What’s Going On: January 2016

Hot and not even off the press, yet!

The official launch of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology, or iBest, the new joint venture with Ryerson and St. Michael’s Hospital was held on Monday January 24th, 2016 and featured our own Dr. Karen Cross and her research team as well as SSTP trainee, Dr. Dale Podolsky! Great coverage in the Globe and Mail.

Dale got to show off his cleft palate simulator to the large crowd of dignitaries as only one of the five groups chosen to present. Check out the article!


Dr. Karen Cross has formed a team of leading experts in the field of optical imaging of skin with the primary purpose to apply these novel technologies as a early detection tool of tissue health in the diabetic lower extremity. She and her team were one of the five groups presenting to Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation at the launch. During the presentation, three technologies were presented that are coming down the pipeline to assess tissue viability. In addition, the introduction of OxiLight, a company that formed within BMZ that will commercialize these devices and bring them to market.

Karen’s tissue viability collaborative team (CROSSLab) has designed a novel way to assess pulse wave velocity, the physiologic changes that occur in the lower extremity pre and post wound and finally a tool to monitor wound healing post intervention. It is our aim to make all of these devices as a handheld tool and put them in the hands of patients. Early detection equals early intervention.

The motto of her group is saving limbs. Saving lives. Great profile, Karen!

A captive audience – Minister Moridi hanging on very word Karen is saying

Dr. Karen Cross and her team

And this is about to happen! Everyone set your PVR to CTV on January 30th, 2016 to catch W5 delivering an inspiration look at Dr. Oleh Antonyshn on his continuing humanitarian mission to provide surgical aid to those victims of war-related violence in the Ukraine.

W5’s Victor Malarek takes viewers on a unique Canadian medical mission in Ukraine to treat wounded soldiers and victims of the ongoing conflict –

TORONTO (January 26, 2016) – For two years, military conflict has raged in Eastern Ukraine, killing approximately 8,000 soldiers and wounding some 17,000 more on both sides of the struggle. Premiering this Saturday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV GO, and CTVNews.ca, ‘W5, Canada’s #1 investigative documentary series, delivers an emotional and uplifting look at a group of volunteer Canadian doctors on a unique medical mission.

W5 documents Canadian medical team on unique medical mission at Ukraine Military Hospital.

As the medical teams work tirelessly to save and improve the lives of wounded Ukrainian soldiers, W5 embarks on a rare, week-long mission behind the walls of the Ukraine Military Hospital, with a candid look at the care provided to soldiers wounded in the ongoing conflict  with Russian-backed separatists. During the visit, W5 also documents the treatment of one unexpected patient: a young civilian and triple amputee who arrives at the military hospital while cameras are rolling.

Toronto surgeon Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn, a proud Canadian of Ukrainian heritage, leads a group of Canadian volunteers at a military hospital in Kiev. Accompanied by 22 of his colleagues – surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and one occupational therapist – Dr. Antonyshyn treats soldiers wounded in the conflict. W5 captures compelling footage of Dr. Antonyshyn and his team as they examine 90 often severely injured patients, performing operations on half of those examined. Every operation is attended by Ukrainian doctors, nurses, and interns, all hoping to learn the latest medical techniques from their Canadian counterparts.

Of the many soldiers examined by Dr. Antonyshyn’s team, few are more obviously in need of surgery than 24-year-old Rodeon Tristan. Shot in the head by a sniper on June 17, 2015, Rodeon was kept alive by medics at the scene but his right eye and much of the right side of his face were damaged. W5 follows the medical team as  they develop a plan of treatment.

Another patient in desperate need of medical attention from the Canadian team is 11-year-old Mykola Nyzhnakivsky – the first child ever to receive treatment at the military hospital. Mykola was nearly killed when a grenade he and his friends found near his family home exploded, severely injuring him and killing his younger brother. The blast left him a triple amputee with part of his skull missing and shrapnel embedded in his face. Seeing such tragedy, Dr. Antonyshyn and his team, along with a group of doctors back home in Montréal, pledge to do all they can to help Mykola return to a normal life.

W5 also airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET and Sundays at 1 p.m. ET on CTV, at 5 p.m. ET on CTV Two, and at 7 p.m. ET on CTV News Channel. W5 can also be seen on Investigation Discovery on Tuesdays at 11 p.m. ET, and Wednesdays at 12 noon ET; on demand at CTVNews.ca/W5, on the CTV NEWS GO app, the CTV Mobile channel on Bell Mobile TV, and through video on demand partners, such as Bell Fibe TV (visit CTV.ca for local listings).

Christopher R. Forrest, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
Chair, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Chief, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Medical Director, HSC Centre for Craniofacial Care and Research
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto