Six visionary health leaders inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

WINNIPEG, April 29, 2015 /CNW/ - Six Canadians were inducted into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) on Thursday, April 23 - the world's only Hall of Fame dedicated to celebrating the contributions of medical heroes. Hosted in association with the University of Manitoba, 450 health care, academic and business leaders from across Canada were in attendance at the ceremony, held at The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre to pay tribute to the 2015 inductees.

These outstanding medical greats joined the ranks of 107 laureates who have gone before them in receiving this prestigious Canadian honour. Laureates are those who have pushed the boundaries of discovery, innovation and care beyond the realm of possibility to make Canada and the world a better place.

"The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these outstanding individuals who have dedicated their lives to science," said Dr. Jean Gray, Chair of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. "Each inductee has made tremendous advancements in medicine and the medical sciences, and has earned their place in The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame."

Inducted into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame are:

  • Dr. Alan Bernstein, world-renowned health leader, researcher and mentor who led the transformation of health research in Canada and made important discoveries in stem cell and cancer research
  • Dr. Judith G. Hall, international thought leader, pediatrician and geneticist, specializing in the genetic factors that affect children's growth
  • Dr. Bernard Langer, innovator, gifted surgeon and respected teacher, a global pioneer of hepatobiliary / pancreatic (HPB) surgery, he developed a world leading academic HPB and liver transplant service
  • The late Dr. John McCrae, one of the best trained physicians of his generation, he advanced research on tuberculosis, scarlet fever, nephritis and lobar pneumonia; author of In Flanders Fields
  • Dr. Julio Montaner, determined and passionate visionary whose work has directly contributed to the increased survival and dignity of people living with HIV in Canada and the world
  • Dr. Duncan G. Sinclair, internationally recognized leader in health care reform, whose courageous leadership led to a re-defined health system in Ontario.

"To be inducted into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is a great honour," said inductee Judith G. Hall. "I, like my fellow inductees, have dedicated our life's work to important research now making a difference in the lives of individuals and families. I am honoured to be inducted for something about which I feel so passionately, and I extend my congratulations to my fellow inductees for their important work."

"We are delighted to partner with The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in hosting this year's induction ceremony in Winnipeg and honouring Canada's most accomplished medical innovators," said Dr. Brian Postl, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba. "Seven exceptional University of Manitoba alumni are distinguished Laureates of the CMHF including Drs. Henry Friesen, Arnold Naimark and Allan Ronald who were in attendance to celebrate with this year's inductees."

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Laureates are individuals whose outstanding contributions to medicine and the health sciences have led to extraordinary improvements in human health. Their work may be a single meritorious contribution or a lifetime of superior accomplishments. Pioneers in their field, they are role models and an inspiration to young Canadians to pursue careers in the health sciences.


Dr. Alan Bernstein is a world renowned health leader, researcher and mentor. After completing his PhD in medical biophysics at the University of Toronto, he made important discoveries in stem cell and cancer research, publishing more than 225 papers. As director of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute he attracted outstanding scientists and expanded the institute's reputation and impact. In 2000, he led the transformation of health research in Canada as the founding president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and oversaw a close to three-fold increase in Canada's budget for health research. During his seven year term, CIHR refocused and energized our health research community. Dr. Bernstein then served as the executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise in New York, an international alliance of researchers and funders charged with accelerating the search for an HIV vaccine. Currently the president & CEO of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Dr. Bernstein is leading this important global institution as it brings together close to 400 of Canada's and the world's best researchers to address questions of importance to the world covering health, technology, society and sustainability.

Dr. Judith G. Hall, an exemplary clinical investigator and passionate international thought leader in her field, is a pediatrician and geneticist, specializing in the genetic factors that affect children's growth. With more than 325 publications, Dr. Hall has been at the international forefront of genetics and pediatrics for more than four decades. Her particular interests include human congenital anomalies including neural tube defects, connective tissue disorders such as arthrogryposis and dwarfism, and disorders resulting in short stature. Data from her research is available in the Handbook of Physical Measurements, an essential resource for physicians worldwide. Dr. Hall has clarified medical understanding of how folic acid helps reduce birth defects and has developed new ways to classify arthrogryposis and other abnormalities. As head of paediatrics at UBC and BC Children's Hospital, Dr. Hall worked with physicians to develop guidelines for care of common disorders, and with lay groups to explain genetic disease that helped parents choose among the available care options.

Dr. Bernard Langer Bernard Langer is recognized as a true innovator, a gifted surgeon and respected teacher. Dr. Langer's reputation for clinical excellence was unsurpassed during his surgical career. Considered a global pioneer of hepatobiliary/pancreatic (HPB) surgery, he developed a world leading academic HPB and liver transplant service while head of the division of surgery at Toronto General Hospital. As chair of the department of surgery at the University of Toronto, Dr. Langer established the first surgical full time practice plan in Canada to foster research and education, and developed the Surgeon Scientist Program, now a widely recognized and emulated model for training academic surgeons in Canada and in other countries. This program and its graduates constitute one of Dr. Langer's enduring legacies. Dr. Langer was also instrumental in the creation of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Clinician Investigator Program and in the formation of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.

Dr. John McCrae was one of the best trained physicians of his generation and his research advanced our understanding of tuberculosis, scarlet fever, nephritis and lobar pneumonia. He completed his medical degree at the University of Toronto in 1898, an internship at Johns Hopkins University with Sir William Osler, and a pathology fellowship and laboratory training at McGill University. Dr. McCrae co-authored the influential Text-Book of Pathology for Students of Medicine with George Adami and was known for his commitment to literature and the humanities. Dr. McCrae served as an artillery officer in the South African War. The First World War saw his return to military service where, as a medical officer, he faced casualties on a scale that is unimaginable today. Following the battlefield burial of a friend and fellow soldier from Montreal on May 2, 1915, he wrote In Flanders Fields which gained international recognition and led to the use of the poppy as the symbol of remembrance. Before his tragic death of pneumonia in January 1918, LCol McCrae served for three years as the chief medical officer of the No. 3 Canadian General.

Dr. Julio Montaner is a determined and passionate visionary whose life's work has directly contributed to the increased survival and dignity of people living with HIV in Canada and the world. Dr. Montaner led an international consortium of investigators to test the viability of a novel triple drug combination called 'highly active antiretroviral therapy' (HAART) to suppress HIV replication, thereby sending the disease into full and lasting remission. In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNAIDS program adopted HAART as the global standard of therapy. Dr. Montaner has pioneered the notion of Treatment as Prevention (TasP), an expansion of HAART coverage to decrease both the progression of HIV to AIDS and death and HIV transmission. In 2013 TasP was incorporated in the WHO consolidated ARV Guidelines. He is the architect of the proposed UN 90-90-90 strategy aimed at ending the AIDS pandemic by 2030. His focus includes HAART access in hard-to-reach populations, including injection drug users, and the treatment of multiple drug resistant HIV infection, both with great success. Dr. Montaner is a Professor of Medicine at UBC, founding Co-Director of the Canadian HIV Trials Network and Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver.

Dr. Duncan G. Sinclair is an internationally recognized leader in health care reform. The first non-MD to be Dean of Medicine and Vice Principal Health Sciences in Canada, Dr. Sinclair led the creation of North America's first alternative funding program for academic medicine, viewed as a gold standard in Canada for academic physician compensation. He headed the governance subcommittee of the Steering Committee for Review of the Public Hospitals Act in Ontario and achieved national recognition as a member of the National Forum on Health. As chair of the Health Services Restructuring Commission (HSRC) of Ontario, Dr. Sinclair's astute and courageous leadership led to a redefined health system in Ontario. Planning principals and recommendations based upon the HSRC blueprint remain contemporary, with recent commissions echoing the call for similar implementation. Dr. Sinclair was founding Chair and acting CEO of Canada Health Infoway/Inforoute Santé du Canada, an organization designed to foster the development of a national capacity for health information management.

Available Resources
1. Laureate bios & information about The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame available: 
2. Hi-resolution photos of the newly inducted laureates and tribute videos available 6:00 p.m. (CDT) April 23th

Established in 1994 in London, Ontario, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) is a national charitable organization, and the only national Hall of Fame in the world, dedicated to celebrating medical heroes. Up to six individuals are recognized annually for their extraordinary contributions to improving the health of Canadians and people worldwide. Their stories of discovery and innovation are an enduring tribute, inspiring excellence and fostering future innovators and leaders in health care.

The University of Manitoba, founded in 1877 as Western Canada's first university, is the province's only research-intensive university, educating the majority of professionals in Manitoba. The University of Manitoba is a trailblazer in many areas of learning, research, discovery and community engagement.

The newly established Faculty of Health Sciences comprises the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Rehabilitation Sciences. The colleges offer a broad range of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate educational programs in the health professions and basic medical sciences to more than 3,100 students. The Faculty of Health Sciences, College of Medicine is a research leader in the areas of immunity, inflammation and infectious disease; population and global health; and patient-oriented research. The Faculty of Health Sciences receives external research funding of more than $100 million annually.


SOURCE Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Image with caption: "From left to right, John McCrae Kilgour (accepting on behalf of his great uncle, the late Dr. John McCrae), Dr. Bernard Langer, Dr. Judith Hall, Dr. Julio Montaner, Dr. Alan Bernstein, Dr. Richard Reznick (accepting on behalf of Dr. Duncan Sinclair who was unable to attend). (CNW Group/Canadian Medical Association)". Image available at:

For further information: please contact: Sara O'Halloran, ON Communication, 519-434-1365 x 212, cell 226-377-4741,; Ilana Simon, University of Manitoba, 204-789-3427, cell 204-295-6777;

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