​​Shirlee Nadler
Shirlee Nadler has been Administrative Assistant for vascular surgeon, Dr. K. Wayne Johnston, for the past 33 years. (Photo: UHN/PMCC)


They come from starkly contrasting professional backgrounds and have probably never met, but Peter Nielsen and Shirlee Nadler, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) staff members, have several key things in common. Each has been a UHN employee for more than 30 years, played a role in supporting the cardiovascular program at PMCC, and will retire on the same day.

That day is today.

Peter, Nurse Manager, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, started his hospital career in his hometown of Brockville as a young nursing student. He graduated in 1978 from the Toronto General Hospital Campus of George Brown College. His first job was on the Urology Ward at TGH, then on the Respiratory Care Unit, Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and the Coronary ICU.

In 1990, Peter became Nurse Manager of the Cardiology Inpatient Unit. After 24 years of managing the Cardiology Inpatient Unit, he left to become the permanent manager of the Cath Lab and Cardiac Triage. Over the last two years, he has had a key role in planning for the expansion of the Cath Lab.

Peter Nielsen
Peter Nielsen, Nurse Manager, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, has worked at the Toronto General Hospital for 39 years. (Photo: UHN/PMCC)


Shirlee arrived at TGH almost 35 years ago, having just moved from her hometown, Montreal. She first worked as an Administrative Assistant for two other doctors before meeting vascular surgeon and Medical Director of the PMCC's Vascular Lab, Dr. K. Wayne Johnston, whom she's been with for 33 years.  Shirlee juggled schedules and meetings while making sure patients had all the information they needed. For the past five years, she's also been assisting vascular surgeon Dr. Graham Roche-Nagle.

We asked Peter and Shirlee about their time at the PMCC and what comes next.


What is your fondest memory of working at the PMCC?

Peter: The program is large with many sub-specialty areas. It provides opportunities for staff to build their careers and pursue areas of interest. I've met many new and wonderful people over the years. I've also re-encountered people who I worked with in the past, but they're in new and different roles. That's always nice—like meeting old friends and getting reacquainted.

Shirlee: My fondest memory would be when Dr. Johnston was the Head of the Vascular Lab, Division Head and Program Director of Vascular Surgery, and President of the Society for Vascular Surgery. I've also seen the career growth of young fellows who are still with PMCC today, including Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director, and Dr. Thomas Lindsay, Medical Director of the Vascular Clinic.  As well, Dr. Johnston and Dr. Roche-Nagle have been very supportive throughout my career.


What will you miss the most about your work? What will you miss the least?

Peter:  The daily contact with many people: those who I work closely with and the many others from all areas of the hospital who I meet daily on my travels through the hallways. I won't miss the 7 a.m. meetings—I'm not a morning person.

Shirlee: I'll miss the camaraderie and moments with my co-workers who have become friends—like my morning coffee with Amicie Davies, a Program Coordinator and a close colleague. I won't miss the hectic clinic days.

​What are your retirement plans?

Peter: I'm an avid gardener, so I'm going to start the summer by giving my garden all the attention that I haven't had time for while working. I'm also going to do some traveling beginning with a trip through the Rocky Mountains in the fall. 

Shirlee: After sleeping for days, I'll take courses, exercise and be stress-free (I hope).

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