Canadian Medical Association

Toronto; Washington University School of Medicine (US), 1956; pediatric surgery. Died July 2, 2020, aged 89. Survived by 4 children and 8 grandchildren. “Dr. Filler was a distinguished pediatric surgeon, first at Harvard Medical School and then in Toronto, where he served an unprecedented 18-year term as surgeon-in-chief at the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC). At the University of Toronto he became professor of surgery and pediatrics, and professor emeritus. Dr. Filler was an active member in more than a dozen prestigious Canadian and international medical societies, and has published more than 170 scientific articles and 80 book chapters. He held a 6-year governorship in the American College of Surgeons, and was elected president of the American Pediatric Surgical Association in 1991. He is known for his many contributions to the surgical treatment of infants and children, and is recognized as an expert in the separation of Siamese twins. In 1979 he performed an innovative operation at HSC on Herbie Quinones from New York. The publicity from this operation helped establish the Herbie Fund at Sick Kids to help children with serious health problems from around the world. In 1995 he initiated a telemedicine program at Sick Kids, the first in Ontario. He was a founding member of the Canadian Society of Telehealth in 1998, and served as its president from 2000 to 2002. In 2006, the Ministry of Health started the Ontario Telemedicine Network, a province-wide telemedicine network that encompasses more than 600 sites. Dr. Filler served as the first chair of its board until 2009. Earlier, he was awarded the Bronze Star by the US army for his treatment of Vietnamese children during his 1-year tour of duty as a military surgeon during the Vietnam War. In his career he received many awards, including the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the Variety Club’s Sir James Carreras Award, and the Alumni Achievement Award from the Washington University School of Medicine. As well, Sick Kids has established an endowed chair in pediatric surgery in his name.”

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