For the purposes of this inquest, the three key medical departments were Anaesthesia, Surgery, and Pediatrics and Child Health. During all of 1994, Dr. Douglas Craig was the Clinical Head of Anaesthesia and Dr. Robert Blanchard was the Clinical Head of Surgery. Until June 1, 1994, Dr. Agnes Bishop was the Clinical Head of Pediatrics and Child Health (and therefore the head of the Children's Centre). She left on that date for a position with the federal government. For the summer months of 1994, the position rotated among various medical staff, including Dr. John Bowman. On September 15, 1994, Dr. Brian Postl became Clinical Head of Pediatrics and Child Health.
Before June 1, 1994, these three heads all reported to Sutherland. After that date, the heads of Anaesthesia and Surgery reported to VanDeVelde-Coke, while the head of Pediatrics and Child Health reported to Helen Wright.
According to the medical staff bylaws, department heads had the following responsibilities:
There were a number of sections within the Department of Surgery. They all reported to Dr. Robert Blanchard, the head of surgery in 1994. Each section had its own section head, and each subsection also had a subsection head. For the purposes of this Report, the primary section of interest is the Section for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery and the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery service within it.
Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
The Department of Surgery had a section known as Cardiovascular and Thoracic (CVT) Surgery, with a section head. During 1994 the acting head of the CVT section was Dr. Helmut Unruh. The pediatric cardiac surgeon, Dr. Jonah Odim, reported to Unruh, who reported to the head of surgery. Odim was referred to as a service chief for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. A service in a hospital consists of a group of doctors providing the same kind of medical service. Each service is usually assigned a number of residents, interns and medical students who are posted there for a period of time. However, the pediatric cardiac surgical service headed by Odim was not so fortunate. For all intents and purposes, Odim was the only member of the pediatric cardiac surgery service and had no residents assigned to him for training as pediatric cardiac surgeons. However, residents did occasionally provide assistance at pediatric cardiac operations.
Odim's contract specified that he was being offered a position as associate professor in the Department of Surgery of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, as well as a position on the medical staff of the Health Sciences Centre. In the former position, he was responsible to the head of the Department of Surgery. The contract stated that in relation to his duties on the medical staff:
Odim's job description included the following passage:
Odim also held a secondary hospital appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. However, the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Program was primarily a surgical (as opposed to a pediatric) program.
There were also a number of sections within the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health that reported to the head of that department. For the purposes of this report, the sections with which we are most concerned are Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Intensive Care and Neonatal Intensive Care.
Pediatric cardiology and the Variety Children's Heart Centre
Pediatric Cardiology services were delivered through the Variety Children's Heart Centre. In 1994, the acting medical director of the VCHC and the acting section head of Pediatric Cardiology was Dr. Niels Giddins.
According to a job description dated October 1993 and prepared by the previous VCHC medical director, Dr. George Collins, the medical director of the VCHC was required to:
Pediatrics and Child Health also had a section known as Pediatric Surgery. Dr. Nathan Wiseman was the head of Pediatric Surgery during this period. He reported to the head of Pediatrics, as well as to the head of Surgery (Exhibit 296). His responsibilities consisted primarily of co-ordinating the surgical services provided by the Children's Centre, ensuring that the scheduling of cases occurred in an appropriate manner and that the operating rooms at the Children's Hospital were properly used.
Wiseman's job description stated that he was "responsible to: Department Head, Department of Surgery and the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health." Under the heading of "Description of Area of Responsibility," the job description stated:
Under the heading of "Personnel," it stated that the head of Pediatric Surgery:
Pediatric Intensive Care
Pediatrics and Child Heath had a section known as pediatric intensive care. This section was always referred to as the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). The head of the PICU in 1994 was Dr. Murray Kesselman. The doctors who worked in the unit were referred to as intensivists and specialized in the treatment of intensive care for children from the age of six weeks to 18 years. The other intensivists who worked in the unit during 1994 were Dr. Fiona Fleming, Dr. B. J. Hancock and Dr. Jo Swartz. Hancock also worked in the Department of Surgery as a pediatric surgeon and Swartz was also an anaesthetist and was a member of the Department of Anaesthesia.
A description of the services provided in this unit is found in Chapter Three.
Neonatal Intensive Care
Pediatrics and Child Health had a section known as neonatal intensive care. This section was always referred to as the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The doctors who worked within it were referred to as neonatologists and had been trained in the special care of newborn children aged up to six weeks. In 1994, the head of this section was Dr. Molly Seshia. The other neonatologists were Dr. J. Belik, Dr. R. Caces, Dr. O. Casiro, Dr. R. Alvaro, Dr. H. Rigatto, Dr. C. Fajardo, Dr. G. Cronin and Dr. R. Savani.
A description of the services offered by this section is found in Chapter Three.
The Department of Anaesthesia was responsible for providing anaesthetic services within the hospital. The head of the Department of Anaesthesia was Dr. Douglas Craig. The department had two sections, one for adult anaesthesia and one for pediatric anaesthesia. Both sections reported to the head of Anaesthesia.
The head of the section of pediatric anaesthesia was Dr. Suzanne Ullyot. The section provided anaesthetic coverage for all surgical and some diagnostic procedures involving pediatric patients in the hospital. There was also a pediatric cardiac anaesthesia subsection.
Pediatric cardiac anaesthesia
The subsection of pediatric cardiac anaesthesia was responsible for providing all anaesthetic coverage for pediatric cardiac patients at Children's Hospital during 1994. The subsection did not have a subsection head until May 16, 1994, when Dr. Ann McNeill was appointed to that position. She reported to Ullyot. Four specialists provided pediatric cardiac anaesthetic care during 1994: McNeill, Dr. Jo Swartz, Dr. Heinz Reimer and Dr. Harley Wong.
|Current||Home - Table of Contents - Chapter 4 - Medical departments|
|Section 1||Chapter 1 - Introduction to the Issues|
|Chapter 2 - Pediatric Cardiac Issues|
|Chapter 3 - The Diagnosis of Pediatric Heart Defects and their Surgical Treatment|
|Chapter 4 - The Health Sciences Centre|
|Section 2||Chapter 5 - Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in Winnipeg 1950-1993|
|Chapter 6 - The Restart of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in 1994
January 1, 1994 to May 17, 1994
|Chapter 7 - The Slowdown
May 17 to September 1994
|Chapter 8 - Events Leading to the Suspension of the Program
September 7, 1994 to December 23, 1994
|Chapter 9 - 1995 - The Aftermath of the Shutdown
January to March, 1995
|Section 3||Chapter 10 - Findings and Recommendations|
|Appendix 1 - Glossary of terms used in this report|
|Appendix 2 - Parties to the Proceedings and counsel|
|Appendix 3 - List of witnesses and dates of testimony|