Dr. Ralph Meyer - President, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre
Driving innovation in new treatments and processes to deliver compassionate and exemplary care
In August, Hamilton Health Sciences welcomed back to our local healthcare community, Dr. Ralph Meyer, when he took on the role of President, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre and Regional Vice-President, Cancer Care Ontario for the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) Regional Cancer Program. Dr. Meyer also resumes a position with McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Sciences as Professor in the Department of Oncology.
An accomplished and highly respected hematologist, Dr. Meyer is regarded as one of Canada’s leading experts in cancer clinical trials. His research has emphasized the testing of new therapies for patients with cancers of the blood and lymph systems including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and leukemia. In particular, he is recognized for helping evaluate cancer therapies designed to reduce the long-term side effects of treatment for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma. Dr. Meyer returns to Hamilton after a seven year term as Director of Canada’s NCIC Clinical Trials Group, an organization responsible for conducting national and international clinical trials that have led to new therapies for cancer patients.
“My career focus and the work I’ve done to support testing of new treatments in cancer clinical trials has been motivated by a desire to improve patient outcomes,” says Dr. Meyer.
“Naturally, HHS’ organizational commitment to enhancing the patient experience by providing high quality care and its vision of Best Care for All resonates with me. In accepting to lead the JHCC and the strategies to address cancer in our region, I am deeply committed to ensuring that Best Care for All is not just a vision, but the only standard of care provided to all patients who walk through the doors of the hospital and cancer centre.”
The portfolio of care and services at the JHCC is quite extensive. The JHCC is not only a leader in orthopedics and cancer care, but also provides inpatient acute and palliative care for the Hamilton community, plus diagnostic, laboratory and imaging services to support the needs of cancer patients across the region. Since taking the helm of the JHCC, Dr. Meyer has made it a point to meet with site leadership and various staff and physicians to develop a deeper understanding of the site. As he prepares to steer the organization forward, what he’s discovered in the last two months is extremely encouraging.
“It’s evident that the team of healthcare professionals at the JHCC is dedicated to quality patient care. Building on this foundation, my goals include ensuring that here in Hamilton we are leaders in developing innovative new treatments and processes of care for those of our community and region, and that the care we provide is compassionate and exemplary. ”
Dr. Meyer shares the same commitment for the HNHB Regional Cancer Program, placing focus on three priority areas: strengthening the integrated regional cancer program; improving the patient experience along each step of the cancer journey; and enhancing cancer prevention, screening and diagnostic assessment programs.
“Collaboration among regional healthcare partners will be vital in establishing a regional cancer program that consistently delivers high quality cancer care to every patient, no matter where they live in the region.”
In addition to the challenging rewards up ahead at the JHCC and with the regional cancer program, Dr. Meyer is also happy to be back and contribute to a thriving healthcare community. No stranger to the area, Dr. Meyer received his medical degree from McMaster University in 1978 and also completed his residency training in Internal Medicine (1982) and Hematology (1984) in Hamilton. In 1984, he joined the Department of Medicine, McMaster University and was its Division Director of Hematology from 2000 - 2006. He also previously held positions of Head of Hematology at St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Hamilton Civic Hospitals and the Juravinski Cancer Centre.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to be back in Hamilton - to the place where my medical career started and where my commitment to evidence-based care was cultivated. There is a deep sense of pride in this healthcare community and there is much reason for it. In the 1960s, McMaster University pioneered problem-based-learning (PBL) within the medical school curriculum, which has since become a respected tool worldwide. Even now, research, innovation and continuous learning continue to flourish with the establishment of the Innovation Park in the city. It’s a privilege to be able to be part of such a culture of interprofessional collaboration.”