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Hospital memorialized in creation of Canada's first chair in pediatric anesthesia at McGill University

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Published: 24 Mar 2004

The Dean of the McGill Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Abraham Fuks, is proud to announce that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital of Montreal Foundation has made a gift to McGill University of $1,566,000 to endow a chair to be named the Queen Elizabeth Hospital of Montreal Foundation Chair in Pediatric Anesthesia.

The Dean of the McGill Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Abraham Fuks, is proud to announce that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital of Montreal Foundation has made a gift to McGill University of $1,566,000 to endow a chair to be named the Queen Elizabeth Hospital of Montreal Foundation Chair in Pediatric Anesthesia. This chair will support the academic activities of the Pediatric Anesthesia Division within the Department of Anesthesia of McGill University.

"We are very enthusiastic about the possibility of advancing research and education in pediatric anesthesia at McGill, thanks to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital of Montreal Foundation. We are also very honoured that this Chair is the first to be endowed in pediatric anesthesia in Canada and one of the few in North America," declared Dr. Fuks.

"The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation still regrets very much the untimely and ill-advised closure of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital," said Mr. Richard J. Riendeau, Q.C., former president of the Foundation. "We were pleased, however, to be able to put to particularly good use some of the funds raised for the support of the old hospital. These funds were turned over to the McGill University Faculty of Medicine for a new chair which will continue to bear the hospital's name. The Foundation is proud of this contribution."

The donation will allow the University to attract an academic anesthesiologist who will dedicate time to pediatric anesthesia research and fellowship training. "In the long term, this will also lead to a much needed increase in pediatric anesthesiologists, thus contributing to making McGill a leader in pediatric anesthesia in North America," added Dr. Franco Carli, Chair of the Department of Anesthesia of McGill University.

Before its closure in 1996, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital had a long history of anesthesia innovations, mainly in association with McGill University, where the first autonomous university department of anesthesia in Canada was founded in 1946. Dr. Harold Griffith, from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, was a world leader in anesthesia research, having been the first to use curare as an anesthetic agent during surgery. Dr. Wesley Bourne was the first to head the Department of Anesthesia at McGill.

Chairs had already been created to honour these medical pioneers: the Wesley Bourne Chair in Anesthesia is held by Dr. Franco Carli, and the Harold Griffith Chair in Anesthesia Research is held by Dr. M. Catherine Bushnell. Following the hospital's closure, Dr. Carli and Foundation representatives felt that a new McGill University chair in this field would complement the two already in existence. By naming the chair after the hospital, it would serve as a fitting reminder of the important work carried out there in the field of anesthesia. The donation was made to McGill University prior to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation's amalgamation with the St. Mary's Hospital Foundation on April 1, 2003.

An endowment is a gift designated for a specific purpose by a donor that is then invested to ensure that the project will continue in perpetuity. At McGill, endowments enable the University to formulate strategic planning that will provide the highest quality academic environment for future generations of students and professors. It provides stability and continuity to the work being carried out in the department. Gifts to McGill's Faculty of Medicine are categorized in four major ways: annual gifts, major gifts, planned gifts, and association gifts.

Endowed chairs also provide the Faculty with the needed resources to attract and retain the finest scholars and researchers in their field. As well, the endowed position underscores the importance of the area to the Faculty's mission of teaching, research and service to the community.

Chartered in 1821, McGill began instruction in 1829 with the Faculty of Medicine. Located in Montreal, Quebec, McGill's Faculty of Medicine has a worldwide reputation for accomplishments in research and teaching.

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Contact: France Cardin
Organization: Faculty of Medicine
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