OTTAWA – July 3, 2015. On July 1, 2015, His Excellency the Right HonourableDavid Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced the appointment of Dr. James Rutka as an Officer (O.C.) of the Order of Canada.
Dr. James Rutka, MD, PhD, FRCSC, is a neurosurgeon at the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, the Co-director & Principal Investigator at the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre, and professor and Chair of the University of Toronto’s Surgery Division. Dr. Rutka is also Chair of the Ukraine Paediatric Fellowship Program at SickKids.
Dr. Rutka was awarded the Order of Canada for “his contributions to advancing treatment for paediatric brain tumours and for his international leadership in neurosurgery.”
“I congratulate Dr. Rutka for this very prestigious and well-deserved honour,” stated UCC National President Paul Grod. “Dr. Rutka has pursued cutting edge research and has also devoted large amounts of time to assisting Ukraine with paediatric neurosurgery. I want to thank him and recognize his tremendous efforts.”
In November 2012, SickKids Foundation announced the creation of the Ukraine Healthy Child Fellowship Program, made possible thanks to a $1.05 million gift from the Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund (CCCF) who received as a bequest from the estate of Mr. Frederick Tkachuk of Melfort, Saskatchewan.This program allows surgeons from Ukraine to travel to Toronto and learn under Dr. Rutka’s instruction in the neurosurgical field and also permits surgeons from Toronto to travel to Ukraine to work with their colleagues in various hospitals. This work was supported by $3 million in generous donations from many Canadians including $1M from the CCCF and $1M from the Temerty Family Foundation.
“Dr. Rutka recently completed another trip to Lviv and Kyiv which accomplished numerous objectives including recruiting of new Ukrainian fellows to come to Canada and train at SickKids,” stated Renata Roman, UCC Vice President. “Dr. Rutka saw patients, taught medical colleagues, and provided oversight for surgeries in both Kyiv and Lviv. He also provided an endoscopic neurosurgical set to the surgical team at the Lviv hospital.”
The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 6 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.