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Source: McMaster University

Five inducted into Community of Distinction

November 10, 2006

by FHS Advancement November 10, 2006

A champion of problem-based learning, a leader who shaped health care research, a facilitator of the new health sciences centre, a scientist of population health, and a nursing professor who took McMaster's multi-professional team-building approach abroad are being honoured by McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences.

Edwin E. Daniel, Michael Gent, Ludmila (Niky) Melichar, George Torrance, and Karin C. von Schilling will be inducted into the Community of Distinction of the Faculty during a ceremony at 4 p.m. in the Health Sciences Centre on Friday, Nov. 10.

The photographs and biographies of the five will join the gallery on a second floor wall in McMaster's Health Sciences Centre. Please click here to view their bios and photos.

"The five people being inducted today are joining an elite group," said Dr. John Kelton, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences and dean of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. "Through their scholarship and research activities, and their unvarying support of the Faculty of Health Sciences, they have all had an extremely positive impact on our health care community and McMaster's reputation for excellent research and scholarship."

Up to five individuals are selected annually to join the Community of Distinction. The gallery was set up to honour alumni, faculty and staff who have brought distinction and recognition to McMaster University and the Faculty of Health Sciences through innovative scholarship and outstanding research. Please click here to view the complete Community of Distinction.

Edwin E. Daniel, PhD, cultivated and nurtured students to become leaders in education and research around the world during his career as a professor at McMaster University. From 1975 until after he became professor emeritus in 1994, he was an admired teacher and mentor of students from a wide range of disciplines, dedicated to the problem-based learning model and instrumental in exporting it to campuses around the world.

Internationally known for his groundbreaking work on smooth muscle function, he was a brilliant scientist, whose breadth of knowledge and critical thinking ability led to many achievement awards, including being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Michael Gent, DSc, one of the world's leading biostatisticians, was a founding member of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and served as its chair from 1973 to 1979. During his 33 years at McMaster beginning in 1969, he built the university's international reputation as a pre-eminent site in clinical trials.

A leader in shaping health care research, he demonstrated remarkable research productivity, conducting trials and publishing results that changed the global practice of health care. He has been considered an inspiring teacher, a rigorous scientist, and a leader demonstrating charm, wit and honesty. He became professor emeritus in 2002, and contributed to future developments in his field by establishing the Michael Gent Professorship in Healthcare Research.

Ludmila (Niky) Melichar, MA, first played a key role in the development of the Faculty of Health Sciences as the hospital's lead in the building of the McMaster University Medical Centre, a unique facility combining hospital, research and education roles.

Joining the Faculty as an administrator in 1973, her portfolio ranged from managing the biomedical research office and facilities, to the construction of several major buildings on campus and strategic planning. As an assistant professor (part-time), she taught organizational behaviour.

Her leadership, wisdom, negotiating skills and integrity influenced faculty, staff, and students. She retired three times, in 1994, 2000 and 2005, as her extraordinary talent and understanding of the complexities of organizations continued to be sought for special projects.

George Torrance, PhD, became a world leader in the economic evaluation of medical treatments and health services during his 30-year career at McMaster which began in 1967. With expertise in both health sciences and business, he was a pioneer in the development and application of methods to improve health care decision-making.

He helped revolutionize the science and practice of assessing health status and determining the quality of life, and played an essential role in the Faculty's reputation as a world leader in population health sciences. An outstanding teacher, colleague and mentor, he contributed to the career development of multiple generations of clinical and health services researchers.

Karin C. von Schilling, MScN, a professor in the School of Nursing from 1968 to 1988, influenced the move to multidisciplinary, problem-based education of health care professionals both at McMaster University and internationally. Known for upholding the highest standards for education and service, students sought her wisdom and assistance to enhance their learning. She also brought McMaster's expertise to Germany, Austria and Sweden, promoting multi-professional team-building and introducing problem-based learning.

A strong advocate for children, she was instrumental in the implementation of family-centred, multidisciplinary child care in Hamilton, and was the first School of Nursing professor to be cross-appointed to the Department of Pediatrics.



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