinary Hemophilia Clinic in Hamilton and the establishment of the city's first coagulation diagnostic and research laboratory. This facility was central to the development of the internationally recognized thrombosis and hemostasis program led by Dr. Jack Hirsh, former chair of the department of medicine.
Since 2004, he has served as chair and scientific director of the Program for Global Pediatric Research which brings together scientists from around the world to study global childhood health problems.