McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Professor appointed head of McMaster Children's Hospital

Published: December 8, 2008
Peter Fitzgerald
Dr. Peter Fitzgerald, professor of pediatric surgery

Dr. Peter Fitzgerald, a professor of pediatric surgery and McMaster medical alumnus, has been appointed President of McMaster Children's Hospital (MCH).

Fitzgerald has been on staff at MCH for 16 years, and is currently the hospital's medical director as well as chief of pediatric surgery. He will assume his new role in January, succeeding Dr. Peter Steer who is leaving Hamilton to become CEO of a new children's hospital in Brisbane, Australia.

"Throughout his distinguished career here in Hamilton, Fitzgerald has demonstrated the dedication and vision that we think makes him the ideal person to lead McMaster Children's Hospital in the years ahead," said Murray Martin, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and a member of the selection committee.

Fitzgerald received his masters degree in psychology at the University of Ottawa before enrolling in medical school at McMaster University. He completed his residency in general surgery at McMaster, and then a fellowship in pediatric general surgery at Dalhousie University and Izaak Walton Killam Children's Hospital in Halifax.

For Fitzgerald, it was an easy decision to return to Hamilton after his fellowship was over. "My wife and I thought Hamilton was great place to live in and raise our family. I knew McMaster was an exciting place to both work and teach, so I really didn't even seriously look at other options," he said.

He is a professor in McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine where he has made significant contributions to undergraduate surgical education, particularly in the development of evaluation standards. Fitzgerald has held a variety of positions at the children’s hospital including: unit director of the Pediatric Surgical Unit co-principal investigator of the Pediatric Oncology Group and co-chair of the MCH program council.

Fitzgerald has a national and international reputation for his innovative work and leadership in minimal access (keyhole) surgery and reconstructive chest wall surgery. As a researcher, he has published 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals and made numerous presentations at medical conferences.

Fitzgerald describes the "phenomenal" growth of McMaster Children's into one of the busiest children's hospitals in the province as exciting, and he looks forward to the changes and challenges that lie ahead. But while MCH's programs and facilities may be growing, he said it's important to keep providing the personalized care that is the hospital's hallmark.

"As McMaster Children's Hospital expands, we will continually strive to provide top quality care in a family-centred environment," he said. "Every child is special and we need to apply all our talent and resources to each and every one of them. They inspire us and it is an honour to care for them."

Fitzgerald assumes his new role on  January 5, 2009. Fitzgerald will also serve as HHS’ executive lead for McMaster University Medical Centre

A separate university/hospital search will take place for the chair of the Department of Pediatrics for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and for the chief of pediatrics for MCH.


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