Edmonton transplantation physician wins lifetime achievement award: CST

Article content

An Edmonton transplantation physician and University of Alberta (U of A) professor of surgery and oncology has won The Canadian Society of Transplantation Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award was presented to Dr. Ronald B. Moore at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg, at the CST annual meeting last week. The CST is a society that engages specialists in the care of transplant patients, focusing on improving transplantation for all Canadians.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Article content

The transplant physician told Postmedia the award has been given out only a few times to surgeons to mark their contributions in developing transplantation activities nationally and internationally.

“There’s been four people that have received a lifetime achievement award from the University of Alberta over the history of CST,” said Moore.

After being involved in transplantation research for over 30 years, Moore says the team he worked with at the hospital nominated him for three main reasons: research, training and development and involvement with the CST.

The first time he was involved in the CST was when he thought that there was an opportunity missed to become an organ donor. The criteria for donation eligibility was only met when the heart actually stops. He suggested that when the brain dies, there’s no recovery, expanding the pool for organ donors.

“I was an advocate for developing a donation following cardiac death as opposed to neurological determination death. So, when transplantation first started, a person would actually have to have had his heart stopped before they could be used as an organ donor. And then as science evolved, it became that you had to be neurologically dead,” he explained.

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

“They had means of testing that, that your brain wasn’t working, and that you would never recover from that. And not all patients would reach brain death criteria, but they still wouldn’t survive if they were taken off life support. And so there was an opportunity missed to become an organ donor.”

He says his contribution to the CST bridged the gap between waiting times for recipients, and available donor organs.

“Those people wait and die waiting on a waiting list, because there’s not enough organs to go around,” he said.  “And so, to expand the donor pool, to help those people and to make good out of bad situation, because people that sign up for donation, they want to donate their organs.”

Moore adds that he has also helped CST develop the standards for transplantation. His says when he first started, there were 700 transplantations done in the country, and throughout his career, he’s performed more than 1,000 surgeries.

His research and training program to train the next generation of transplant surgeons were also significant.

“I developed a training program where people came from all over the world to be trained in transplantation,” he said.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Moore notes that no one wins alone, acknowledging the team from U of A that he has worked with. He adds the award means a lot to him, as making a difference in the society and saving lives are big accomplishments.

“I’m very proud and it gives me a lot of gratitude and pride. … I think it acknowledges what I call it: effort in kind … and that effort in kind you can’t really monetize,” he added.

“Performing procedures, finding ways to expand the number of donor organs, improving patient outcomes and training the next generation of transplant physicians has been very rewarding for me.”

Moore’s children flew to Winnipeg to see him receive the award.

“My kids were very proud, they travelled to Winnipeg to see me get the award. And my wife was already busy with my mom,” Moore said.

While Moore has retired from transplant surgery, he’s still doing research at U of A. He says his biggest plan right now is to spend as much time as he can with his grandkids.

In North America there are currently 110,000 people waiting for a transplant. Of these, 83 per cent are waiting for a kidney transplant.

“Patients still suffer from transplant organ failure, cancers, and infections related to immune suppression therapy needed to receive a transplant. There is still a lot of work to be done to improve access to a transplantation and improve the outcomes,” said Moore.

Article content

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *