McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Pediatrics chair returns to Australia

Published: November 11, 2008
Peter Steer
Dr. Peter Steer, chair of the Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Peter Steer, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, will be leaving Hamilton early in the new year to return his native Australia to become the CEO of a major new 300-bed children’s hospital to be built in Brisbane, Queensland.

Since January 2003, Steer has held multiple leadership roles in Hamilton. Besides chair of pediatrics for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, he has been president of the McMaster Children's Hospital; chief of pediatrics for both Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton; and vice-president pediatrics, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.

Steer’s accomplishments included: establishment of the McMaster Child Health Research Institute; recruitment of new pediatric physicians and other health care professionals; significant redevelopment across all sites of McMaster Children’s Hospital; and the growth of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is now the largest facility of its kind in the country.

Steer has played an active role with the Provincial Council on Children's Health, a group providing strategic planning advice to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on child health issues. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centres and a member of the executive of the Pediatric Chairs of Canada. As a neonatologist and a researcher, Steer has contributed to a number of clinical trials and has a special interest in the use of caffeine in preterm infants and the pharmacokinetics of drugs used in neonatology (the study of how neonates absorb, distribute, break down, and eliminate drugs).

"Dr. Steer has had an important impact on the development of pediatric training at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine," said John Kelton, Dean and Vice-President of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. "We particularly appreciate his role in setting up the new McMaster Child Health Research Institute, which will advance research in all areas of child and adolescent health. He will be missed, but we wish him all the very best."

Steer said: "It is with mixed emotions that I leave Hamilton, a community that has played such a significant role in my life and that of my family. I feel privileged to have worked with such dedicated and talented people who provide the highest quality of care possible for our children and their families."  

"We will miss having Dr. Steer in our community. Over the years, his vision and leadership have helped propel pediatric care, academics and research to a new level," said Murray Martin, president and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences. "Thanks to his dedication, Hamilton and our region are well positioned to continue as one of Canada’s leading centres for pediatric medicine."

"Dr. Peter Steer is a true champion for the highest quality of pediatric care in our region," said Kevin Smith, president and CEO, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. "He was instrumental in helping to advance health care for children and youth in our region."

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