Dr. William (Bill) Bensen, a nationally recognized rheumatologist who was a McMaster alumnus, faculty member and donor, died March 15. He was 67.
Bill Bensen came from a family with a long history in Hamilton and particularly at McMaster, with his grandfather, father and son, Rob all graduating with degrees from the University.
He was in the second graduating class of what is now known as the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, in 1973. He became a part-time faculty member with the Department of Medicine in 1978 and had held the title of clinical professor since 2007.
An international research team with prominent Canadian leadership has found that the blood thinner rivaroxaban is as safe as aspirin, and more effective at preventing recurrence of life-threatening blood clots in the legs and lungs, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
At least one out of 1,000 Canadians will experience one of these blood clots every year, a condition called venous thromboembolism. The clots can be deadly if they travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), and are the third most common cardiovascular cause of death after heart attack and stroke.
Venous thromboembolism is a chronic disease, with risks of additional blood clots over a patient's lifetime. However, many physicians and patients are deciding against long-term treatment with blood thinners because of concern about the risk of bleeding. Some are choosing aspirin instead because they consider it to be safer.
The Faculty of Health Sciences is undertaking to establish a new Indigenous Health Initiative in order to better integrate Indigenous knowledge and issues into educational and research programs within the Faculty, in concert with the ongoing work across campus.
To that end, Bernice Downey, a medical anthropologist of Oji/Cree and Celtic heritage, has been appointed as an assistant professor cross-appointed to the School of Nursing and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences to advise the leadership of the Faculty in the development of an Indigenous strategy for the Faculty of Health Sciences, beginning March 15.
She is an experienced health care leader, senior executive, facilitator, consultant, educator and researcher, with a focus on Indigenous health and well-being. It is anticipated that she will be appointed as an assistant professor of the School of Nursing with a joint appointment to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences.