With late winter sunshine streaming through the windows overlooking The Max Tanenbaum Healing Garden, patients, family, friends and colleagues of the late Dr. Hans Messner gathered on the 14th floor at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre to officially rename the Allogenic Transplant Program in his honour.
Dr. Messner, who pioneered stem cell transplantation at the Princess Margaret over a career spanning more than 40 years, died in the cancer centre in July of last year.
His wife, Sandy, cut a ribbon to unveil the new sign for the Hans Messner Allogenic Transplant Program. Senior leaders of UHN and the Princess Margaret, including Dr. Kevin Smith, UHN President & CEO, Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director of the cancer centre, Marnie Escaf, SVP, UHN, and PM Site Lead, Dr. Amit Oza, Head of the Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology, Dr. Jonas Mattsson, Director of the newly-renamed program, and its Nurse Manager, Susan Clarke, spoke of Dr. Messner's dedication to his patients and the program, which continued even in the final days of his life in palliative care.
Sandy Messner spoke of her husband's reaction when he learned of the honour just prior to his death: "With tears in his eyes, he said: 'Imagine them wanting to name the program after someone like me.'"
The annual winter 25 + Year Service Club Wine & Cheese Event was held at the end of February.
The invitation-only event featuring hot and cold hors d'oeuvres along with wine, recognizes the service and efforts of UHN employees and volunteers who have served the organization for 25 years or more.
As of Dec. 31, 2018, 1,629 employees and volunteers had 25 years or more service at UHN.