The first-ever endowed Chair in Family Medicine Research has been made possible by a $2-million transformational gift from long-time donor Louise Fast. The chair will function as a partnership between the Family Practice Health Centre at Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine.
“I have felt for a long time that family practice doesn’t have the pizzazz of other specialties. I see this as a way to increase visibility, foster research, and encourage more medical students to consider a career in family medicine. After all, family doctors can often help prevent illnesses that cause patients to go to a specialist or an emergency room,” says donor Louise Fast.
The Frigon Blau Chair in Family Medicine Research is named in honour of Fast’s grandfather Dr. Rosaire Frigon and retired Women’s College Hospital family physician Dr. Nadia Blau.
Dr. Jim Ruderman
Dr. Frigon, born on Jan. 3, 1877 in Saint-Prosper, Quebec, practised medicine for over 50 years. Fast has fond memories of the remarkable stories told of her grandfather: “I know that many hours of ‘doctor service’ went unpaid but that never made him say ‘no’ to a patient in need.”
Dr. Blau joined the department of family practice at Women’s College Hospital in September 1968 and practised medicine here for over 40 years. During that time she earned the admiration of countless patients, including Fast, for her expertise and warmth.
With such extraordinary namesakes, the prospective candidate has bigshoes to fill. The search for the future chair holder will begin in the summer of 2012. It can often take more than a year to select the right candidate.
“As a renowned researcher and international leader in primary care research, the chair holder will serve as a catalyst for developing knowledge that addresses important issues in family medicine,” explains Dr. Jim Ruderman, chief of medical staff and a family physician at Women’s College Hospital.
“As one of Ontario’s largest academic centres in family medicine we are honoured to receive such significant support from donors like Louise Fast. Not only will the chair holder practice within our family health team, they will enhance our department’s ability to foster innovation and quality in delivering co-ordinated, patient-centred care.”