Community Service Award 2011
Dr. Ian Mitchell
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine
Professor Ian Mitchell is a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Calgary, a Paediatrician specializing in paediatric lung disease and is also a bioethicist. He has worked for the past 30 years with families affected by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and has been an instrumental volunteer with the SIDS Calgary Society. He has been actively involved with the Society since 1982. The Society is dedicated to: providing comprehensive support to SIDS families, representing the interests of SIDS parents, educating health care professionals and the public and raising funds for this work and SIDS research. Professor Mitchell is currently a Society Director and the Professional Advisory Committee Chair.
He has helped parent-led groups provide peer support to a great many bereaved parents (and their friends and relatives) in Calgary. He is active locally, provincially and nationally in advocating for measures to reduce infant death, and works with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in analyzing factors involved in sudden unexpected death in infants. He has presented at a number of International Conferences on Infant Death. It is said that Dr. Mitchell has never restricted his knowledge to the medical arena and has always willingly shared many of his initiatives with community groups and parents. This includes assisting in the development of a DVD which helps first responders prepare for the possibility of arriving at a SIDS death.
His undergraduate medical training was in Edinburgh, Scotland with post-graduate training in paediatrics, paediatric lung disease and paediatric critical care also in Edinburgh. He completed a research Fellowship in the University of Toronto (Hospital for Sick Children). He is a Member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, UK, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and Fellow of the College of Chest Physicians. He has an MA in Bioethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin, USA.
He has been involved with clinical care, teaching and research on various aspects of paediatrics, particularly respiratory disease and ethics issues for about 40 years. Current research as Principal Investigator includes assessment of immunization for the common Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in a Canada wide study, quality of life issues of RSV infection. Ethics research includes issues of justice in home care of children with complex medical conditions, implications of newborn screening for the genetic disorder Cystic Fibrosis, implications of reproductive technology on the offspring and refusal of treatment issues in teens.
He has made over 90 peer reviewed contributions to the literature; and many more abstracts, invited articles, books and book chapters on various aspects of paediatrics, paediatric lung disease and ethics. He is a former President of the Canadian Bioethics Society and currently a member of the Canadian Medical Association Committee on Ethics. He has received many teaching awards and was awarded the Lorraine Award by the Alberta Lung Association for lifetime contributions to lung health. He is an Honorary Fellow, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh.
He is married, has two children and four grandchildren.