2018 Medical Staff Hall of Honour
Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Medical Staff Hall of Honour.
Dr. Wallace B. Chung
Born in Victoria, BC in 1925 and graduating from McGill University’s Medical School in 1953, Dr. Wallace Chung returned to BC and was UBC Chief Surgical Resident in 1958. He went on to become a pioneer in the creation of vascular surgery as a distinct surgical specialty both in its practice and academically with its recognition as a specialty by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Clinically, Dr. Chung was known for his innovative vascular surgical techniques. Dr. Chung served as Head, Department of Surgery at Vancouver General Hospital for a decade. He was Head, Divisions of General Surgery and Vascular Surgery, UBC and a full Professor of Surgery at UBC. In 2002, Dr. Chung received the UBC Honorary Alumnus Award. He was the recipient of the Order of Canada in 2005, the Order of BC in 2006 and the Canada 125 Medal in 2009. He was also awarded an Honorary Life Membership by the Canadian Association of General Surgeons.
Dr. Chung also contributed greatly to society and his community at large by serving as the chair of the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver and serving with the Canadian Multiculturalism Council and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. His lifelong collection of 25,000 books and printed material as well as 1,750 historical artifacts that he donated to the UBC Library was declared a national treasure by the Canadian Cultural Property Expert Review Board.
Dr. Chung’s children, Dr. Stephen W. Chung (hepatobiliary surgery) and Dr. Maria Chung (geriatrics) are both respected physicians at Vancouver General Hospital. His wife, Dr. Madeline Chung, is a retired obstetrician/gynecologist.
Dr. Felix Durity
Born in Trinidad and graduating from the UBC Medical School in 1963, Dr. Felix Durity became UBC’s first Resident in neurosurgery. He would eventually serve as head of both the UBC and VGH Divisions of Neurosurgery for 12 years, single-handedly raising funds to provide salary support for neurosurgical Residents, research and equipment, adding many new sub-specialties and expanding the UBC Neurosurgery Residency training program. Throughout his career, Dr. Durity published more than 30 peer reviewed manuscripts. Dr. Durity’s clinical expertise in intracranial neurosurgery was recognized by VGH in 1995 when he was the recipient of the VGH Clinical Excellence Award and he was featured in the national press in 1998 as one of Canada’s “100 Best Doctors.”
Dr. Durity’s dedicated commitment to teaching has been recognized with three undergraduate and postgraduate teaching awards. In addition, his outstanding contributions were recognized by the Vancouver Medical Association when he received their Primus Inter Pares award in 2003.
Dr. Durity’s accomplishments are not confined to neurosurgery. He has served on numerous hospital, university, national and international boards and committees. He was the chair of the BC Medical Services Foundation from 2006-2010 and is a founding board member of the Korle Bu Neuroscience Foundation, the primary focus of which is to provide medical support for brain injuries and diseases for the people of Ghana and West Africa. Dr. Durity received the Dr. Cam Coady Medal of Excellence from the BC Medical Association in 2004, the Order of BC in 2005 and the UBC Outstanding Faculty Community Service Award in 2011.
Dr. Robert E. McKechnie (1861-1944)
Born in Brockville, Ontario in 1861, Dr. McKechnie graduated from the McGill University Medical School in 1890. Initially living and practicing in Nanaimo, he eventually moved to Vancouver where he was renowned for his surgical skill and for his administrative and academic leadership. Dr. McKechnie served as senior surgeon at VGH, was a member of the early VGH Board of Directors and Life Governor at VGH. He served as president of the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1897, 1906 and 1910. He was the inaugural president of the BC Medical Association in 1899 and president of the Canadian Medical Association in 1914 and 1920. Dr. McKechnie was also involved in founding the American College of Surgeons and the North Pacific Surgical Society and he was a charter member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in 1931.
Dr. McKechnie’s service to the University of British Columbia is also noteworthy – as the second chancellor of UBC, he was its longest serving chancellor serving from 1918 until his unexpected death in 1944.
Dr. McKechnie’s service was honored by his peers as he was awarded the Prince of Good Fellows by the Vancouver Medical Association in 1928. He was also honored by the Crown and the Government of Canada with the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal and the appointment as Commander of the British Empire (CBE).
Outside of medicine, Dr. McKechnie was involved in politics serving as an MLA in 1898 as a minister without portfolio for the provincial government of the time. In 1957 the Vancouver School Board named an elementary school, which remains operational today, after him.
Dr. Sheldon Charles (Shelly) Naiman (1937-2016)
Born in Toronto in 1937, Dr. Shelly Naiman studied medicine at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1962. While doing his post-graduate training at the Los Angeles County Hospital he became interested in hematology, particularly dealing with hemorrhagic and thrombotic disorders. In late 1963 Dr. Naiman was recruited to work with Dr. Mac Whitelaw in Vancouver where he completed his training in internal medicine and hematology. Dr. Naiman then began his career in the laboratory at VGH; however, he maintained his interest in clinical medicine and teaching. In 1976 he was appointed as the first head of the newly created Division of Hematology, VGH and worked tirelessly in this role over the next seven years. He was the province’s first clinical hematologist and also served as one of the first hematology examiners for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In the late 1970s, along with his colleagues, Dr. Naiman was instrumental in developing the proposal for a marrow transplant program in BC. He returned to the laboratory (hematopathology) in 1983 where he modernized the coagulation lab and perhaps had his greatest influence by devoting his time to teaching hematology and pathology Residents over the next quarter century. With a uniquely enthusiastic and engaging teaching style, Dr. Naiman was described by many as the best teacher they had ever had. He was recognized for his teaching excellence with numerous awards and received the Dr. Cam Coady Medal of Excellence for lifetime achievements in 2009 from the Doctors of BC.
Dr. Naiman and his wife, Dr. Linda Vickars, established an endowment at the UBC Center for Blood Research and the multipurpose lab in the Life Sciences Centre is named in their honor.
Dr. Donald Paty (1936-2004)
Born in Beijing in 1936 to American medical missionary parents, Dr. Paty returned to America with his family in 1941. He graduated from Emory University Medical School in Atlanta, Georgia in 1962 and completed post-graduate training at Emory University and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina followed by a research fellowship at Newcastle-upon-Tyne University, England. He was invited to immigrate to Canada in 1972 to join the Neuroscience Department at the University of Western Ontario where he worked closely with his colleagues to establish the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Research Clinic at the London Health Sciences Centre. In 1980, Dr. Paty was recruited to UBC when he was appointed Head, UBC Division of Neurology, a position he held for 16 years. Dr. Paty’s clinical and academic interest was in the area of MS establishing the renowned Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at UBC Hospital, with the late Dr. Stanley Hashimoto. Dr. Paty was also active in all aspects of MS research garnering a national and international reputation. In 1993 he was honoured for his work by the International Federation of MS Societies with the Charcot Prize and in 1995 the National MS Society (USA) awarded him the first ever Dystel Prize. Six months prior to his death in 2004 Dr. Paty was recognized by the Government of Canada for revolutionizing the treatment of MS when he was awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal (civil division). As a tribute to Dr. Paty, the MS Society of Canada has created the Dr. Donald Paty Career Development Award.
Posthumously, both the American Committee on Treatment and Research in MS and the Consortium of MS Centres have created Donald Paty Memorial Lectures at their annual meetings.
Dr. Paty’s legacy to VGH was not only clinical and academic but also familial with his son, Dr. Breay Paty, going on to become a respected endocrinologist at the same hospital his father has left a lasting impression on.
Dr. George Frederick (Fritz) Strong (1897-1957)
Born in Minnesota, Minneapolis in 1897, Dr. G.F. (Fritz) Strong graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Medical School in 1921. He went on to become an internal medicine specialist joining the medical staff of Vancouver General Hospital in 1926. Dr. Strong served as chief of the Department of Medicine at VGH from 1946 - 1951, was president of the Vancouver Medical Association in 1929, and president of the BC Medical Association in 1936. Nationally, he served as the president of the Canadian Medical Association in 1954 while also heading up the American College of Physicians that same year. During his career he also served as the president of the National Heart Foundation of Canada, president of the BC Division of the Canadian Cancer Society, and president of the BC Cancer Foundation. Following his unexpected death in 1957, CMA Secretary General Arthur Kelley commented, “This able man has cheerfully and wholeheartedly assumed the responsibilities of high office in medical organizations so numerous that their roster is wearying. On each of them he left the imprint of his energy and integrity, and the wonder is that he was able to accomplish so much.”
Dr. Strong was a clinical professor within the UBC Faculty of Medicine. His most significant accomplishment and his lasting legacy, was the creation of the Western Society of Rehabilitation in 1949 stemming from his involvement with wounded Canadian soldiers in WWII who lacked a proper rehab facility. His passion for rehabilitation was strengthened through personal tragedy after his daughter suffered a spinal cord injury. The Western Society of Rehabilitation was renamed the G.F. Strong Hospital in 1957.