01 Apr A Tribute to Dr. Jane Gillett, a true pioneer in the field of brain injury treatment
The Globe and Mail published a wonderful article this week discussing the life and career of this supremely talented doctor. Dr. Gillett was well known as the medical director of the Acquired Brain Injury Program at Hamilton Health Sciences and as an associate professor at McMaster University in Hamilton.
Dr. Gillett and her team worked closely with teachers, parents, other caregivers and the patients themselves. Her approach when designing a pediatric care program was three-fold:
1. Base the program in the patient’s community;
2. The program has to be child and family centred;
3. The program has to optimize the use of local resources
Dr. Gillett was the pioneer spokesperson on concussions, before they hit the recent media spotlight. She would always emphasize the importance of wearing helmets and insisted that a concussion is a brain injury that requires immediate treatment. She aimed to teach educators, parents and coaches about proper safety gear for children and youth.
Her dedication to acquired brain injury research was demonstrated through her involvement in various associations and committees, some included;
· Founder and president of the International Pediatric Brain Injury Society
· Founder of the Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Community Outreach Program in London, Ontario; an innovative care program that became an international prototype
· Chair of the Knowledge Mobilization Committee of the Trauma Foundation
· Founder founded the Aphasia Centre in North York for people affected by stroke, traumatic brain injuries or neurological diseases.
Dr. Gillett had a unique style and when it came to her patients, she looked at the big picture: where would these patients be in six months, one year, five years down the road? She took a practical, rational approach to treatment, working with occupational therapists and speech pathologists. A fellow physician stated, “The biggest loss is for the people with acquired brain injury who will never have her care.”
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi
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