Renowned neurosurgeon-scientist Dr. Ivar Mendez joins University of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Health Region

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- January 31, 2013 2013-01-15-OTHER Saskatoon - The University Of Saskatchewan College of Medicine and the Saskatoon Health Region are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ivar Mendez as unified department head for the Department of Surgery. Mendez will assume his new role on June 1 for a five-year term.

Mendez is renowned for his innovative work in brain repair, stem cells, functional neurosurgery and robotics. He has over 170 scientific publications and is recognized as an expert in his field. He has received numerous awards for his research including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Medal Award in Surgery.
"Recruiting Dr. Mendez to the University of Saskatchewan is a win for our institution," said Lou Qualtiere, acting dean of medicine. "His credentials and accolades speak volumes. The leadership and vision Dr. Mendez has demonstrated will be enormous assets for the college and are a perfect complement to our research aspirations."
Mendez comes to Saskatchewan from Dalhousie University in Halifax where he was the head of neurosurgery for 12 years. He is the founder and chairman of the Brain Repair Centre, a multi-institutional health research institute in Atlantic Canada.
"Saskatchewan has offered me a role that is unique to all of Canada, and very exciting," said Mendez. "I'll be the unified academic head for all surgery in the province - a pioneering role that will allow me to put together a strategy for the whole province. It's an opportunity I couldn't pass up and the next logical step in my career."
Mendez plans to continue to collaborate with colleagues in Nova Scotia.
"We are delighted to have been able to attract someone with the qualifications and reputation of Dr. Mendez to our health region," says Dr. Alan Casson, vice-president integrated health services, Saskatoon Health Region. "With the focus on the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative and related surgical and academic programs, his expertise will contribute to future provincial health-related initiatives."
Mendez is also well known for his humanitarian work. He founded the Ivar Mendez International Foundation and has instituted programs for school breakfast, dental care and computer education in his native Bolivia. Mendez also received the Health Canada 2011 Contribution to the Improvement of the Health of Canadians Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
For more information, contact:
Laura Herman, Communications Officer, College of Medicine (306) 966-6059
Linda Walker, Media Relations Consultant, Saskatoon Health Region (306) 655-3476

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