McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Crisis doctor dies

Published: August 9, 2011
David McCann
Dr. David McCann, an associate professor of family medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine

Dr. David McCann, a family and emergency doctor who excelled in handling crises, particularly large disasters, died Monday after a brief illness.

His impact in Hamilton since he arrived in 2007 had been significant. Recently McCann was promoted to associate professor of family medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. In tribute to his work, he was named an honorary chief of the City of Hamilton’s emergency medical services, and the Emergency Operations Centre that serves both the health sector and public health services was named in his honour by the City of Hamilton.

"Dave was well known for his commitment to disaster planning and emergency relief work, both here in Hamilton as well as internationally," said David Price, chair of the Department of Family Medicine.

"Dave was passionate about education and teaching and he never tired of telling me how being in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster was the realization of his dream job. He was extraordinarily committed to his learners, his family and, most importantly, his faith."

Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, added: "It was an honour to work with someone so dedicated to making emergency response work in a wonderful and thoughtful way."

McCann, 50, received his medical training at Dalhousie and Memorial universities, and last year received a Master of Public Health from the University of Massachusetts. For 14 years before moving to Hamilton, he practiced family and emergency medicine in rural Georgia and was a clinical professor at the Mercer University School of Medicine.

Since 2002 he had also been working as part of a disaster response team, Florida One Disaster Medical Assistance Team, deploying out of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., under the auspices of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. McCann was the team's chief medical officer since 2004, and coordinated medical disaster relief preparations in many places including Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after the 2010 earthquake, and Mississippi and New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. McCann had also responded to the 9/11 tragedy in New York City.

McCann was a lead physician at the Stonechurch Family Health Centre and on staff at Hamilton Health Sciences. He was deputy incident manager for the City of Hamilton’s health sector emergency management services as well as its intermediate and long-term planning lead.

McCann died surrounded by his family including his wife Donna and children Michael, Catherine, Maria, Danielle, and John-Paul. Visitation at the Marlatt Funeral Home in Dundas is scheduled for Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. with prayers Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. A funeral mass will take place at St. Augustine's Catholic Church in Dundas on Aug. 12 at 10 a.m.

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