At a beautiful cocktail reception attended by almost 100 former colleagues, family and friends, two distinguished leaders were inducted into the St. Boniface Hospital Research Hall of Fame: Dr. Meir Kryger, and the late George Campbell MacLean. Both men join four previous inductees: Dr. Naranjan Dhalla, Dr. Lesley Degner, Dr. John Foerster, and Dr. Mark Torchia.
Dr. Henry Friesen, Chair of the Research Enterprise Committee, presented to Dr. Meir Kryger for his ground-breaking sleep disorder research. Kryger was Director of the Sleep Disorders Centre at St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre from 1988-2006, the first laboratory studying patients with sleep breathing problems in Canada. His laboratory elucidated the interaction between heart failure and sleep respiration and published the first systematic study of oxygen in this condition. Dr. Meir Kryger reported perhaps the first case of sleep apnea in North America. He was the first to use computers in analyzing sleep breathing patterns and validated techniques of monitoring in which diagnostic data, as well as therapeutic data on CPAP, is obtained during the same night.
And Dr. John Foerster, former Executive Director of St. Boniface Hospital Research, presented to the family of the late George Campbell MacLean, including his two grandchildren who personally accepted the award with words of inspiration and gratitude for the legacy of the community service instilled in them by their grandfather. In the 1980’s it was MacLean who single-handedly led the efforts to raise $19M for the construction of Western Canada’s first free-standing research facility associated with a hospital and one of the first in all of Canada. As articulated by Dr. Foerster, none of the last 31 years of medical research undertaken here would have been possible without the tenacity and vision of Cam MacLean.