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A Tribute to Quality Care

Rose Patten's generous gift honours the "unsung heroes" whose compassionate care changed her life.

Rose Patten
Rose Patten

A fourteen-year veteran of university governance and former Chair of the Governing Council, Rose Patten confides that her time in office has been her "greatest milestone". Quality leadership defines Ms. Patten's role in the community and in her professional life. As Senior Executive Vice-President, Head of Human Resources and Senior Leadership Advisor for BMO Financial Group, she is responsible for BMO's enterprise- wide human resource management. The St. John's, Newfoundland native, who has held executive positions in human resources throughout her career, is a champion of workplace diversity. Her pioneering and innovative strategies led to her being named "one of the 25 most powerful women in banking" by U.S. Banker magazine.

An indomitable spirit and unwavering confidence also characterize Ms. Patten's approach to her health. Following a 1983 car accident that badly damaged her hip and left her unable to walk, she underwent extensive physiotherapy and eventual hip replacement surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Despite that injury, she is now an accomplished marathon runner. Her physicians, Drs. Allan Gross and Ron Taylor, commend her resolve and motivation subsequent to surgery: "She took a minimal amount of time off work and worked extremely hard with respect to her rehabilitation and made the most dramatic recovery," notes Dr. Gross.

Her dedication to the community and to the university has been further strengthened through the establishment of the Drs. Gross and Taylor Award in the Faculty of Medicine, a gift of $20,000. This award will be directed to second-entry students in the MD program who demonstrate an interest in orthopaedic surgery. Ms. Patten describes the endowment as an "expression of gratitude" to honour Drs. Gross and Taylor for their care, and to encourage young doctors to pursue surgical careers.

"These doctors are unsung heroes," says Ms. Patten. "They gave me confidence, they were very responsive to my needs, and their care was amazing. It's common for scientific breakthroughs to be acknowledged, but I wanted to recognize regular physicians and their achievements. Make them heroes, because such people have an enormous impact on health care in Canada."

For Dr. Gross, this is an opportunity to see a patient make a complete recovery from a traumatic injury with grace, warmth, and inspiring generosity: "The gift is extremely appreciated, but at the same time Ms. Patten was so wonderful to treat, requiring minimal care. To see the final result and what kind of patient she was, is just incredible."

Nancy Collett
Senior Development Officer

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