Dialogue Volume 14 Issue 1 2018 - Page 17

COUNCIL AWARD An advocate for patients’ rights Dr. Bill J. Wong T he College presented its Council Award to Dr. Bill Wong, a Mississauga physician who is helping lead his hospital’s efforts to respond to patient requests for medical assistance in dying. Dr. Wong is the Program Chief and Medical Direc- tor of the Department of Anesthesiology at Mississau- ga’s Trillium Health Partners. He is also the hospital’s Physician Lead for the Cardiac Surgery ICU. Since arriving at the hospital in 2000, Dr. Wong has worn a number of hats that have placed him at the forefront of initiatives to increase clinical standard- ization and decrease medical error rates. He has been widely credited with elevating the standard of practice of medicine in the hospital as a result of these initiatives. However, it was his recent work in leading the hospital’s development of policies and procedures for medical as- sistance in dying (MAID) that was the impetus for his nomination by his chief of staff, Dr. Dante Morra. In coordinating the hospital’s response to this new medical service, Dr. Wong has stood out as a skilled communicator who respectfully navigated the diverse perspectives of health-care professionals, patients and families to develop protocols that ensure patients have access to MAID and are supported by the hospital and the community. Dr. Wong was born and raised in Winnipeg and earned his medical degree at the University of Manitoba. He did his residency in anesthesiology at the University of Toronto followed by a fellowship in cardiovascular anes- thesiology and intensive care. His training and experience in the Cardiac ICU at Sun- nybrook Health Sciences sparked an interest in system management, an interest that he brought with him when he joined Trillium Health Partners as their Medical Director of Cardiac ICU. His growing understanding of how decisions made at various hospital levels have a di- rect impact on patient outcomes led him to take an active role in hospital affairs by serving on numerous commit- tees. In his work on these committees, he developed a reputation as a tireless advocate for patients’ rights and improved patient safety. As the chair of the hospital’s Pharmaceuticals and Therapeutics Committee for the past 10 years, Dr. Wong has championed the optimal use of medications, and his focus on patient outcomes was key to the delivery of ISSUE 1, 2018 DIALOGUE 17