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Bringing Western to the forefront of surgical innovation

October 20, 2011

Bringing Western to the forefront of surgical innovation
As Ray Elliott (right) and Chair of the Department of Surgery Dr. John Denstedt, look on, Margaret Elliott uses one of the surgical simulators at Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR). CSTAR is a collaborative research and education program of Western, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care in London, Canada.

Ray Elliott, BA’74, knows something about innovation. For more than 30 years, Mr. Elliott has been at the helm of several companies dealing with surgery-related medical devices. Now he’s helping to position Western as the leader in the area of surgical innovation.

“We wanted to focus on contributing to improved patient quality of life through less invasive procedures and medical education through global innovation,” notes Mr. Elliott.

The $1.5-million donation from Ray and Margaret Elliott will be matched by Western to form a $3-million endowed research chair at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, in collaboration with the Faculties of engineering, business and health sciences. The Ray and Margaret Elliott Chair in Surgical Innovation is the fourth chair announced through Western’s Matching Chair Program.

“Western is grateful to Ray and Margaret Elliott for their significant donation to Western University,” says Western’s President, Amit Chakma. “This generous gift 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.”

Chair of the Department of Surgery, Dr. John Denstedt, says the new chair will assist in ensuring Western maintains its 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,” notes Dr. Denstedt.

Today, Mr. Elliott is President and CEO of Boston Scientific, one of the world’s largest medical device companies. After graduating from Western in 1974, he worked for American Hospital Supply Corporation, a legendary organization that produced from its ranks more company presidents in the United States than GE and IBM combined. This proved to be a launching pad for Mr. Elliott’s career.

He earned his first presidential appointment at 28 and has been in the executive suite ever since. In 2005, he was named “Best CEO in America” for Health Care (Medical Supplies and Devices) by Institutional Investor magazine.

“I have benefitted immensely from living this life, having these jobs, being all these places and having great career opportunities. So one of the things you think about is how do you give back in a way that is going to help people keep going or do even better,” Mr. Elliott says. “I have been big on medical education over the years. Young physicians, medical education, teaching and training, I think you can see the benefit of the combination of those things with this new chair.”

This article appeared in the Fall 2011 edition of Impact Western
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