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Clare Baker
Clare Baker

Dear Colleagues,

I report with sadness the death of Dr. Clare Baker on August 10, 2010. Dr Baker joined the staff of St Michael's Hospital in 1953 where he pioneered the introduction and development of cardiac surgery.

Clare was considered a master surgeon by all who were fortunate enough to work with him. Thousands of patients benefitted from his knowledge, judgment, skill, and compassion until his retirement from active practice in 1990. Clare had much to be proud of from his career as a cardiac surgeon including receiving the Order of Canada and being listed as one of the 100 Alumni of Influence at the University of Saskatchewan.

Colleagues, fellow health care professionals, and all who benefitted from knowing Clare will undoubtedly miss this fine man.

Our thoughts go out to his family during this time of mourning.

David Latter

Clare Baker performed the first heart transplant in Canada that resulted in long term success. It was performed during the epidemic of premature heart transplants in 1968, but unlike most others, his patient survived 6 and a half years. Clare was also one of the earliest proponents of open heart surgery done without transfusion. 147 Jehovah's Witnesses benefited from his meticulous surgical technique. In addition to his training at the University of Toronto, he completed studies in the Hague, Utrecht and at Johns Hopkins University where he studied with Alfred Blalock and Henry Bahnson. He served as chief of cardiac surgery at St. Michael's Hospital for 37 years.

M. M. based on reporting from Patricia Holtz in the Globe and Mail. Aug 24, 2010.

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