Dr. Bernard “Jack” Behrmann (May 26 1954 – July 22, 2020)
It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of the passing of Dr. Bernard “Jack” Behrmann, Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Pediatrics, UBC.
Jack was a Pediatrician in the Richmond community for many years and served for a long while as the Department Head of Pediatrics for Richmond Hospital. He was known province-wide as an expert in ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. He was the driving force behind the opening of the Child Health Centre at Richmond Hospital. Jack was a longtime member of our community and was a favourite rotation of many Peds residents.
He was a teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend.
His keen sense of humor and humanity will be missed by all whom he touched. May his memory be for a blessing.
~ Erik Swartz, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Michael Whitfield (Oct 29 1946 – June 23rd 2020)
It is with our deepest sorrow that we are sharing the sad news of the death of Dr. Michael (Mike) Whitfield on June 23rd at 10:00 am after a long illness.
Mike had been a valued member of the Division of Neonatology and Neonatal Program from 1981 to 2012. He led our Neonatal Follow Up Program from its inception, and was one of the founders of Neonatal Follow Up in Canada. His leading contributions in Neonatal Follow Up have shaped neonatal care and continue to positively impact the lives of patients and families.
Mike was always supportive of the personal, professional, and academic growth of a wide array of individuals who were lucky to come in contact with him over the years.
Overall, Mike was a truly wise friend and supportive mentor who was always ready to listen and whose sense of humor and pearls of wisdom marked the lives of all us who had the privilege to know him.
We will always keep him in our memories.
~ Julie de Salaberry, Director, BC Women’s Neonatal Program and Dr. Horacio Osiovich, Division Head, Neonatal Program
Dr. Alexander George Fagans Davidson, Professor Emeritus (October 3, 1937 – January 6, 2020)
Dr. Davidson, predeceased by his wife Mary Rose and his brother Roy, will be sadly missed by his daughters Fiona (Paul C.) and Flora (Paul B.), cousins in Manitoba and in the U.K. and many friends and colleagues in the medical and academic community. A Funeral service will be held at 11 am, Monday, January 27th, 2020, at St. John’s Vancouver Anglican Church, 5350 Baillie Street (corner of West 37th Ave.)
George earned Chemistry and Medical Degrees at the University of British Columbia. It was during this time that his work as one of the summer researchers for Professor Harold Copp contributed to the discovery of Calcitonin. George opted to complete his Medical Residency in London, England, working at several hospitals including Great Ormond Street, Queen Elizabeth’s in Hackney, and the Royal Free in Hampstead. [MORE]
Dr. Colin White, Division of Nephrology (JUNE 13 1968 – JULY 29, 2018)
With the passing of pediatric nephrologist Dr. Colin White this summer, the BC renal community has lost a much admired and fondly regarded leader, physician and clinical educator.
Winner of the 2017 Wilma Crocket Award and numerous other awards during his career, Colin died July 29, 2018. He was 50 years old.
Colin was born in Scotland and grew up in New Brunswick. He received his medical training in Ottawa and London, Ontario before being recruited to BC Children’s Hospital in 2000, where he became leader of the dialysis program. He was also a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at UBC and involved in multiple provincial renal network committees and initiatives.
Colin distinguished himself as a passionate and gifted medical educator and as a strong advocate for evidence-guided clinical care for infants, children and youth with chronic kidney disease. He brought humility and compassion to his work with patients and their families and with inter-professional care providers locally, nationally and internationally. Through his dedication to his patients and to excellence in medical practice and research he earned the respect, admiration and fondness of the many people whose lives he touched.
Colin was a master of teaching and learning in medicine, working closely with medical students, pediatric residents and nephrology trainees. His weekly nephrology in-patient sit-down rounds were legendary amongst the subspecialty residents. They selected him for the coveted Laura MacRae Award as the best subspecialty resident in pediatrics (2002), the Rookie-of-the-Year Award (2005), and the Teacher of the Year Award (2009 and 2017). His graduate students, now dispersed across Canada and around the world, created a network of pediatric nephrologists he continued to nurture after their graduation.
Throughout his career, working with patients and their families was always Colin’s first priority. Though a very private individual, he showed immense empathy for his most complex patients with chronic kidney disease, partly because he had first-hand experience as a dialysis and kidney transplant patient.
Colin was dedicated to the principles of interdisciplinary care, embracing the roles and expertise of all members of his team toward providing optimal patient care. He led by example and never rushed his visits with patients and families. His approach was honest, direct and often leavened with humour.
Colin was the author of 50 peer-reviewed publications and an invited speaker at several annual nephrology scientific meetings. He was especially involved with the annual Fundamentals of Dialysis/Pediatric Dialysis Symposium and the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis (ISPD). His professional contributions were formally recognized this year, at the 2018 ISPD Congress in Vancouver.
Colin was a passionate photographer, a devoted Montreal Canadiens fan, and an avid reader of science fiction. He is survived by his life partner of 25 years, Catherine Fiona Macpherson, RN, PhD. He is deeply missed by all who knew him.
Our thanks to Dr. Allison Eddy, Chief of Pediatric Medicine, Children’s and Women’s Hospitals and Sunny Hill Health Centre, and the kidney care team at BC Children’s Hospital for their contributions to this tribute of Dr. Colin White. – BC Provincial Renal Agency
A celebration of Dr. White’s life and work is being planned for November 20 2018 at the Arbutus Club. Please contact Alice So for details.
Messages from the Division of Nephrology fellows and staff members:
My heart hangs heavy on the news of Colin’s passing. There isn’t a day that goes by in our dialysis unit where I don’t ask myself, “WWCD?” He has shared with us his wealth of knowledge, and he will be missed dearly.
– Kathy Lee-Son, Nephrology Fellow
Such sad news. He really was a great man and I will never forget his fantastic teaching sessions.
– Niamh Dolan, Nephrology Fellow
It is such a huge loss – personally and professionally. Colin was an incredible mentor and teacher to us all, we were so fortunate for the time and interest he bestowed on his fellows. Please pass on my respects to the BCCH renal team, he is and will continue to be hugely missed.
– Chanel Prestidge, Nephrology Fellow
Colin is a huge loss professionally and personally – he was a great teacher, mentor and friend. My thoughts and prayers will be with him, Fiona and the team in BCCH.
– Chia Wei, Nephrology Fellow
We lost a great person at all levels. Please pass my deep condolence to Fiona and the entire team in BCCH. Regards,
– Anoud, Nephrology Fellow
My condolences to Fiona and all of the renal team. He was an amazing person and a great teacher. He will never be forgotten .
– Salma, Nephrology Fellow
With deepest sympathy for the loss of a friend and colleague. Colin was a dedicated and highly appreciated colleague and friend. He contributed significantly to BCCH and was all enjoyed working and interacting with him. His presence will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
– The GI Division
Dr. Dennis Jordon Vince (JANUARY 3, 1930 – JULY 19, 2018)
Pediatrics in British Columbia lost a cardiology pioneer on July 19th 2018. Dennis, or Denny as he was commonly known in the Department, died in his 89th year, after a lengthy retirement following a medical career based at the Vancouver General Hospital and BC Children’s Hospital. He was a Professor of Pediatrics at UBC and was a clinician, a teacher, and a mentor. A close colleague, Dr George Sandor, informed me that Denny did basic research with pulmonary artery banding and devised a dilatable band which found some use. He was also one of the first people in Medicine to be involved in using research in teaching methodology in order to work on teaching objectives. This included advice on how to deliver these objectives and how to assess their effectiveness.
Denny was careful in approach and a cautious man and I found him reserved in nature. He was of relatively short stature and had a very direct gaze which could be disconcerting until you came to know him better and realized that his gaze wasn’t due to something that you did.
I first met him in 1965, during my Pediatric intern rotation at the Health Centre for Children, the VGH building on 12th avenue which housed most of the pediatric academic and clinical activities at the time. I had seen him months earlier however, as a temporary surgical assistant for Dr Phil Ashmore, the sole Pediatric Cardiac surgeon of the period.
Phil was repairing a congenital heart lesion in a young patient, and during the procedure, found that the anatomical variant he encountered was slightly different from the medical findings described by Dr Vince beforehand. Denny was called to the OR and a discussion ensued about the situation. Looking back from a vantage point of over 50 years, I’ve come to realize that, with no ultrasounds available, and with limited investigative studies to rely on, diagnostic cardiology at that time was a bit of a challenge.
Phil was humorous man, but also tall and imposing, and he was definitely not a shrinking violet. Nevertheless, I thought Denny held his own in that discussion.
And the operation was eventually completed successfully.
Over the previous few years, Denny had brought Pediatric cardiac catheterization to VGH, and he was the local expert in the area. The other Cardiologist on staff was Dr Morris Young, clinically trained, and at that point, close to retirement. Denny represented the future of Pediatric Cardiology in BC.
I was placed in charge of the Children’s Outpatient department in 1972, and gradually became acquainted with Denny through work contact. We shared an interest in old cars. I owned an unrestored 1928 Model A Ford, and Denny came over to my house to see it and to offer suggestions on its many repair issues. He also took me golfing, at least twice, at the UBC Golf Club. One such endeavor included a monsoon like rainstorm, which Denny soldiered through with much enthusiasm; …considerably more enthusiasm that his partner could muster, I would add.
Following his retirement, which was dictated by the UBC policy rule of age 65, we unfortunately didn’t see Denny at our twice yearly senior Pediatric luncheons. It would have been nice to hear how he was doing. I’m sure he was very busy however, with his family which included his wife Bruna, five children, 15 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, an active garden, and a summer cottage on Savary Island.
On a personal level, I’ve always appreciated Denny for offering me support at a time that my academic career was just starting and somewhat tenuous. I’ve come to realize, over time, just how important such support can be when given to others in a similar position.
Sometimes small gestures turn out to be very important and can later be passed on in kind. I thank Denny for this important life lesson.
~ David F Smith MD FRCP©
Dr. Vince’s obituary can be found [HERE].
Dr. Andrew Murray (JANUARY 18 1927 – JUNE 24, 2018)
Dr. Andrew Murray, a graduate of Cape Town University, did his pediatric training in London, Edinburgh and Cape Town. In 1961 he became the Allergy Fellow at the Boston Children’s hospital, and Milton Research Fellow at Harvard where he met his wife, Molly. In Vancouver he joined the clinical staff of the Pediatric Department and was the first sub-specialist who confined his practice to children with asthma and allergy. He was later appointed Professor of Pediatrics, started the Division of Allergy at Children’s Hospital and became the first Head of that Division.
The welfare of the patient was always paramount to him. Two hours were scheduled for each new patient so that the full allergy workup and treatment plan could be completed at a single visit. This allowed patients from distant parts of BC to return home the same day. In 1992 Dr. Murray was included in the first edition of the book listing “The Best Doctors in America”.
His research publications were the first to show the following: (i) that nasal eosinophilia is strongly associated with clinical nasal allergy; (ii) that isoproterenol, but not salbutamol, increases the heart rate and lowers the pO2; (iii) that the peak expiratory flow rate is a useful indicator of severity in status asthmaticus; (iv) that mite-sensitive asthmatics have fewer symptoms and less bronchial reactivity in a dust-free bedroom than in unchanged bedrooms; and (v) that children with asthma have more severe symptoms, lower lung function tests, and more irritable bronchi if their parents are smokers than if they are non-smokers. Dr. Murray was awarded the Canadian Society of Allergy and Immunology Research Prize in 1992, and the UBC Maternal and Child Health Research Prize in 1994.
He continued to publish his research papers upon retiring in 1992, but also attended art school. He continued to paint, mountain climb and kayak for many years afterwards. He is survived by his wife Molly, his daughter Annie (and her husband Mark) and his son William (and his wife Erin), and by his grandchildren Mary-Alice, Eloise, Alexander, Andrew and Patrick.
Dr. Murray’s obituary can be found [HERE].
Dr. Mavis Teasdale (May 6, 1925 – Mar 5 2018)
Division Head, 1970-1987, Hematology, Oncology and BMT
Twice a year, retired pediatricians, and those close to retirement, located both in the lower mainland and from around BC, have been meeting for an organized luncheon for close to twenty years.
The primary purpose for the lunch is companionship and the opportunity to meet former friends and colleagues. It’s also a time for sharing news from both BC Children’s Hospital and UBC.
One of the items discussed at each meeting is an update on those no longer with us. This year’s luncheon will provide us an opportunity to share some memories of Dr. Mavis Teasdale, a long time faculty member who passed away on March 5th 2018.
Mavis was a mainstay and a force in the Department for many years over her lengthy career through to retirement. In the 1960s and early 1970s, she was the sole hematologist/oncologist on staff. I first met her as a rotating intern in 1965 while on my Pediatric rotation. She seemed to be responsible for what seemed like the sickest children, and trainees were expected to perform well on her service. She was demanding but she was fair. In retrospect, with low survival rates for many of her patients, and very little back-up medical support, the stresses on Mavis in those early years must have seemed overwhelming to her at times – Yet, I never heard her complain.
I started to provide weekend relief for Mavis in 1973, and she must have been satisfied with the support, as she took a six month sabbatical in 1974, leaving me with her practice. This of course left me with a much better understanding of her situation. Over the next few years, a number of new and well trained Oncologists arrived, including Dr. David Chan, Dr. Paul Rogers, and Dr. Sheila Pritchard. Dr. Chris Fryer later arrived to provide Pediatric Radiology services.
By the 1980s newer cancer protocols were now having better survival results. The Children’s Cancer Group Research team was becoming more active and an Oncology Division was finally formed. On call became less onerous, and our practice was more satisfying and better.
I maintained a busy oncology practice working with Mavis and the team through to 1982, when the new and present BC Children’s Hospital opened.
Mavis taught me many things over the years. She taught me the importance of including all participants, implied or otherwise, in any personally produced medical paper. She taught me to never use the “Cancer” word, until the diagnosis is clear, and also to avoid outlining a specific treatment until the final pathology report is available. I learned all about cancer and medical quackery through Mavis.
Mavis was always thinking about her staff and patients’ well-being. For example, she hired Leora Kuttner, PhD, a full-time psychologist to research and develop a pain and anxiety program; she also arranged for Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross to provide a workshop for staff to educate them on the processes of death and dying; and, a true testament of her character, Mavis herself, even learned how to perform hypnosis.
There’s too much material to include here. I feel that the main focus for Mavis’s working life should be her early pioneering work in her main area of Oncology and the development of the UBC Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and BMT, a product of her hard work and dedication.
I shall miss her as a friend and a colleague, for whom I retain the greatest respect and admiration.
– David F Smith, MD, FRCP
“I owe Dr. Teasdale a lot. She had a huge impact on my work at BCCH and made it possible for me to develop my early pain management programs.”
– Leora Kuttner, Ph.D
“She truly left an important legacy as the founder of pediatric hematology oncology in Vancouver.”
– Allison Eddy, MD, FRCP(C)
“Mavis is the “mother” of pediatric oncology in BC and her legacy lives on.”
– Caron Strahlendorf, MD, FRCP
“I have many memories of Mavis. She was the very dedicated iron lady of pediatric oncology, in a good way. She certainly kept me on my toes when I returned from my fellowship in Cincinnati and became the sole pediatric tumor “expert”. She served the children very well.”
– Jim Dimmick, MD, FRCP
Memorial Service Information:
First Memorial Funeral Services – Vancouver
602 Kingsway Vancouver, BC V5T3K4
A service will be held at St James Anglican Church, 303 E Cordova Street, Vancouver, at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 6. In her memory please consider a donation to the BC Children’s Hospital.
Dr. William Arnold (July 10 1929 – July 20 2017)
Bill was a first class pediatrician, deeply committed to the care of his patients and families. He graduated from the University of British Columbia medical school in 1955, and completed a rotating internship in London, Ontario before practicing as a family doctor in Prince Rupert from 1957 to 1965. He then completed his pediatric residency training at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City from 1965 to 1968 before returning to join Drs. Robert Maclean and Jack Whitelaw in general pediatric practice in Vancouver. Inspired by what he had seen in New York, he established the first Canadian multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic in Vancouver and then served as medical director for 30 years. He was the first Canadian member of the Society for Research in Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, and in the 1980’s Bill and David Shurtleff from Washington State worked together to establish international myelomeningocele registry in Canada. This work contributed greatly to the academic contribution of the Society, which made important contributions to the infants and children affected by neural tube defects. Bill will be remembered for his regular attendance at the Society’s annual meetings and his contributions to both the academic and social aspects of this Society.
Bill was appointed as the first head of the division of General Pediatrics at UBC, a role he filled for 10 years. He was devoted throughout his career to the care and treatment of children with neural tube defects, and worked tirelessly on their behalf. In this role he was instrumental in fostering and nourishing the professional development of many students, residents, nurses and allied health colleagues from a variety of health disciplines. He also served as president of the Vancouver Medical Association and the BCCH medical staff. He was tirelessly devoted to teaching, and was a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UBC.
Following his retirement from active clinical practice Bill led efforts to establish a spina bifida clinic in Guatemala, making numerous volunteer trips to that Central American country with his devoted wife Myrtle. He also continued his role on the Boards of research and review committees of the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of BC and Canada and remained an active member over the years. Sir William Osler said that “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease”. Bill was a truly great physician, always committed to the patient and their family.
There have been so many of us who have benefitted from Bill’s care but it is the infants, children and adults with spina bifida to whom he was especially committed. He was a clinical pioneer and the father of spinal bifida care in Canada, and the memory of his many contributions will be cherished. There will be a celebration of Bill’s life in the end of September.
– Dr. Paul Thiessen
– Doug Cochrane, Chair & Provincial Patient Safety & Quality Officer
– Beverly Irwin, BSN, RN Nurse Clinician in the Spinal Cord Program
Reprinted with permission.
Dr. Sheila Innis (June 19, 1953 – February 10, 2016)
We are deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Sheila Innis’ death on February 10, 2016. Originally from the UK, Dr. Innis was a highly respected Professor in the UBC Department of Pediatrics and Director of the Nutrition & Metabolism Research Program at CFRI.
Dr. Innis was a tireless proponent of the nutritional needs of babies, children, expectant mothers and special populations including low weight infants and children with congenital diseases. She was at the forefront of informing national and international policy on nutrition and her research was internationally renowned.
As head of the Nutrition & Metabolism Research Program, Dr. Innis’ academic work was dedicated to pioneering research to solve real problems in how dietary components alone and in combination with genetic background or disease affect children in reaching their full potential for physical and cognitive development, as well as their susceptibility to chronic disease throughout the lifespan.
Dr. Innis’ many research accomplishments were considered a cornerstone of important new knowledge, spearheading novel avenues for understanding the link between diet and health. She had a long track record of contributions to national and international research networks ultimately improving dietary recommendations and practices, and clinical nutrition products. She established advanced metabolic profiling technologies at BC Children’s and conducted ground-breaking work on the effects of dietary fatty acids during pregnancy and infancy. She trained many researchers who today hold positions around the world.
In 2015, Dr. Innis was awarded the Geoffrey C. Robinson Award from the Canadian Pediatric Society in recognition of her outstanding contributions to child and youth health through research in the field of population health or health services research within the last five years.
Over the span of Dr. Innis’ illustrious career, her insights, knowledge development and research have and will continue to improve understanding the way nutrition and the health of neonates are linked for generations to come.
Our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies are with Dr. Innis’ family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. She will be dearly missed.
Dr. C.D. MacLean (née Catriona Dunella Pederson) (October 31, 1936 – December 23, 2015)
Born in Craigendoran, Scotland, December 23, 1928, Dr. Maclean Died in Victoria, BC, April 8, 2016. Dunella spent her childhood in Scotland, including three idyllic years on the Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides, before coming to Canada at age 16 in order to attend McGill University, where she attained the degrees of B.Sc. and M.D.C.M. She came to Vancouver in 1955 to continue her training in Paediatrics. The largest part of her medical career was spent at BC Children’s Hospital as head of the Hearing Disorders Program, from which she retired as Professor Emeritus, UBC. After her retirement she spent several years as a volunteer at Van Dusen Gardens. Since she retired, many parents have thanked her for her work in making sure that their children would find a good place in the world. Mourning her are her husband, Edmund; children Alan, Kenneth (Teresa), and Irene (Sandy Webster); and grandchildren Christine, Jens, Geoffrey, Cameron Webster, and Ryan Webster. Also mourning her is her sister Dr. Mairi Narod, who trained with her at McGill and who shared her dedication to medicine. Dunella spent the last 15 years on Mayne Island, which she called “a little bit of paradise” both for its closeness to nature and the warmth of its community, before she succumbed to dementia. Her family wishes to thank the very dedicated staff at The Heights at Mount View, Victoria, where she spent her last days. A Memorial Service will be announced later.
To leave a condolence, please visit www.earthsoption.com
Dr. Roger Tonkin (October 31, 1936 – December 23, 2015)
Roger died peacefully in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital surrounded by love. He showed strength and grace throughout his courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease, and that will remain a cherished and final gift for his family.
In life Roger was always willing to swim against the current, and until his death he remained authentic to his true nature, with humour and passion.
Roger received his medical degree from McGill University, and did his Pediatric residency at Montreal Children’s Hospital before joining the Department of Pediatrics at UBC in 1968.
Roger enjoyed a rich and varied medical career, with a special interest in adolescent medicine and eating disorders. He was an internationally recognized health visionary in standards of practice, curriculum development and research.
Roger received the Order of BC in 1998, and in 2010 the Canadian Pediatric Society honored him with Alan Ross Award, which recognizes lifelong excellence in the fields of pediatric research, education, healthcare and advocacy. His incomparable contributions to individual lives, to community and to society will always be remembered and paid forward for years to come.
Roger’s family was of paramount importance in his life, and he treasured time spent with each and every one of them. He is survived by his wife Carrol; children Lisa, Laurie (Dean), Lynn, Jon and Leanne; their mother Pat; stepchildren Lisa (Roy), Susan (Zen), Michael (Tracey) and Andrea (Michael); grandchildren Matthew, Olivia, Ian, Pearl, Caily, Isaac, Emily, Laura, Chloe and Charlie; sister Anne (Roger) and niece Meghan.
The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Steve Beerman for the exceptional care of Roger over the past several years. A family celebration of his life will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers a donation to The Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Foundation or BC Children’s Hospital Foundation would honour Roger.
Dr. Brian Lupton (July 05, 1952 – December 19, 2015)
Dr. Brian Lupton passed away peacefully in North Vancouver on December 19, 2015 at the age of 63.
Brian will be deeply missed by his fiancée Susan Tolley, his daughters Keeva (Cameron) and Nareela, his sister Marjorie Glavin (Ronnie), friend and mother of their children Bonnie, and extended family and lifelong friends.
Brian was born in Northern Ireland and immigrated to Canada in the 1980’s. He dedicated his life to his work as a Neonatologist at BC Children’s Hospital in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Along with his passion for work, he was an avid runner, lover of music and books and lifelong traveler. Above all, he was an incredible father and friend.