Canadian Medical Association

Ottawa; University of Ottawa, 1961; cardiothoracic surgery; founder and former director general, University of Ottawa Heart Institute; retired, Senate of Canada; officer, Order of Canada; recipient, F.N.G. Starr Award, the Canadian Medical Association’s highest honour; laureate, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Died April 7, 2019, aged 83. Survived by his wife Barbara, 3 children and 8 grandchildren. Ottawa Heart Institute President Dr. Thierry Mesana commented: “Together with Heart Institute staff, including those who worked alongside him for decades, I pledge that we will live up to his legacy, and his dream to continue growing his beloved institute.” Former Publisher Russ Mills commented in the Ottawa Citizen: “He was one of Ottawa’s greatest citizens. The term ‘world class’ gets bandied around a lot in times when it probably shouldn’t be, but one thing we do have that is really world class is the Ottawa Heart Institute. And this was his vision; without his plans and his effort, it just wouldn’t exist, and I’m sure it saved many, many lives.” When he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2007, the citation stated: “He is regarded by colleagues as an icon and by patients as the essence of the caring spirit in medicine. A visionary, Dr. Keon turned his dream to build a cardiovascular institute into a magnificent reality as the founder of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 1976. The institute has risen to an international standard of excellence.”

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