What a fitting way to have the very first Nancy Hunt McKee Lecture as the first in-person event in over 2 years and to have Dr. Susan Mackinnon as the inaugural lecturer! On Friday May 13, 2022, the doors to the 6th floor auditorium at Princess Margaret Hospital were opened to members of the division and Nancy’s family.
Dr. Nancy McKee graduated from the University of Toronto in 1970 and after completing her fellowship under Dr. W. K. Lindsay in 1976 joined the division as the first female surgeon at Mount Sinai where she practiced for 37 years! Dr. McKee was an integral member of the city-wide microsurgery program with Drs. Manktelow, Zuker and Mahoney and for over 3 decades ran a busy lab at Medical Sciences Building focussing on muscle physiology establishing her as a pioneer surgeon-scientist. Nancy was the former president of the American Society for Peripheral Nerve and the Plastic Surgery Research Council which she hosted in Toronto in 1992. She was passionate about research and mentoring and hosted regular meetings at her house of the Toronto research community. In 2016, Nancy was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons. Thanks to a generous gift from her family, husband Toby Condliffe and children Judy, Keith and Elizabeth to honor Nancy’s legacy as a clinician, surgeon-scientist, teacher, mentor and cherished member of the Toronto Division of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, this annual lecture was established to recognize her contributions and support research and education in the reconstructive arena.
It was appropriate that three of her best-recognized mentees were present in the audience, Drs. Howard Clarke, Joel Fish and Bill Kuzon, all of whom have benefited from their association with Nancy early in their careers. Dr. Bill Kuzon gave some warm comments and remembrances about Nancy and her family.
It was also fitting that the inaugural lecturer was Dr. Susan Mackinnon (former Chief, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and Shoenberg Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, St. Louis, MO) who was a contemporary of Dr. McKee’s.
Dr. Mackinnon is an iconic figure in our world and needs no introduction. After graduating from Queen’s Medical School in 1975 and completing fellowship in Toronto, also under the supervision of Dr. W. K. Lindsay, she started her career at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre with Drs. Joe Gruss and Jim Murray in 1998. After a brief transition to the Toronto General Hospital, she moved to Washington University, St. Louis in 1991 and was the Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from 1996 to 2020. Dr. Mackinnon has almost 600 peer-review publications, 167 book chapters and continuous NIH funding since 1993. She has held robust and influential positions of leadership as the Past President for the American Society for Peripheral Nerve, American Association of Hand Surgery, American Association of Plastic Surgery, and Plastic Surgery Research Council. She has been recognized for her work in peripheral nerve transfers with the Gold Medal from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1988 and the Jacobson Innovation Award from the American College of Surgeons for 2013. She is a member of the National Academies of Medicine and most importantly has mentored dozens of surgeons, notably Drs. Kristen Davidge, Linda Dvali and Jana Dengler. Her lecture entitled “The Road to Excellence” was a pitch-perfect delivery of what Susan is passionate about: advancement of the specialty, mentoring, fostering well-being and enhancing self-awareness and recognizing what is truly important in life.
From left to right: Dr. Bill Kuzon, Dr. Joel Fish, Dr. Susan Mackinnon, Toby Condliffe and daughter Judy, Dr. Howard Clarke and Dr. Chris Forrest
We were very fortunate to have Nancy’s husband Toby Condliffe and her daughter Judy in the audience. In addition, there were 55 on-line attendees.
The link to the lecture is below (due to a technical failure, the first 10 minutes were recorded by Toby).
Susan Mackinnon’s lecture
Thank you to Dr. Nancy McKee and her family, Toby Condliffe, Judy, Keith and Elizabeth for their support of the division and to Dr. Susan Mackinnon for such an inspiring lecture!
Look forward to seeing you all at the Gala Graduation Dinner on June 23rd, 2022.
Christopher R. Forrest, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
Chief, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children
Medical Director, HSC Centre for Craniofacial Care and Research
Chair and Professor, Division of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery
Department of Surgery, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto