Chris McKay Retires….
A team has many hands and those of Chris McKay since her graduation from the Michener Institute in 1999 have been dedicated to serve patients at London Health Science Center.
For over a decade before transitioning to Perfusion at LHSC. Attaining her Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, Chris attained a diploma in Respiratory Therapy. These hands served as an RT at St. Joseph's Hospital in London, Ontario where she practiced the art of airway management and mechanical ventilation within the settings of the NICU, ICU and Operating rooms.
During her tenure at St. Josephs, her ability to mentor began to shine becoming the NALS Instructor for both Respiratory Therapists and Nursing staff for policies and procedures required for the Advanced Life support program for Neonates.
As a certified member in good standing with the Canadian Society of Clinical Perfusion, and the Ontario Society of Clinical Perfusion, Chris stepped up to the plate in a leadership role serving a 3-year term as the Executive Secretary on the CSCP Board of Directors.
When joining the perfusion team as Senior Clinical Perfusionist, Chris covered both Victoria and University Campuses. She witnessed the closing of the original Cardiac surgical program in London located at Victoria Hospital on South Street. She was there for the nostalgic moments as we prepared the heart-lung machines for shipping to University Hospital for the official amalgamation of the Cardiac surgical program.
As a staff Perfusionist, she represented Perfusion Services on the Peri-Operative Blood Conservation Committee, instituting hospital-wide policies and procedures on cell salvage and Acute Normo-volemic Hemodilution and Component therapy.
During this time, Chris presented and lectured at international, national, provincial and local venues, including perfusion and medical schools. She has published articles in Seminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia and Perfusion.
During all this, Chris also found the time in her role as a supportive wife and proud mother of two sons to complete the Emerging Leaders program and London Health Sciences Center.
In 2016 the Leadership bell tolled for Chris when Andrew Cleland retired and she gave her service as Co-Ordinator of Perfusion Services London Health Sciences Center. Among her accomplishments during this time, she helped to create an internship perfusion program at LHSC and hiring and retention incentives for staffing models at the hospital.
During her time in this role, Chris continued to support the CSCP by both presenting at CSCP conferences and sitting on CSCP Discussion panels.
Chris even had a world premiere in her hands, seeing the first-ever clinical use of the Quest MPS3.
On retirement In London, we have a ceremony/tradition we call the passing of the Gus Fabrikis Pension Clamp. For those of you who don’t know him, Gus was one of the pioneers of Perfusion in Canada and the first Chief of Perfusion in London, Ontario.
After his passing, we began the tradition of passing a gold-plated clamp into the hands of our retiree.
As a link to the hands of Gus, we invited his wife, Soula Fabrikis, to represent Gus to pass the clamp for the first time to Jim MacDonald for him to place on the plaque next to his name. Since then, the plaque has been presented at the retirement party for the retiree to move and place on the clamp next to their name.
Thus each retiree since then from LHSC has had their hand on this one clamp representing the one piece of perfusion equipment we can say has been in the hands of all the retired perfusionists for LHSC.
The inscription on this plaque reads ….
A Successful team has many hands …..this Clamp has been passed through these.
Chris will be one of the few that can say her feet rested on the marble perfusion window ledge overlooking the river from the now demolished old Victoria Hospital on South Street perfusion office from which the base of this plaque is made.
While the reality is Chris won’t put her feet up for long, please join me in congratulating Chris as she closes the book on this chapter of her career at LHSC.
So very proud to call her both my friend and colleague.
Peter Allen, CPC