Donation to boost surgical innovation

The University of Western Ontario today announced a $1.5 million donation from Ray and Margaret Elliott which will be matched by Western to form a $3 million endowed research chair. The Ray and Margaret Elliott Chair in Surgical Innovation will position Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, in collaboration with the faculties of engineering, business and health sciences, at the forefront of surgical innovation.

From new devices and procedures to advancing systemwide, health care change, London is internationally recognized for its expertise in surgical innovation and simulation-based education, and this endowed gift will continue to advance that innovation leadership.

Ray Elliott is a Western alumnus, graduating from Huron University College in 1974. He is currently the president and CEO of Boston Scientific, one of the world’s largest medical device companies. Prior to joining it in 2009, he led other major medical companies including Zimmer Holdings Inc. (orthopedics) for 10 years as chairman and CEO, Cybex International (medical rehabilitation and cardiovascular products) and American Hospital Supply Corporation where he was promoted to president of its Far East Divisions. In 2005, he was named ‘Best CEO in America for Health Care (Medical Supplies and Devices) by Institutional Investor magazine.

“The vast majority of my life has been spent in surgery-related medical devices,” Elliott says. “We wanted to focus on contributing to improved patient quality of life through less invasive procedures and medical education through global innovation. Our relationship with Western and this new Chair will allow us to accomplish our mutual goals.”

“We wish to thank Ray and Margaret Elliott for their significant donation to The University of Western Ontario,” says Amit Chakma, Western’s president. “These generous gifts and the Matching Chair Program at Western are just the beginning of a concerted, cross-campus effort to show the world the impact our research can achieve.”

This is the fourth announcement of Western’s matching chair program.

“The Department of Surgery at Western has a long and proud history of innovation, and introducing new techniques and technologies to advance patient care,” says Dr. John Denstedt, Chair of the Department of Surgery. “The Ray and Margaret Elliott Chair in Surgical Innovation will assist in ensuring we maintain our status as one of the world’s pre-eminent surgical departments. The CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics) platform provides us with an excellent opportunity to recruit and identify a superb individual for the position.”