Remembering the life and legacy of Dr. Peter Dent
Our team is remembering the life and legacy of Dr. Peter Dent following his passing late last week.
Dr. Dent was known across our hospital community in many capacities – as a pediatrician, professor, researcher, innovator, mentor, community leader, care provider, and father. Among the countless achievements made during his 50-year medical career, which includes a decade holding the position of chief and chair of pediatrics, he will arguably be best remembered as the visionary and driving force behind the creation of what is now known as McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) and the adjacent Ronald McDonald House.
Dr. Dent tirelessly pursued a bold vision to develop a standalone, pediatric health care centre of excellence in our community. A place where children, youth and families facing the most critical and challenging health conditions could easily access world-class specialty medicine, treatment and care. Serving the needs of this unique patient population was as important then as it is today, and more than 30 years later, hundreds of thousands of children and families from our local community and across Ontario have benefitted from Dr. Dent’s passion and efforts. MCH continues to stand tall amongst its peers thanks to the strong foundation laid by Dr. Dent, upon which we continue to build.
In 2017, Dr. Dent’s clinical expertise, trailblazing administrative leadership, and unrelenting dedication to children’s health and wellbeing resulted in him being invested as a Member of the Order of Canada – one of the country’s highest civilian honours.
Flags at Hamilton Health Sciences have been flying at half-staff in honour of those whose remains are buried in unmarked graves at former residential schools and their families. This week, the flag at MCH will also fly at half-staff in honour of Dr. Dent and his legacy.
In celebration of the deep impact of Dr. Dent’s work in the areas of education, research and clinical practice, one collaborative fund is being created at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation. The funds will be used to honour the legacy of Dr. Peter Dent, as guided by the Dent family, the Department of Pediatrics and McMaster Children’s Hospital. Members of the hospital, university and community who would like to support Dr. Dent’s legacy or make a memorial donation are welcome to do so.
Our team is planning for additional recognition of Dr. Dent’s contributions at a later date. Until then, we invite you to reflect on the significance of MCH and everything that we provide to our patients, families and community, as we acknowledge the person whose leadership was so key to making our hospital a reality.
Bruce Squires, President, McMaster Children’s Hospital
Dr. Angelo Mikrogianakis, Chief and Chair of Pediatrics, McMaster Children’s Hospital & McMaster University