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2014-03-17 at 17:30

Stepping up

By Leith Dunick,
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Six surgeons have put their money where their mouths are – to the tune of $2 million over 10 years.

The six Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre physicians will contribute more than $30,000 apiece annually for the next decade to help fund a local orthopaedic research program.

Surgeon Kurt Droll said the doctors recognized a need, realized the money wouldn’t be forthcoming from the province and decided it was too important to let slide.

So they took care of it themselves.

“We have a huge need here in Northwestern Ontario with regards to patient care in orthopaedics,” said Kurt Droll, one of the six surgeons involved in the donation, one of the largest in the history of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.

“In order to take it to the next level we have to generate some research initiatives. Sadly, over the last couple of years, we’ve run into a few barriers, that being a lack of financial resources and also a lack of human resources.”

Researchers are eying higher amputation rates for diabetes patients, which in Northern Ontario are three times higher than the provincial average.

Droll said the goal is to reduce that rate by 50 per cent, but without being able to measure and characterize the extent of the problem first.

“Hopefully once that’s accomplished we can take the next step and bring forth some innovative initiatives that will hopefully reduce those amputation rates,” Droll said.

Fellow surgeon David Puskas said the idea was borne out of a desire to create an academic future, not to mention old-fashioned philanthropy.

“Our group is very conscious of our role in the community and the way that we benefit from being in the community,” Puskas said.

“And we’d like to see the quality of the management of specific issues improve, so we’re happy to contribute to it.”

Foundation board member Clint Harris said they’re hoping the donation will start the ball rolling throughout the institution.

“This announcement will probably will get some people talking with regards to the other groups in the hospital. It’s the largest donation in relation to any of the groups that work at the hospital. Two-million dollars might spark some attention from some of the other groups,” Harris said.

The move could have long-term effects in the community, said Janet Northan, the hospital’s director of government relations and interim director of clinical research.

Research creates jobs and more jobs mean more youth staying in the city, she said.

“As more physicians follows the lead of this group, that snowball effect will get better and our community will be healthier, wealthier and smarter,” Northan said.



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GSP says:
Thumbs up to the surgical team for giving back to something they believe in!
3/17/2014 5:39:26 PM
musicferret says:
Gotta say, the province had no money let during the last set of negotiations so the Dr's stepped up and took a 5% pay CUT.

Now we see this.

Big thanks to these Dr's for staying in Thunder Bay, and now paying to get something done that needed doing out of their own pockets. AMAZING!
I'm blown away!
3/17/2014 6:27:21 PM
chezhank says:
3/17/2014 6:54:23 PM
david H says:
Kudos to these surgeons who are taking a very active and involved role to help the community. may we all be inspired by this example.
3/17/2014 7:11:50 PM
cm punk says:
Truly admirable
I can only speak of my experience with Drs Wilson and Puskas, totally awesome. Great surgeons and make your situation less stressful.
3/17/2014 7:46:23 PM
Loudmouth101 says:
It's time to start giving these professionals more press and praise than we do athletes and tv stars. It's our health care professionals that provide a real value to all our citizens.
3/18/2014 8:55:29 AM
Dockboy says:
What can anyone really say but thank you. What an unselfish act, absolutely true dedication. In these day's and times, this is truly refreshing.
3/18/2014 9:09:03 AM
Arch Stanton says:

(And best of all - not a single fawning politician in sight hijacking the photo-opp!!!)
3/18/2014 9:31:36 AM
Papercut says:
AWESOME!!!!! These are very good human beings. Perhaps other's will follow their lead.
3/18/2014 10:03:45 AM
pc says:
Dr. Wilson is the best. Had problems with my arms for 40 years and nobody could tell me why. She saw me for 5 min 2 months later I had surgery on one arm and it was a total success. One year later she fixed the other arm.
No nonsense just this is the problem this is how to fix it.
Gotta love a doctor like that. Plus she hunts. that gets a thumbs up from me.
3/18/2014 11:13:19 AM
jonthunder says:
Truly a class act but very decent people who are in medicine for all the right reasons.
3/18/2014 1:09:12 PM
Papercut says:
Dr.Puskas has volunteered to go over and operate on our soldiers....the guy is a real stand-up guy in my book. I think all of these Doctor's have a very high level of dedication and expertise....I for one am grateful to have them here at out hospital.
3/18/2014 1:19:15 PM
Watchful says:
Congratulations to all the doctors!
3/18/2014 9:57:56 PM
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