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Alumni Corner


Faith Muchemwa
Faith Muchemwa

Through the support of one of the Department of Surgery’s newest donors, four surgeons from developing countries will be provided with opportunity for surgical training at the University of Toronto. With assistance from the recently established A. K. Prakash Foundation Fellowship in International Medicine, surgeons will get a chance to specialize in an area of expertise that is highly demanded in their home countries.

The most important criterion of the fellowship is that the surgeons return to their home country following completion of the program. This ensures that learning is immediately transferred into the local health care system. In this first year, surgeons from Nigeria and Zimbabwe will take part in the program for a year and six months, respectively. In the second year, two surgeons from Ethiopia have already been identified for six-month stays.

“This experience will enable me to get exposure to many procedures which are not available for me to learn,” says Dr. Faith Muchemwa, a plastic surgeon from Zimbabwe.

James Balogun
James Balogun

Dr. James Balogun, a neurosurgeon from Nigeria says that pursuing this opportunity “was birthed out of a passion to reduce the neurosurgical disease burden and improve survival in children with brain and spine diseases. Children constitute about half of the one hundred and sixty million population of my country.”

With Mr. Prakash’s $160,000 gift in support of the Department of Surgery’s Boundless campaign, the department is creating substantial and immediate impact across the globe. “There is great inequity around the world in terms of access to quality health care,” says Mr. Prakash, a Toronto-based philanthropist and art enthusiast. “My hope is that my contribution will widen the scope for quality health education and create longlasting impact where needed.”

We appreciate the generosity and leadership of Mr. Prakash in helping to create sustainable access to muchneeded health care services across the globe.

Darina Landa,
Senior Development Officer
University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine

Alumni Awards

Congratulations are in order for a former Toronto alumnus, Susan E. Mackinnon (PlasSurg) who received the 2013 Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons last June. This award honors living surgeons who have developed original and significant surgical techniques. Dr. MacKinnon received the prestigious awards because of her leadership in the innovative use of nerve transfers. She also performed the first nerve transplant in 1988. Susan joins a list of remarkable individuals including Harry Buncke, Paul Tessier and John Burke who have changed the landscape of surgical practice. After training under Dr. W. K. Lindsay, Dr. Mackinnon was on staff at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre for many years before moving to St. Louis where she is appointed as the Sydney M. Shoenberg Jr. and Robert H. Shoenberg Endowed Chair and Chief of the division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine.

Former clinical fellow, Brett McClelland (Australia) (PlasSurg) won a “Young Investigators Award” from the Transplantation Society at the 11th International Hand and Composite Tissue Allograft Society (IHCTAS) meeting held in Wroclaw, Poland, 2013. The title of his poster was “Proximal forearm amputation. A privileged site for transplantation?” with co-authors Ronald Zuker, Steven McCabe, Gregory Borschel.

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