CAS Humanitarian Award
Dr Jane Heggie
Dr Jane Heggie is an anesthesiologist and the Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at the Toronto General Hospital and an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of anesthesia for adults with congenital heart disease, cardiac anesthesia, and trans-esophageal echocardiography, and has devoted a considerable amount of her personal time to humanitarian missions with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Her numerous overseas volunteer activities include a 4-week anesthesia deployment with the ICRC to Mosul, Iraq, during the war in 2017, which involved providing anesthesia care to civilian and military wounded patients, teaching of trainees and management of new facilities and equipment, and 2 weeks on the front line as medical team leader at the trauma stabilization unit in Scorpion Junction.
In the same year, Dr Heggie went on another deployment with the Red Cross to Bangladesh, providing dire patient care and teaching local medical personnel during the mass migration of the Rohingya people to southern Bangladesh. This included emergency surgical and obstetrical care and management of measles and diphtheria epidemics at a field hospital in the refugee camp.
Two years later, in 2019, followed an 8-week deployment with the ICRC to Yemen, where she provided anesthetic care and taught local anesthesia providers in a regional hospital near the front lines of the war.
Most recently in 2021, Dr Heggie was the Medical Lead for the Central Mediterranean mission of the Red Cross on a ship off the coast of Libya to provide medical care to refugees.
In Canada, she shelters new immigrants in her home until they can establish themselves, and she takes a very personal interest in all newly arrived non-Canadian Anesthesia Fellows, seeing that they are not alone during holidays and vacations. Moreover, she has inspired many of her colleagues to take up overseas anesthesia volunteer assignments.
Given in recognition of excellence in global anesthesiology.