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The Ottawa Hospital appoints prestigious kidney research chair

December 5, 2013

Diagnosed with kidney failure, Gerry LePage was undergoing dialysis treatment four hours a day, three times a week for a year and a half. The treatment, along with an earlier surgery, was so hard on the-then 44-year-old that he actually considered giving up.

When he received a kidney transplant at The Ottawa Hospital, his life changed.

“The care at The Ottawa Hospital is world-class,” said LePage. “The people who took care of me made it survivable. They are professional and compassionate, which is an amazing component of healing.”

LePage is one of many grateful kidney disease survivors at The Ottawa Hospital, where the first Jindal Research Chair for the Prevention of Kidney Disease was named today.

Newly appointed to the role, Dr. Manish Sood is a nephrologist at The Ottawa Hospital, associate scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa. His past research has involved measuring the disparities and outcomes among Aboriginal people with kidney disease. His work has led to changes in the health-care system and public policy related to dialysis services in Canada.

Dr. Sood will be conducting his work through the Kidney Research Centre, which is affiliated with The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. He plans to study variations in kidney disease and care across the country, and investigate underlying health, social and policy factors that may be contributing to these differences. Further research, knowledge translation and health policy work will then be used to address these differences to ensure that all Canadians receive optimal kidney disease prevention and care.

The program will operate through the Kidney Research Centre, which is one of the largest kidney research centres in North America.

The chair was made possible with a $1 million gift from Dr. Jindal and his wife Sharita, as well as $150,000 raised by the Riverside Auxiliary, and $1 million raised in the community.

"Prevention of a problem is always better than solving it,” said Dr. Jindal, who was widely considered a pioneer and visionary in the field of nephrology. He had spearheaded the fundraising effort to raise the funds to set up the revolutionary new program in kidney disease prevention.

“We can't just continue to add dialysis machines here and there. We need to prevent kidney disease at a much younger age and control the risk factors that cause the disease,” Dr. Jindal added.

“This chair was established because our Hospital realized the vital importance of kidney research, particularly to the prevention of kidney disease,” said Tim Kluke, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. “We thank Dr. Jindal and his wife, as well as the Riverside Auxiliary, and donors from the community, without all of whom this new opportunity would not be possible.”

“Dr. Sood’s research holds great potential for improving the prevention of kidney disease,” said Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Vice-President of Research at The Ottawa Hospital and professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa. “This new Chair will enable Dr. Sood’s research to truly make a difference for patients here in Ottawa and around the world.”

The Ottawa Hospital is a multi-campus, academic health sciences centre, serving 1.3 million residents of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, both in English and French. It provides care for more patients than any other hospital in Canada and boasts specialty centres in cancer, heart, kidney and vision care, as well as rehabilitation services. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital website at www.ottawahospital.on.ca.

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation is a team of professional staff and community leaders who are passionately committed to inspiring, enabling and celebrating community support for The Ottawa Hospital and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Foundation website at www.ohfoundation.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Tracey Tong
Media Relations and Marketing Officer
The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Tel.: 613-798-5555, ext. 19816
Cell: 613-324-4466
trtong@toh.on.ca