The Shalom Hartman Institute is proud to announce a signal tribute that was bestowed on Dr. Douglas Wilansky, Vice Chairman of the Canadian Friends of the Shalom Hartman Institute.
William Osler Health System and Etobicoke General Hospital (EGH) has honored Dr. Wilansky of Toronto, along with the other founding departmental chiefs of the hospital, who helped bring the institution to life back in 1972 and inaugurated a new era of community health care for local residents.
Dr. Wilansky, the Founding Chief of the department of Internal Medicine and of Nuclear Medicine, has seen the name of the division of Nuclear Medicine changed in his honor to the Dr. Douglas Wilansky Nuclear Medicine Service at a recognition dinner. This event took place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Etobicoke on June 3, 2010.
“As the President of the EGH Professional Staff Association, I am delighted that this honour was given to my mentor and colleague Doug Wilansky,” says Dr. Eli Bienenstock. “This is a tribute is our hospital’s way to say thank you for the many years of education, research, dedication and the provision of outstanding medical service and care to thousands of patients in our community.”
Dr. Wilansky was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1929, son of the late Naftali Hertz Wilansky, spiritual leader of the Hebrew congregation of Newfoundland from 1922 to 1949, and Chaya Leah Berger-Wilansky. He graduated from Bishop Field College in St. John’s in 1943 and attended Yeshiva University from 1943 to 1944 and Memorial University College from 1944 to 1946 for premedical studies, graduating in Medicine from Dalhousie University in Halifax in 1951.
He pursued graduate work in Internal Medicine Endocrinology and Nuclear Medicine at McGill, serving as a senior Medical Resident at the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1954-55. During this period, and thereafter, he served as a fellow under the renowned physician Dr. Martin M. Hoffman and was for some five years his associate at the Royal Victoria and Jewish General Hospitals.
Dr. Wilansky served on the active staff of the Jewish General at Queen Elizabeth Hospitals in Montreal and attained the rank of Assistant Professor of Medicine at McGill when selected to be the founding Chief of Internal Medicine and Director of Nuclear Medicine in the newly developing Etobicoke General Hospital. He maintained the latter post until his recent retirement as Divisional Chief.
Dr. Wilansky was the recipient of a National Research Council Fellowship at McGill in 1953-54 and a co-winner with Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Bernard Grad of the CIBA prize for original research on the Endocrine aspects of aging in 1956. He was also the recipient of a Dominion Provincial Public Health Grant at the Jewish General Hospital from 1964 to 1970, working with Dr. G. Shochat on studies in Pre-Diabetes.
He and his colleague provided evidence that the temporary and judicious use of certain blood sugar lowering medication could deter the onset of diabetes and in a sense provided a model for intensive study in this area during the past decade. In Montreal, he served as the President of the Montreal Clinic Society from 1968 to 1969.
Upon moving to Toronto, he served on the Board of the Toronto Diabetes Association and served on a panel on early diabetes and its prevention with the late Dr. Charles Best. He was lecturer in Nuclear Medicine and Medicine (Endocrinology) at University of Toronto and served as chairperson of the Nuclear Medicine section of the Ontario Medical Association from 1979 to 1981.
Dr. Wilansky has published 41 scientific papers mainly in peer-reviewed journals and has lectured extensively nationally and internationally during the period of his creative original research.
In the Montreal community, he was the founding chair of the Education Committee of the Bailey Road Synagogue (Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem) serving in that capacity from 1960 to 1971. With his wife Ruth, they worked diligently to promote Jewish education that constituted the early curriculum of the Shalom Hartman Institute. He also served during that period as a member of the Board of Directors of the synagogue and has been a member of the Board of Canadian Friends of Shalom Hartman Institute since 1975, becoming Vice Chairman in 2007.
The evening of June 3 also saw the return of the Goldhart Ranney Lectureship. Now the twelfth in a series and sponsored by members of the Goldhart and Ranney families, the featured speaker were renowned cardiac surgeon Dr. Tirone David, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at Toronto General Hospital. His subject was, "The Wonderful World of Cardiovascular Imaging.”