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CHEO’s Human Library (June 7, 2014 - Noon to 4pm)

Max Keeping Wing, Lower Level

Come and meet CHEO’s researchers and stars. You can ‘borrow’ each book for 15 minutes. Please come early as appointments will fill up quickly.

The Human Library is part of CHEO’s 40th anniversary open house.

Our Researchers

Jason Brophy - HIV research to help children

This CHEO infectious disease specialist recently spent a year in Vietnam working with the Clinton Foundation's Clinton Health Access Initiative. His work there focused on increasing Vietnamese health care workers' ability to treat and prevent pediatric HIV infection and related conditions like tuberculosis and malnutrition. Dr. Brophy is the current chair of the Canadian Pediatric AIDS Research Group and does research on pediatric and perinatal HIV in Canada and abroad. 

Gyaandeo Maharajh - Heart surgeon with heart

Dr. Gyaandeo Maharajh is CHEO’s Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery. Born in Trinidad, Dr. Maharajh returns annually to lead a volunteer cardiac team including other doctors and nurses from CHEO, to operate on children with congenital heart defects who may otherwise not have access to treatment. In addition to his role as a cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Maharajh is a practicing Hindu priest with a special interest in comparative Asian philosophies. His faith enriches his service to others. He is a father of 3 young adults living in Ottawa.

Judy Rashotte - Critical care and nursing research

Judy Rashotte recently retired as the Director of Nursing Research and Knowledge Transfer at CHEO. Working at CHEO since 1986, she played many different roles from head nurse of the pediatric intensive care unit, to director of critical care. Since 2005 she has focused on nursing research, from using electronic devices in health care, to managing children’s pain. She has been a co-investigator on three Canadian Institutes of Health Research grants and is an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa.

David Stojdl - Beating cancer with viruses

Dr. Stojdl’s lab at the CHEO Research Institute is developing promising cancer therapies using viruses, including the Maraba virus and the Farmington virus and Vaccinia virus. The lab’s first discovery, Maraba virus, is scheduled for a first-in-man clinical trial later this year. Currently the lab is focusing on developing new virus to treat brain cancer in adults and children. He is a Senior Scientist at CHEO RI, an associate professor of Pediatrics, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology and with the Centre for Innovative Cancer Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. (12 pm to 2 pm only)

Regis Vaillancourt - Pharmacy here and overseas

Dr. Vaillancourt is a Clinical Investigator at the CHEO Research Institute, and the director of the Pharmacy department at CHEO. He is also the president of Pharmacists without Borders—Canada. He served in the Canadian Forces and directed its military pharmacy practice. He was named the Canadian Pharmacist of the Year in 2004 and was awarded the Order of Military Merit by former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. He can talk about health literacy, chronic pain, and the use of natural health products. (1 pm to 4 pm only) 

Michael Vassilyadi - Brain surgeon with props

Trained at McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute, Dr. Vassilyadi joined CHEO in 1996 and directed CHEO’s Concussion Research Project Clinic. He operates on infants and children with disorders of the brain and spine, including trauma. He is a busy surgeon and researcher, and loves to educate people about concussions with props like the jell-o brain. 

Our Stars

Mauro Burri - One of CHEO’s first patients

Mauro Burri was one of CHEO’s earliest inpatients when he came to CHEO in 1975 diagnosed with chronic renal failure. He spent many years on dialysis and had long stays at CHEO for infections, surgeries and two kidney transplants. He says that CHEO’s nurses kept his spirits high and made the atmosphere fun and bearable in spite of the difficulties. Today Mauro is a husband, father and children’s hockey coach and speaks to others with kidney disease to share his experience. (12 to 3 pm)

Child Life - Giving kids a life while in hospital

Come and meet one of CHEO’s child life team, who give patients the chance to play, develop, and socialize during their hospitalization. Child life specialists are professionals trained in child development and are certified through the Child Life Council. CHEO's child life team works with our patients, many of whom will be here repeatedly over months and years, to offer therapeutic and diversional play, maintain normal living patterns, and support children and youth during medical tests and procedures.

Tim Inglis - Giving back

In 1999, at the age of 11, Tim Inglis was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma, a tumor in his leg. While he lost part of his leg, CHEO surgeons were able to use his ankle and foot to provide a working knee. He remains an all-round athlete, rock climbing, longboarding, snowboarding, kayaking, and canoeing. He is also a SCUBA instructor with the non-profit group Freedom at Depth, teaching people who are quadriplegic and paraplegic how to scuba dive. Tim is a Masters student at Carleton in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, developing sensors for use in prosthetics and other medical applications.

Dr. Margaret Lawson - Doctor supporting gender diversity

Dr. Margaret Lawson is a CHEO doctor who works with young people who are transitioning from one gender to another. Dr Lawson is an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in the glands that produce hormones in the body. This includes diabetes, problems with growth
and puberty disorders. She works with transgender youth to offer hormone treatments that can help their transition. Dr. Lawson is also the Medical Director of CHEO Family Decision Services, which is research-driven program developing tools, strategies and interventions to help parents and youth participate in decisions about their health.

John (Jet) Leslie - Paralympic snowboarder

John Leslie led the Canadian snowboarding team at the Paralympics in Sochi this March and finished 7th in the world. The 21-year-old has raced after his dreams since taking up the sport. John was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (cancer in his leg) in 2003 at the age of 11 and received surgery and cancer treatment at CHEO. (2 PM to 4 PM)

Sarah Mercer – CHEO was her second home

Sarah Mercer was born in 1995 with spina bifida and scoliosis. CHEO was her second home during her childhood and teen years, through many surgeries and challenges. Today she studies music industry arts at Algonquin College, lives on her own and is planning her career in the music industry. She was recently profiled in Ottawa Magazine. You can catch Sarah singing some of her favourite cover songs in the CHEO Cafeteria at 12:30 PM. (1 PM to 4 PM)

Alex Munter - The man with a plan for CHEO

Alex Munter is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, bringing to the role more than 20 years of leadership in health and social services and an incredible commitment to helping families in our community. Under Alex’s leadership, CHEO has adopted a strategy for the future called CHEOnext (see display in the main lobby). (1 PM to 2:30 PM)

Michelle Nel - Parent becomes children’s author

Michelle Nel is an Ottawa mom who has published the first two in her series of six allergy books for kids. Her son Nolan since infancy has had eczema, asthma, multiple anaphylactic food allergies as well as multiple environmental allergies. Michelle is a proud CHEO parent who will talk about her books To Be A Nut Or Not! and My Immune System Needs Glasses! as well as share her experiences navigating the world of allergies. (12 – 2 PM)

Dr. Gaby Weiler and Anna-Marie Weiler - Two sisters: the cancer survivor and the doctor

At a doctor's appointment in March 1989, 14-year-old Anna-Marie Weiler discovered that she'd need immediate surgery for a brain tumour — surgery that took place the next morning and lasted 8 hours. This was followed by radiation therapy, and 25 years later, she is happy and healthy, married and works as a web administrator in the federal government. Her cancer journey left a deep impression on her sister Gabrielle. Gaby changed directions and decided to become a physician rather than a veterinarian. Today Dr. Weiler is a nephrologist at CHEO who helps young people navigate the challenging experience of living with kidney disease and with a kidney transplant. 

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