A prescription for better patient care

Moshe Szyf and Nada Borghol
Dr. Moshe Szyf, GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Pharmacology, with post-doctoral fellow Nada Borghol.

McGill is one of the world’s leaders in basic scientific and medical research. But for patients and their families, new discoveries are only useful when they make their way from the lab bench to the bed side. Fortunately, thanks to the generosity of a range of donors, McGill is also developing innovative new ways to translate medical advances into better, safer and more effective care.

An example of how donors are directly improving the care that patients receive is the establishment of the Christine and Herschel Victor/Hope & Cope Chair in Psychosocial Oncology. This unique position, made possible through the generosity of Christine Victor, BCom’44, and the late Herschel Victor, BCom’44, LLD’10, as well as the Hope and Cope Foundation, is designed to examine the entire experience of cancer from the perspective of a patient and his or her family. The Chair focuses on aspects of cancer such as stress, coping mechanisms, alternative therapies, and various support services.

“We are now aware of the tremendous role that physical, psychological, social, spiritual and financial aspects play in the lives of cancer patients, their families and friends,” says Dr. Carmen Loiselle, inaugural holder of the Chair and Director of McGill’s Oncology Nursing Program. “One important aspect is living with the aftermath of cancer treatment, where longer-term effects are often underestimated.”

Another key aspect of improving care is training future researchers and clinicians. A donation from Deirdre Stevenson and Dr. Robert Stevenson, Herbert Black, and the Molson Foundation established the Richard and Sylvia Cruess Chair in Medical Education, honouring two veteran pioneers in the study of medical professionalism, is designed to foster medical leaders and innovate the teaching of medicine itself.

“An endowed Chair not only gives enduring visibility to the work of Richard and Sylvia Cruess but it also ensures that research will continue to inform practice as we continue to train future generations of health care professionals,” says Dr. Yvonne Steinert, inaugural Chair holder, who has worked to improve medical education for two decades.

One McGill researcher who has improved public understanding of men’s health is Dr. Yosh Taguchi. With nearly 40 years’ experience treating urology patients and authoring research papers, Dr. Taguchi was recently honoured by a chair in his name based on a gift from businessman and philanthropist Lucien Rémillard and his family.

“Not only will this Chair give a tremendous boost to the leading research that is ongoing, it will help us attract the brilliant new talent that will realize the next wave of breakthroughs,” says Dr. Samuel Benaroya, Associate Vice-Principal of Health Affairs. “We are very proud to partner with the Rémillard family to help us achieve this.”