By Geoff Koehler

Dr. Teodor Grantcharov was named Keenan Chair in Surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto. The five-year chair was developed to support a world-class surgeon-scientist at St. Michael’s.

Dr. Grantcharov is a staff surgeon at the hospital and a scientist with St. Michael’s Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science. His research interests combine minimally invasive surgery, surgical education and patient safety. He has become internationally recognized as a leader in these fields with focus on curriculum design, assessment of competence and impact of surgical performance on clinical outcomes.

“Teodor is an incredible surgeon and a global leader in surgical safety, training and evaluation,” said Dr. Ori Rotstein, surgeon-in-chief at St. Michael’s. “His work will transform how we train surgical residents and how established surgeons continue to hone their skills.”

An example of Dr. Grantcharov’s work is the surgical “black box” which aims to transform the safety culture in medicine and introduce modern safety management systems in the high-risk operating room environment. Dr. Grantcharov said the box improves patient safety and outcomes by identifying where errors occur in the OR and teaching surgeons how to prevent them. He said that when black boxes were introduced in the aviation industry, preventable errors dropped significantly.

“I’m honoured to hold this prestigious chair at St. Michael’s Hospital,” said Dr. Grantcharov, who is also a professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. “This chair will support my lab’s work to develop and implement modern solutions that will improve surgical education, performance and safety.”

Dr. Grantcharov is a member of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (iBEST) — a partnership between St. Michael’s and Ryerson University that brings together Ryerson’s engineering and science strengths with St. Michael’s biomedical research and clinical expertise to translate research concepts into testable health-care solutions.

The Keenan Chair in Surgery is funded through the generosity of the Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation through the St. Michael’s Foundation. It is one of four research chairs at St. Michael’s and U of T supported by the Keenan family. The Keenans have donated more than $30 million to the hospital — a significant portion of which has gone to advancing health research.

The first Keenan Chair in Surgery at St. Michael’s was Dr. Loch Macdonald, a neurosurgeon and the world’s leading researcher in a kind of stroke known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Dr. Grantcharov has written more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and delivered more than 140 invited presentations across the globe. A former Canada Research Chair in Simulation and Surgical Safety, he sits on the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) on numerous committees with ACS, The Society of the American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons and The Association for Surgical Education. Dr. Grantcharov also sits on the Editorial Boards of The British Journal of Surgery and Surgical Endoscopy.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 29 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Center, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.