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Dr. Thomas Parker brings heart to new role as Physician in Chief

A cardiologist who has dedicated his career to improving the lives of patients through exemplary care and research has been named Physician in Chief, St. Michael’s Hospital, following a North American-wide search.

Toronto, January 6, 2010

Dr. Thomas Parker Dr. Thomas Parker

Dr. Thomas Parker, Head, Division of Cardiology and current Deputy Physician in Chief, will assume the role February 1 from Dr. Robert Hyland, who has completed his second and final term.

“Dr. Parker is an exemplary clinician and scientist and he brings outstanding leadership and a breadth of experience to this post,” said Robert Howard, MD, President and CEO of St. Michael’s Hospital. “Tom has big shoes to fill in his new role. Dr. Robert Hyland has served St. Michael's with distinction as our Physician in Chief over the past ten years.”

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Dr. Parker received his MD degree from the University of Western Ontario and did his postgraduate clinical training at the University of Toronto and a Research Fellowship in Molecular Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. Recruited to St. Michael’s in 2003, Dr. Parker is the inaugural recipient of the Brazilian Ball Chair in Cardiology Research.

Dr. Parker stresses the importance of mentorship in his new position. “The Physician in Chief should play an important role in mentoring trainees and young staff physicians, and foster an environment where mentorship is viewed as important by everyone in the Department of Medicine,” said Dr. Parker. “I have never forgotten how important mentors were to me at an early stage in my career. Many of the people who influenced my career are familiar names at St. Michael’s: Bob Howard, Bob Chisholm, Mike Freeman, and from my time at the Wellesley, Bob Hyland and Tony Graham.”

In addition to his new responsibilities as Physician in Chief, Dr. Parker will continue important research. Along with other hospital colleagues, he is investigating a novel treatment to improve the lives of patients who have suffered heart attacks. This cardiac therapy involves harvesting cells from bone marrow, growing them into heart muscles, and then injecting them into the heart to heal scarring caused by the heart attack.

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