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September 12, 2003

Debbie Neufert
Media Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 74772

Landmark recruitment for the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario

(LONDON, Ontario) The Children's Hospital of Western Ontario (CHWO) and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) announced today the recruitment of six new pediatric specialists, the largest single pediatrician recruitment ever for the children's hospital.

The pediatrician recruits are as follows: Dr. Dion Pepelassis, pediatric cardiology, Dr. Douglas Fraser, pediatric critical care, Dr. Robert Stein, pediatric endocrinology, Dr. Craig Campbell, pediatric neurology, Dr. Narayan Prasad, pediatric neurology, Dr. Chitra Prasad, pediatric metabolic and genetic disorders. For the first time the CHWO now has three neurologists and three endocrinologists. The six pediatricians also have joint appointments with The University of Western Ontario.

"Recruitment of pediatric specialists is a top priority for the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario and the hospital is succeeding in a highly competitive market," says Tim Frewen, chief pediatrician at CHWO. Frewen adds, "The addition of these six highly skilled pediatricians further strengthens the hospital's commitment to providing the best possible care for the children of Southwestern Ontario. This latest recruitment will also have a real positive impact on teaching and research."

"The new alternate funding agreement is making a difference in the hospital's aggressive physician recruitment effort, particularly in a time when hospitals right across Canada are struggling to retain and recruit physicians," says Tony Dagnone, LHSC president and chief executive officer.

Unique to this recruitment is a husband and wife team, Narayan and Chitra Prasad, who have come from the Children's Hospital of Winnipeg. Both have been trained and certified in Canada and the United States, and they continue to collaborate on many research projects together in the area of genetic neurological disorders.

Narayan Prasad, a pediatric neurologist, who has a special interest in the medical management of epilepsy in children, says, "The hospital's reputation as a leader in the field of clinical neurological sciences, combined with the opportunity to work with such talented colleagues to further strengthen and expand patient care, were among the many reasons we chose London." He adds, "It is also exciting to know that we will be part of the future children's hospital currently under construction."

Chitra Prasad, a clinical and biochemical geneticist, who is looking forward to building on the current metabolic program, says, "We are excited about the many new professional opportunities that are here for us at the children's hospital. Our colleagues and the community have been very welcoming and that too played a big part in our decision to come to London."

"The six new pediatricians are an outstanding addition to our children's care team and their expertise and experience will serve our patients well," says Ellen Rosen, LHSC vice-president women/children.