Thirty-five years ago, as a young, passionate transplant nephrologist working in Toronto, Dr. David Landsberg was invited to move to Vancouver to lead the creation of the kidney transplant program at St. Paul’s Hospital. This move was the start of a nationally recognized, province-wide program that has seen over 3,500 people with end-stage kidney disease receive life-saving transplants.
“If you do a multiplier and include all of the families and friends, it’s over 10,000 people who’ve been impacted by the work that David and his team have done,” said Dr. Adeera Levin when presenting David with the Wilma Crockett Memorial Award at a reception at the BC Kidney Days conference this fall.
The award is an opportunity for the BC renal and kidney transplant community to recognize individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to patient care in this province, and David certainly has.
“Each person’s life is as important as the first transplant David did, and I think that action and commitment to each person as an individual is the model that all of us need to keep in mind,” said Adeera.
Transplant nephrologist Dr. Gerald DaRoza nominated David for the award and also spoke at the presentation. Gerald first met David over 20 years ago as a keen third-year medical student at St. Paul’s Hospital.
“It was there where I met my inspiration,” said Gerald. “I’ve told everyone that after doing that two-week elective, I decided (a) I wanted to be a nephrologist and (b) I wanted to be the next David Landsberg.”
Over the years, David has taught over 300 medical students and residents and has been a role model for 25 transplant nephrologists who are now providing care to patients locally and around the world.
Both Gerald and Adeera spoke of David’s passion for his work, his dedication to continuing to have an innovative program, his role as an educator, his humility as a leader, and the care he has for his patients.
“David has an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of people living with kidney disease, and specifically, to ensure that they have access, not just to deceased donor transplants, but also to living donations,” said Adeera. “He’s been a pioneer in that.”
British Columbia has the largest proportion of living donor transplants in Canada and the highest number of pre-emptive transplants that enable patients to avoid dialysis treatment.
In accepting his award, David reflected on Ravinder Parmar, who back in 1986 was a young husband and father and the first British Columbian to receive a kidney transplant at St Paul’s Hospital.
“He really struggled on dialysis,” said David. “The gift that transplant gave him, and the way he was able to embrace that gift and the way it changed his life, reaffirmed for me all of the reasons why I was doing this.”
David also spoke about the life-long relationship nephrologists have with their patients, in some cases spanning generations as children and grandchildren develop a need for kidney care and transplant. “What an opportunity, to know a family through generations, to be able to have that kind of connection.”
Our congratulations to David on his well-deserved award!
Dave Morrison(2018) is the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) on the In Centre Hemodialysis Unit at St Paul’s Hospital. Raised in the Prairies, he began his nursing career in Saskatchewan in the ICU, eventually leaving for Saudi Arabia, where he found his passion working as a Hemodialysis Nurse. He has worked in the Renal Program at Providence Healthcare for over 25 years, demonstrating a deep commitment to the organization, its mission and values, and with his colleagues and the patients and families he serves. Dave’s contribution and legacy in the field of kidney disease is vast. Not only has he expanded and enhanced the role of the In Centre CNL, but he has supported and mentored countless staff and future leaders in a variety of disciplines. He has shared his knowledge, skills and expertise, being intrinsically involved in numerous program initiatives, provincially and within PHC. Some of these include the establishment of the three Coastal Community Dialysis Units, the Nocturnal Hemodialysis Program, Redevelopment for the new St Paul’s, Clinical Systems Transformation, Patient Education, Visitor Dialysis, patient enhancement fundraising through The Lights of Hope Campaign, and numerous Quality Performance and Improvement initiatives. Dave has presented Nationally and Internationally, with projects focussing on mentorship and the experience of Undergraduate Nurses entering the specialty of Nephrology. Through his years of service and contribution, Dave consistently embodies the values of, excellence, respect compassion, empathy, and personalized and patient centred care.
Dr. Colin White(2017)
Dr Mohamud Karim(2016): graduated from UBC, where he also trained in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. He was on staff at the Vancouver General Hospital as the Director of the Hemodialysis unit from 1992 to 1996, after which he spent time working in Kenya and Tanzania. While there, he was Director of the Casualty Department at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, and co-founder of the Regency Medical Centre, the first Private imaging, laboratory and outpatient service in the country at the time. He returned to British Columbia in 2000, and has been practicing at the Fraser Health Authority since. He was the Medical Director of the Fraser Health Authority Renal Program from 2002 to 2011 where he oversaw the expansion of the Hemodialysis units at the Royal Columbian, Surrey Memorial and Abbotsford hospitals, in addition to the expansion of the Community Dialysis, CKD and PD Programs.
Dr Karim currently practices Nephrology at the Surrey Memorial Hospital, and is involved in teaching and community service. His passion lies in providing quality Palliative and end of life care to Renal patients. Dr. Karim chaired the BC Renal Palliative Care committee till early this year. He has actively advocated for the provision of services and renal care to the population in Surrey. Dr Karim has also served in various leadership positions within the Ismaili Community. He is supported in his work by his wife Anar, and his two sons.
Rick Luscombe (2015): Rick Luscombe is the Vascular Access Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) at Providence Health Care and, together with the health care team, is responsible for ensuring optimal vascular access outcomes in renal patients. Rick has worked for 30 years in nephrology nursing with 28 of those years working in hemodialysis and the most recent 13 as Vascular Access CNL. He obtained his Registered Nurse diploma in 1985 from George Brown College in Toronto and his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degress in 2002 from the University of Victoria. Rick co-founded the Vascular Educators Group of BC and was the President of the Canadian Association Nephrology Nurses and Technologists (CANNT) in 2010. In 2013 Rick was awarded the Excellence in Nursing Education Award from the Canadian Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC). In 2014 he was the recipient of the CANNT award for excellence in Leadership and Administration. A role model for the nursing profession, Rick's desire for knowledge, education and research is exemplary.
Ruth McCarrell (2014): a Pre-Transplant Clinical Nurse Leader, Kidney Transplant Program at St. Paul's Hospital, Ruth has been credited as being instrumental in the success of the kidney transplant program at St. Paul’s. Ruth has worked tirelessly on the paired exchange program, breaking down barriers and maximizing efficiency. Through her efforts more than 60 pairs have been transplanted at the hospital, double the number of the next highest program in the country.
Dr. Dan Martinusen (2013): a renal pharmacist, Dan was nominated four separate times for his significant contributions to renal care in BC over more than a decade. Through the BC Renal Agency, he has led a number of significant provincial pharmacy initiatives, including the development of an anemia management protocol that resulted in significant medication cost savings for the province. He was also the driving force behind the provincial roll-out of medication reconciliation for all kidney patients in BC, an initiative that has received numerous awards and recognition.
Dr. Alex Magill (2012): a renal pathologist at St. Paul's Hospital, Dr. Magill has had an ongoing impact on the care of kidney patients in the province of BC since 1977, contributing his exceptional knowledge of renal pathology to guide day-to-day therapy choices of his nephrology colleagues while they treat their CKD and transplant patients.
Dr. Gerry Karr (2011): medical director of kidney services for Interior Health. His warmth, generosity and dedication to patient advocacy were all key factors highlighted in his nomination. Through his adherence to the highest standards of patient care and a commitment to team building, Dr. Karr has established a superior level of excellence within the BC renal program.
Anne Gloster (2010): director of renal services for Vancouver Island Health, received nine separate nominations, one from the entire renal team at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, all praising her uncompromising commitment to patient safety and well being during her 12 years with the program.
Dr. Victor Chan (2009): Dr. Chan's support for peritoneal dialysis has not wavered since the 1960s. A leader and innovator, he has performed more bedside catheter insertions than any other physician in Canada.
Debbie Eggers (2008): a vascular access coordinator for Interior Health and a champion of quality renal care.
Lai-Lin Harvalias (2007): has worked tirelessly over three decades to promote renal nutrition regionally, provincially and nationally.
Dr. David Lirenman (2006): was a pioneer and leader in the development of pediatric nephrology in BC.
Dr. John Price (2005): BC's first nephrologist and a leader in the development of the province's kidney care services.
Dr. Angus Rae (2004): an outstanding clinician, scholar and teacher who epitomizes life-long learning. Now retired, Dr. Rae was the founding head of the Division of Nephrology at St Paul’s Hospital.