PS News: Issue 11, May 2012

Headline News

Congratulations to Drs Toni Zhong & Brett Beber!

We are very excited for Toni and Brett as they embark on this miraculous journey and for this new addition to the Divisional family.  Robbie Ziv Beber was born on March 20th, 2012 at 2:30 a.m.

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Given Robbie’s large hands, Toni and Brett are already training him to hold a scalpel!

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Chair’s Column

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Dr. Christopher R. Forrest
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Interim Chair

“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” (Oscar Wilde: 1854–1900, writer and poet)

It has been an amazing few months for the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto. Just a few of the highlights include the Annual Resident’s Research Day with Tau Omicron Visiting Professor, Dr. Mike Bentz from Wisconsin, the Annual Toronto Breast Surgery Symposium, the UoT Aesthetic Symposium, Gallie Day with Kristen Davidge taking home the Shafie S. Fazel Outstanding Resident Surgeon and Investigator Award, Greg Borschel, Toni Zhong, Laura Snell, Joan Lipa, Stefan Hofer, Mitch Brown, John Semple, Marc Jeschke, Jennica Platt and Siba Haykal all receiving prestigious research grants and awards, ABA certification for the Ross Tilley Burn Unit, a record number of publications, a high-profile recruitment for the Hand Unit, some fabulous CARMS applicants that will be entering our program in July and representation of our division in Plastic Surgery activities around the world. And this doesn’t include hosting the 66th annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Lindsay Thomson Pediatric Plastic Surgery Symposium on June 12, nor the Gala Graduation Dinner on June 21st, 2012. As a division and as a specialty, we have a lot to be proud of. It is a good time to be a member of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto!

However, while it is good to bask in the glory of one’s success, we should also be reflective of the opportunities that exist. In my time as the Interim Chair, I have attempted to assess our division from the inside out and have met with all the Heads, Program Directors, Residents and Fellows in our program and have learned some interesting (and perhaps obvious) things. By and large, one of the most important themes that sprang from these discussions is that we are not fully aware of what we are all involved with and what we are doing. The right hand doesn’t always know what its counterpart is up to. Famously, more than one faculty member in our division has experienced hearing first-hand about the activities of our division by attending a meeting thousands of miles away. In an attempt to improve this we organized two retreats. Joel Fish held a dinner retreat to highlight the research activities of our division on April 19th. The mandate for attendance was simple: just briefly tell everyone what research you are doing. While this was a challenge for the Power Point-addicted people such as myself, we heard about upper extremity cold intolerance that Christine Novak is looking at, lymph node transfer techniques for the management of chronic lymphedema from John Semple, wound healing challenges from Jim Mahoney, Nancy McKee’s anatomic muscle work, novel strategies to regenerate peripheral nerves from Greg Borschel, ischemia-reperfusion injury from Cho Pang, John Phillips’ enthusiasm for CAD-CAM enhanced techniques in craniofacial surgery, tissue engineering from Herb von Schroeder and patient-reported outcomes in cleft lip and palate from me. It was a wonderful showcase of the scope of our research activities and led to the generation of some new opportunities that will include quarterly research dinner retreats (personally I believe the wine was a strong creative stimulus), a research day for faculty to present their work and the use of social media to highlight what we do as a division.

The other retreat held in April involved the Chiefs of the teaching hospitals and the focus was a little different. It was to discuss the challenges that each one of us faces and what we can do to address them. We have a huge division. This was the first time that the people responsible for the administration of our division have had this opportunity to meet with each other and brainstorm in this fashion. We talked about a number of concerns that focused upon enhancing ties with the alumni, engagement of staff, managing geographic boundaries that create a north-south divide, financial security for the division, expansion of the scope of our specialty and concern about transitioning residents into attending staff. Once again, the common theme was discovering what we are all doing in our day to day lives. So why is this important? Peter F. Drucker, a well-known guru in the business world has said “Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement”. That philosophy should come as no surprise to any of us. But in our busy day-to-day worlds, it is all too simple to focus on what deadline is immediately in front of you, whether it is getting to the 735am huddle in the OR on time or signing off on overdue charts. It is easy to get lost in the debris that makes up our working day.

As a car enthusiast, I enrolled in a BMW driving school two summers ago and was surprised to learn a valuable life lesson during the exercise on the skid pad. The instruction focused upon how to get the car out of an oversteer situation (a vehicle dynamics term that describes what occurs when a car steers more than the amount commanded by the driver and one loses control of the vehicle). When the car goes into a skid, there is an overwhelming temptation to look down at the steering wheel as you try and bring the car back under control. The trick is to not look down, but to look up and pick a point on the horizon where you want the vehicle to go and steer towards it. Surprisingly it works! The obvious analogy relates to how we live our work lives. Perspective is everything. If we spend our days looking down at our feet, we will never see the big picture –it is crucial that we raise our heads as a division and site a point on the horizon where we should be heading towards. And the first step to accomplishing this relates to discovering who we are as a division and what we are doing.

And so, as the Interim Chair, I am honored to lead the charge and the first step in this direction relates to an increased level of transparency and accountability within the division. My hope is to engage all the academic plastic surgery community and provide a platform of visibility that gives our division a unique perspective on what goes on within and without. Stay tuned!

In Memoriam

The Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mrs. Peggy Lindsay on February 6th, 2012. Mrs. Lindsay was the “First Lady” of Plastic Surgery during the time her husband, Dr. W. K. Lindsay was the Chair of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Toronto (1965 to 1989 – an unprecedented 24 years!). During this era, she was an impressive and wonderful support for “WK” and represented the epitome of grace and gentle charm. She took great interest in the trainees in the program and hosted an annual Christmas and tree-cutting Party for the house staff. Following Dr. Lindsay’s passing in 2008, Mrs. Lindsay established the W. K. Lindsay Award in Plastic Surgery Research at the Hospital for Sick Children. This is an annual award given to the best research paper in Pediatric Plastic Surgery presented by a trainee. At this time, the division would like to extend its deepest sympathies to the Lindsay family and recognize the importance that she had on the fabric of our program during the “Lindsay years”. So what else can we do as a division to learn more about each other?

“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” (Oscar Wilde: 16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900, writer and poet)

Research Director’s Report

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Research Director
Dr. Joel Fish

Resident Research in 2012: It is only just my opinon!

This years visiting professor Dr. Michael Bentz wrote a thank you letter to me and highlighted on three separate occasions how impressed he was with the quality of papers at our research day!  It is only just my opinion… but, I agree!  Apparently I was not the only one that felt that way this year. Based on feedback I received after the meeting, this was a shared opinion. All the presenting residents achieved the benchmark of having a solid project completed and presented. Many of our faculty which mentor the research, are happy to sit back and let the residents receive recognition for the projects on this day, but they also deserve recognition.

In light of what was a bumper crop of excellent presentations , I have always been somewhat skeptical about the optics of giving ‘prizes for research’ . Research is an act of discovery which can take many different forms. Epidemiology, basic science investigation, quality care reviews, education and evaluations of how we deliver care  as reconstructive surgeons are all equally valued and valid. Is it reasonable to make comparisons and award a prize? The final judgment of quality rests in the amount of potential contribution to our specialty, the presence of original thinking and the hard work required uncovering and understanding  data.  To judge one type of investigation over the other is for me counter intuitive. This is only my opinion.

Our Surgical Scientist Program will have three candidates next year  in pursuit of fulltime research  degrees all during the same time. Dr. Mike Hendry will be joining Dr. Greg Borschel  and Dr. Tessa Gordon in the area of peripheral nerve research. Mike has thought long and hard about taking the step to extend his residency and spend time in the lab and it is an exciting time. Dr. Borschel has cultivated a very productive laboratory environment that is perfect for future reconstructive surgery trainees! This of course is only my opinion.

Dr. Jennica Platt has successfully designed a very large and innovative  project with unique methodology that will be  interesting to follow over the next year . Dr. Platt’s research has already received publication  and we  look forward to learning about her findings in the coming years.  The outcome of her work in post mastectomy reconstruction care delivery is potentially transformative in terms of the future of breast reconstruction in our province. Only an opinion… of course.

Dr. Siba Haykal has diligently worked under the supervision of Dr. Stefan Hofer and Dr. Tom Wadell on tracheal allograft transplantation. Having taken the large step of transferring to a PhD program she has taken  on a large investigation and over the next few years we will undoubtedly witness her ability to continue to amaze us with high quality scientific papers. Siba is the second PhD candidate in our program in the past ten or more years. This level of commitment to research  paves the way for future academic/research plastic and reconstructive surgeons graduating from our program!

Recently under the guidance of Dr. Chris R. Forrest we held the first in a series of research  dinners where faculty orally presented research projects they are working on. This was done in a relaxed venue with an emphasis on sharing with the goal of creating more collaboration amongst our faculty as it relates to research. The breadth of projects , funding avenues, ideas and potential new avenues exposed at this working dinner was nothing short of astounding.  This crystallized the idea that our faculty members have such a broad based involvement in research (from all of our teaching hospitals) leading me to consider that the only path for future development of research in our division is positive. This, of course, is only my opinion!

Program Director’s Report

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Program Director
Dr. Mitch Brown

As I sit in the backyard on April 14 writing this report, it is hard to believe how quickly the winter has passed and how lucky we are to be having a beautiful, early spring.  Global warming may have its drawbacks but it is certainly great for Canadian golfers! Bubba Watson won an exciting Masters, March Madness brought us some fantastic college hoops, the Maple Leafs are relaxing at home and the Blue Jays are back in town. It is a great time of the year.

The  Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery had a very successful recent CARMS match for new residents entering the program in July 2012. We are happy to welcome Dale Podolsky from the University of Toronto, Victoria Hayward from the University of Western Ontario, Rayisa Hontscharuk from the University of Western Ontario and Matthew Murphy from the University of Ottawa.  Matthew’s brother Blake is currently a PGY2 in our program and it will be a Division first having siblings in the same program at the same time!  A big thank you to the entire Residency Program Committee for their excellent work in reviewing the 60 applications and helping to refine our process for resident selection.

As we prepare to welcome our new trainees, we get ready to congratulate our four graduating residents. Each of them have exciting fellowships planned. Kristen Davidge will be joining Dr. Susan Mackinnon in St. Louis for a fellowship in upper extremity and peripheral nerve, Taiba Alrasheed will be travelling to MD Anderson in Houston for a microsurgical reconstruction fellowship, Ryan Neinstein will be completing an aesthetic fellowship in Manhattan and Richard Backstein will be packing his Fosters Lager T-Shirt and taking off for Melbourne, Australia for a fellowship in general plastic and aesthetic surgery.  It is a testament to these four residents, as well as our own training program, that they were all so successful in obtaining these highly sought after fellowships. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at our annual graduation gala dinner and awards presentation on Thursday, June 21st.

We are also looking forward to hosting the 66th annual CSPS meeting  in Toronto this June. We have many of our own residents presenting their research work and there are several talks scheduled by our own faculty. The social activities will highlight the many exciting things to do in downtown Toronto and our residents are preparing their specialty drink menus as they will host the bar at the always popular hospitality suite.

As each academic year comes to a close, it is a perfect time to thank all of our faculty for their outstanding efforts in providing the residents with such an excellent learning experience in the classroom, in the clinic, in the office and in the operating room. I know that many of you have not only impacted on our resident teaching, but have also provided important and lasting life lessons as mentors and advisors. It is very much appreciated by all of our trainees. A special thank you to Kyle Wanzel, Assistant Program Director for his ongoing leadership with Plastic Surgery School, Paul Binhammer for his continued excellence in providing a vibrant surgical skills curriculum, Laura Snell for her exciting new approach to delivering journal clubs, Peter Bray for the outstanding quality of our morbidity and mortality rounds, Joel Fish for his caring approach to teaching the importance of research and Craig Fielding for his dedication to the bioethics curriculum. Thank you also to Melinda, Linda, John and Chris for their important roles with our CanMEDS teaching.

I wish all of you a great summer and remember that there is no such thing as a bad day on the golf course. Fore!

Mitch

Fellowship Update

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Fellowship Director
Dr. Toni Zhong

This year has seen another extremely successful year for our Division’s Fellowship Program. We currently have 22 clinical and research fellows in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from across 4 continents including North America, Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand. This year we will have the second Annual Graduation Gala Dinner in the spring to honour our graduating residents and fellows. We hope to see as many of you there as possible.

www.UofTPlasticSurgery.ca

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www.uoftplasticsurgery.ca
Kathy Pavlovic

New Launch

The launch for the NEW Microsite entitled “Burn Prevention – Africa” took place in early March 2012.  This new microsite will connect the ongoing collaboration between the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) for a needs assessment in reconstructive surgery in East Africa.   Please visit the following link for more information: https://www.uoftplasticsurgery.ca/donate/case-studies/

Growing interest in our website from launch of NEW E-News

Through the use of Google Analytics, the program which monitors our website traffic, utilization and time spent on any given page of the site, as well as Mailchimp, the program which is used to create and send our new E-Newsletter directly linked to our website, we have captured continued growth of this website.  Prior to the launch of the new e-newsletter,  during the period of November 14th – December 14th, 2011, we had a total of 4,299 visits in that one month alone.  There were 14,166 pageviews and 3.30 pages viewed/visit.  Visitors spent on average 2.07 minutes on our website and 66.20% of all visits were new visits. Traffic sources included 72.83% from Search Engines, 15.963% from Referring Sites and 11.21% Direct Traffic. Interestingly, there were 3,270 unique visits and all visitors came from 85 countries in that one month alone.  Of note, after the launch of our e-news, during the period of January 14th to February 14th, 2012, we had a total of 5,121 visits in that one month alone.  There were 15,789 pageviews and 3.08 pages viewed/visit.  Visitors spent on average 2.02 minutes on our website and 64.11% of all visits were new visits.  Traffic sources included 75.98% from Search Engines, 14.63% from Referring Sites and 9.39% from Direct Traffic.   There were 3,713 unique visits from 94 countries  (an increase of 822 visits to the website, which translates into 19.12% increase in website traffic).

The chart below demonstrates the top locations that viewed the new e-newsletter:

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For comments, suggestions or information about our website, please email Kathy Pavlovic at plastics.admin@utoronto.ca

Incoming Residents

Dale Podolsky

dale-podolsky   Dale grew up in Thornhill, Ontario after his family moved from South Africa when he was 7 years old. He attended the University of Western Ontario and studied Mechanical Engineering and Physics and then attended medical school at the University of Toronto.  He is an avid guitar player and played in the medical school rock and roll band Orbital Groove. He also loves to play hockey, originally as a goaltender and now also as a forward. He is a loyal Toronto Maple Leafs fan — clearly an optimist!  He is looking forward to starting residency and is excited to be a part of the academic community here at U of T.

Victoria Hayward

victoria-haywardVictoria grew up in Etobicoke and attended the University of Waterloo for her undergraduate degree followed by four years at the University of Western Ontario for medical school. She is thrilled to be returning to Toronto to train in the plastic surgery program! In her free time she enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family as well as participating in outdoor activities such as running, skiing and skating. She also loves to travel whenever possible and is looking forward to her next adventure (both here and abroad)!

Rayisa Hontscharuk

rayisa-hontscharukRayisa is currently completing her undergraduate medical degree at the University of Western Ontario. She is originally from Toronto where she completed a Bachelor of Physical Education and Health and a Master of Science at the University of Toronto. She has been married to her husband Ryan for 5.5 years and they have an adorable little boy named Lukas. In her spare time she likes to cook, walk, plan events and hang out with family and friends. She is so excited to be joining the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto and looks forward to meeting and working with everyone.

Matthew Murphy

matthew-murphyMatthew is excited to be joining the team of plastic surgery residents at the University of Toronto this July 1st, 2012.  He is currently finishing medical school at the University of Ottawa, but has made stops along the way at Simon Fraser University and the University of Western Ontario.  He enjoys most outdoor activities and spends the majority of his free time with his three brothers either hiking, running, cycling or when the wind agrees, kiteboarding or kiteskiing.  He and his fiancée spend as much time together as possible as she completes her medical school in California.  They enjoy spending time together surfing, planning their upcoming wedding and landscaping her parents’ property in California with different varieties of fruit trees.

Matthew looks forward to spending the next five years training in Toronto and getting to know the team better.

Other Stories

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Project in East Africa

The Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, with a grant obtained from IAMGOLD Corporation, has started a project in East Africa to evaluate the need for reconstructive surgery in the region. The project is in direct partnership with the African Medical Research and Foundation (AMREF), based in Nairobi, Kenya. Currently Dr. Leila Kasrai is leading the project in collaboration with Dr. Shahla Yekta, a global health researcher and co-founder of Mind the Health Gap. AMREF’s outreach manager Dr. Johnson Musomi and project officer Judy Mwangi are both directly involved in the project.

In February 2012, Drs Kasrai and Yekta went back to Kenya to launch the data collection step of this project on the factors contributing to burn injuries among adults and children in two hospitals in Kenya. The collaborators at AMREF (the African Medical and Research Foundation) had already hired two research assistants who will be conducting the survey and interviews of burn patients at two hospitals in Kenya. The goal of this project is to determine the aetiology of burn injuries among the different groups affected and to also determine whether there are significant differences between people who live in rural, urban and slum areas of Kenya. Armed with this knowledge, they plan on introducing burn prevention programmes that target each group appropriately both considering their types of injuries as well as how the programmes can best reach the target population most effectively.

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Their trip to Kenya also allowed them to have several important meetings and form new partnerships. They met with staff at the World Health Organization’s Violence and Injury Prevention Division. They have been very supportive of this work and they hope to develop a more formal partnership with them in the next few months. They also met with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention-Kenya (CDC-Kenya) to discuss the possibility of future research collaborations involving door-to-door household surveillance in order to obtain a reliable understanding of burn injuries that includes the many people who never make it to a hospital.

We now have a new website! If you are interested in learning more about this project and to meet all the team members and collaborators, check it out at: bpa.uoftplasticsurgery.ca/

Hospital Updates

St. Joseph Health Centre

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I would like to congratulate Dr. Kyle Wanzel, conference co-Chair of the 12th Annual Toronto Breast Surgery Symposium, for another well organized and highly educational event. The presentations this year centered mainly on revision/refinement techniques in aesthetic and reconstructive cases.

The completion of Our Lady of Mercy hospital wing is near.  This is a four-storey wing, 130,000 square foot structure.  The hospital is now waiting to receive its occupancy permit for the building.  The building was blessed by the Archbishop of Toronto, Thomas Collins on December 5, 2011.

Finally, I would like to extend our best wishes to the graduating PGY-5s as they embark on their plastic surgery careers.

Project in East Africa

The Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, with a grant obtained from IAMGOLD Corporation, has started a project in East Africa to evaluate the need for reconstructive surgery in the region. The project is in direct partnership with the African Medical Research and Foundation (AMREF), based in Nairobi, Kenya. Currently Dr. Leila Kasrai is leading the project in collaboration with Dr. Shahla Yekta, a global health researcher and co-founder of Mind the Health Gap. AMREF’s outreach manager Dr. Johnson Musomi and project officer Judy Mwangi are both directly involved in the project.

The term for our current Chief of Surgery, Dr. Lloyd Smith will end July of this year.  He as served as the Medical Director/Chief of Surgery & Oncology for the last ten years.  Dr. Kasrai will be part of the search committee, interviewing both internal and external candidates. Our group hopes that Dr. Ron Levine will apply for this position despite his busy schedule at the University as Director, Postgraduate Education.

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In February 2012, Drs. Kasrai and Yekta went back to Kenya to launch the data collection step of this project on the factors contributing to burn injuries among adults and children in two hospitals in Kenya. The collaborators at AMREF (the African Medical and Research Foundation) had already hired two research assistants who will be conducting the survey and interviews of burn patients at two hospitals in Kenya. The goal of this project is to determine the aetiology of burn injuries among the different groups affected and to also determine whether there are significant differences between people who live in rural, urban and slum areas of Kenya. Armed with this knowledge, they plan on introducing burn prevention programmes that target each group appropriately both considering their types of injuries as well as how the programmes can best reach the target population most effectively.

Their trip to Kenya also allowed them to have several important meetings and form new partnerships. They met with staff at the World Health Organization’s Violence and Injury Prevention Division. They have been very supportive of this work and they hope to develop a more formal partnership with them in the next few months. They also met with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention-Kenya (CDC-Kenya) to discuss the possibility of future research collaborations involving door-to-door household surveillance in order to obtain a reliable understanding of burn injuries that includes the many people who never make it to a hospital.

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We now have a new website! If you are interested in learning more about this project and to meet all the team members and collaborators, check it out at: bpa.uoftplasticsurgery.ca/

University Health Network (UHN)

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Dr. Stefan Hofer

Birth Announcement

Toni Zhong and Brett Beber are overjoyed to announce the arrival of Robbie Ziv Beber on March 20th, 2012.

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Research Grant Funding Update

We are very pleased to report the recent operating grant funding results for the Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at UHN.

Development of a Decision Support Tool in Post Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction Surgery. PI: Stefan OP Hofer and Kelly Metcalfe, David McCready and Toni Zhong. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Knowledge Translation Award, $100,000, 2012 – 2013.

Understanding Bangladeshi Women’s Experiences of Humanitarian Surgical Missions. PI: Fiona Webster and Toni Zhong. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Planning Meeting Grant, $25,000, 2012.

The Use of Human Acellular Dermal Matrix in One-Stage Implant Breast Reconstruction: A Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Trial. PI: Toni Zhong, Nancy Baxter, Stefan OP Hofer, Jerry Devins, Mitchell Brown, John Semple, Brett Beber, Sheina Macadam, Peter Lennox, Jeffrey Hoch. Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), $368,449, 2012 – 2015.

Awards

American Society of Clinical Oncology – Career Development Award

The Use of Human Acellular Dermal Matrix in One-Stage Implant Breast Reconstruction: A Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Trial. PI: Toni Zhong, Nancy Baxter. Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) – Career Development Award, $200,000, 2012 – 2015.

Jennica Platt in the Surgeon – Scientist Program has received the inaugural GlaxoSmithKline-Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) – Ontario Region Physician Fellowship Award, $71,500, 2012 – 2013.

Clinical and Research Fellows

Dr. Andrew Morritt joined the Department in Jan 2012 as the Breast Reconstruction Fellow having undertaken Plastic Surgery training in the UK and fellowship training in the UK and Australia.  He is accompanied by his wife Jenny and 3 children (Wilson, Freycinet and Georgiana). In his spare time Andrew enjoys oil painting and is currently completing a series of landscape pictures of the Canadian wilderness.

Hospital for Sick Children

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Dr. Christopher R. Forrest

It has been a busy spring season at SickKids with the new $400M Research and Learning Tower growing at the corner of Elm and Bay Street (sorry for the traffic problems!) and the winding down of the academic year with our fellows realizing their impending release into the outside world in the not too distant future.

Departures

The division would like to thank the fantastic crew of fellows that we have had during the past academic year and wish them continued success for all of their future endeavors. Dr. Tom Sitzman will be relocating to Cincinnati, Ohio with an appointment at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Adel Fattah will be ending his two year stay at SickKids and returning to the UK to do a 6-month fellowship in head and neck microsurgery at Chelmsford thereby continuing his goal to be the best trained Plastic Surgeon in the world. Dr. Alison Snyder-Warick will be returning to her alma mater to assume a staff position at University of Washington, St. Louis. Dr. David Khechoyan has a number of job offers in pediatric craniomaxillofacial surgery that he is considering in various centers in the US. Research fellow Dr. Eva Placheta has returned to Vienna having nearly completed her PhD in peripheral nerve regeneration under the supervision of Drs. Greg Borschel and Tessa Gordon. Dr. Karen Wong is successfully navigating her way through the world of qualitative research and should be wrapping up her MSc examining the development of a patient-reported outcome measure in the area of cleft lip and palate under the supervision of Drs. Anne Klassen and Christopher R. Forrest, before travelling to Taipei in to start a 6 month fellowship at Chang Gung Hospital in January 2013. And finally, Dr. Udi Erad will be staying on as a research fellow at SickKids for 6 months before embarking on a breast reconstruction fellowship with Drs. Toni Zong and Stefan Hofer. Congratulations to all our fellows for a terrific job!

Arrivals

The Division is expecting! We are very excited about the pending arrival of some baby fellows that have a due date for July 1, 2012. Sextuplet fellows is a rarity but growth within the scope of practice and volume of our division, in addition to increased numbers of applicants has resulted in having 6 new fellows from all points of the globe. Drs. Guy Watt (Adelaide, Australia) and Mahsa Bidgoli-Moghaddam  (Rochester, MN) will be the new Craniofacial fellows. Drs. Erika Henkelman (Springfield, IL), Sally Hines (Vancouver, BC), Gail Lim (Singapore) and Mark Swan (Oxford, UK) will be the new Pediatric Plastic Surgery Fellows for 2012-2013. We look forward to welcoming their arrival in July.

With thanks!

As always, we are blessed with having a superb group of residents in our program and the division has thoroughly enjoyed working with Drs. Matt Plant, Richard Backstein, Matt McRae, Karen Cross, Paul Carter, Ron Somogyi and Olivia Ho during the past academic year. One of the true advantages of being in academic medicine is the opportunity to interact with people who are the future of our profession, to stimulate and engage them and it was a pleasure to have such great people to work with. Our future is definitely in good hands!

Special Events

Mark your calendars! June 12, 2012 is the date for the annual Lindsay-Thomson Pediatric Plastic Surgery Symposium and this year’s Vale Lecturer is Professor Yu-Ray Chen from Taipei, Taiwan. Dr. Chen is one of the founding members of the International Society of Craniofacial Surgery and a former fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children where he trained with Dr. Ian Munro. The symposium is multi-disciplinary and will cover hot topics in Pediatric Plastic Surgery and provide an overview of state of the art in the management of infants, children and young adults with congenital and acquired problems. For registration details, please contact Ms. Dyanne Bechard at dyanne.bechard@sickkids.ca.

Staff News and Travels

As always, HSC staff continue to be busy travelling the globe. Drs. Greg Borschel and Ron Zuker with fellows Alison Synder-Warick and Karen Wong completed a successful Operation Smile at their new stand-alone facility in Guwahati, India in May.  In March, Dr. David Fisher was an invited guest at the 5th International Congress on Ear Reconstruction in Sydney Australia. Dr. John Phillips was invited faculty at the Advanced Orbital Surgery Symposium, A Tribute to the Orbital Surgery of Paul Tessier in Baltimore, MD in May. Dr. Christopher R. Forrest will be visiting the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in June as one of the invited speakers for the 4th Chang Gung / Mayo Clinic Symposium in Reconstructive Surgery co-sponsored by the Mayo Clinic and Chang Gung Hospital in Taiwan. Dr. Joel Fish led his burn team to Seattle to participate in the American Burn Association meeting in early May. Drs. Howard Clarke, Greg Borschel and Tessa Gordon had a wonderful showing of SickKids talent at this year’s American Society of Peripheral Nerve 12th Annual Meeting at Red Rocks, Nevada in January. Dr. Gordon delivered the ASPN President’s Invited Lecture, “Evidence-based science behind the timing of surgical repair of peripheral nerve injuries”. The Best Basic Science Podium Presentation entitled “The Duration of GDNF Release Affects Nerve Regeneration Following Delayed Nerve Repair” was delivered by Matt Wood, currently a post-doc working with Greg Borschel and Tessa Gordon with co-authors Stephen Kemp, Mark Szynkaruk, Christine Weber and Molly Shoichet. And finally, the Best Clinical Podium Presentation went to former SickKids fellow Dr. Isaac Harvey with a paper entitled, “Hand Outcomes in Operative Management of Complete Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Palsy” with co-authors Emily Ho and Howard Clarke.

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Toronto East General Hospital


Dr. Linda Dvali

We are thrilled to congratulate Dr Brett Beber and his wife, Dr Toni Zhong on the arrival of Robbie Ziv Beber on March 20th, 2012.

A sell-out crowd of 1,500 enthusiastic guests enjoyed a fabulous evening and laughed themselves silly at Toronto East General Hospital Foundation’s inaugural comedy gala, Laughter is the Best Medicine on Thursday April 12, 2012 at the Allstream Centre. Hosted by Will Arnett, Star of Up All Night and Arrested Development and featuring comedian and Golden Globe Award winner Jerry Seinfeld. It was an amazing night of festivity, comedy and fundraising.

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Toronto East General Hospital provides world-class medical treatment, with the comfort of personalized, compassionate care, in the most socially and economically diverse community in Canada. Thanks to a generous gift from Peter and Diana Thomson, Toronto East General Hospital will establish the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre in honour of Peter’s parents. A major part of our redevelopment, The Thomson Patient Care Centre will accommodate the most advanced medical technology, the highest standards of infection control and superior privacy and comfort for our patients and families.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

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Dr. Paul Binhammer, Plastic Surgery

Sunnybrook is proud of the Breast and Oncology Reconstruction Program and the way it has taken off over the past year. The volumes have grown significantly and so, starting this July we will have a Fellow to support Drs. Lipa and Snell. As well, they just received a grant for a quarter of a million dollars to study DIEP flaps and patient outcomes. That is great news! The Craniofacial Program has appreciated the hard work over the past year of their fellow,  Dr Ian Sunderland. Dr Sunderland is presently studying to write his Canadian exams and we wish him great success.  Dr Jeschke will be moving into his new lab space by the time this is published. His research fellow, Dr Anna Arno has been very busy with multiple publications. The Burn Centre’s clinical fellow, Dr David Boudana, will be heading off to Chicoutimi to be in charge of Plastic Surgery. He has been a great contributor to the Centre and we wish him well.

Women’s College Hospital

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Dr. John Semple

2012 is proving to be another exciting year for Women’s College Hospital.  We are delighted to have a new group of residents/fellows join us this year – they continue to be an integral part of our team.

Lorraine (Loz) Harry is our fellow until the end of June.  She arrives from Wales, via Scotland and brings with her a delightful British accent and a completely new vocabulary!

Heather Baltzer is our current resident and does an excellent job of keeping Dr. Semple and Dr. Brown on their toes – literally – she makes Dr. Semple run at least twice a week!

Michelle Locke, our fellow from 2011, has returned to her hometown of Auckland and taken a position at Middlemore hospital.   This is a public hospital which will allow her to do public-funded clinical work (as a general Plastic Surgeon but with a focus on breast reconstruction) for about 3 days a week and research at the University of Auckland School of Biological Sciences for the other two days.  She will be focusing her research on ASC-based tissue engineering strategies.

Construction continues on our new building.  When the workers reached the 8th floor which will house the surgical suites, they were presented with a “hand stamped” (literally) banner.  Many of the surgical staff stamped their handprint to thank the workers for their hard work.

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“Thank you for your helping hands – so we can use our hands to help others!”

Dr. Semple was featured in the Globe and Mail. The article showcases WCH’s commitment to innovation in keeping people out of hospital.  Here is the link to read the story: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/health-news/enabling-the-long-distance-house-call/article2310336/

Ross Tilley Burn Centre

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Dr. Marc Jeschke

The Ross Tilley Burn Centre is doing well. We received ABA certification which is an incredible honor for the RTBC.

Research

Handbook of Burns Volume 1: Acute Burn Care by Marc G. Jeschke, Lars-Peter Kamolz, Folke Sjöberg and Steven E. Wolf (Hardcover – May 7, 2012)

Handbook of Burns Volume 2: Reconstruction and Rehabilitation by Lars-Peter Kamolz, Marc G. Jeschke, Raymund E. Horch and Markus Küntscher (Hardcover – Jan 19, 2012)

Jeschke MG, Finnerty CC, Herndon DN, Song J, Boehning D, Tompkins RG, Baker HV, Gauglitz GG. Severe injury is associated with insulin resistance, endoplasmic reticulum stress response, and unfolded protein response. Ann Surg. 2012 Feb;255(2):370-8.

Kraft R, Herndon DN, Al-Mousawi AM, Williams FN, Finnerty CC, Jeschke MG. Burn size and survival probability in paediatric patients in modern burn care: a prospective observational cohort study.  Lancet. 2012 Mar 17;379(9820):1013-21. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

Jeschke MG, Boehning D. Endoplasmic reticulum stress and insulin resistance post-trauma: similarities to type 2 diabetes. J Cell Mol Med. 2012 Mar;16(3):437-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01405.x.

Brooks NC, Song J, Boehning D, Kraft R, Finnerty CC, Herndon DN, Jeschke MG. Propranolol Improves Impaired Hepatic PI3K/Akt Signaling Post Burn Injury. Mol Med. 2012 Feb 29. doi: 10.2119/molmed.2011.00277. [Epub ahead of print]

Teaching

Continued education with residents. Dr Boudhana our fellow will complete his fellowship on June 30th and become the Director of Plastics Chicoutemiee in Quebec.

Advancement Update

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Department of Surgery
Darina Landa

Mentor Canada, a Johnson & Johnson Company, generously funds newly established Fellowship in Oncologic & Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto.

Under the supervision of Drs. Joan Lipa and Laura Snell at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the 12-month fellowship is the first of its kind for the Department of Surgery. The Fellowship will focus on training in the following areas:

  1. Post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, including implant and free flap techniques
  2. Partial breast reconstruction
  3. Reconstruction of craniofacial soft tissue defects
  4. Reconstruction of major post-traumatic extremity defects
  5. Melanoma management

At the end of the fellowship, the trainee will have attained competence in the assessment and surgical management (including pre and post-operative care) of cancer and trauma patients requiring complex reconstruction.  This will include the entire spectrum of reconstruction, with an emphasis on free tissue transfer.

It is anticipated that the successful fellow will ultimately embark on independent plastic surgery practice, maintaining their practice specialization in complex cancer and trauma reconstruction and training future generations of reconstructive plastic surgeons.

Mentor Canada has been a long-time supporter of the Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and we thank them for their continued leadership and funding of this important initiative.