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Event Summary

If you were given the opportunity to be a hero, to save someone’s life, would you take it?

Join us on Wednesday, September 23rd at 5:30 p.m. to learn about the Future of Transplantation and Living Organ Donation with Dr. Jason Lee, Kidney Transplant Surgeon and Dr. Sunita Singh, Medical Director of the Living Kidney Donor Program at the Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre at UHN. Guests will also have the opportunity to order a Pizza Burrata kit and follow along in a Masterclass led by Rob Gentile, Chef Director of The King Street Food Company & Buca Restaurants. 

Event Details

Living organ donors choose to give the gift of life. Today, half of the kidney transplants and almost a third of the liver transplants within the Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre at University Health Network (UHN) are made possible through living organ donations; making UHN one of the leading hubs for living organ donation in North America.

But there’s work to be done to ensure everyone living with end-stage organ failure have the chance to live on. 36,000 Canadians live on dialysis, yet only 1,300 people receive a kidney transplant each year. Almost 3,000 others wait for a kidney on the deceased donor waiting list, while 242 patients died while waiting last year. Others have experienced waiting sometimes 8 to 10 years because they have no living organ donor, as the percentage of living kidney donations in Canada goes down, not up. Living donor kidney transplant rates fall dramatically for individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. And the COVID-19 pandemic has made these numbers grow exponentially.

The leaders of the Transplant Program at UHN are already working on “one transplant for life” for recipients, striving to completely eradicate the need for transplant. In the meantime, they have a vision of also caring for living organ donors for life - something no other transplant program in the world is doing.

The Centre for Living Organ Donation at UHN – a world first - was established in 2018 with a goal of increasing living organ donation by 50% within five years. 

Thanks to philanthropic support and leadership from champions like Joanne Kearney, a living donor kidney transplant recipient, her husband Brendan Cahill, a living kidney donor, and many others, UHN is building a global beacon for education to empower patients and their healthcare professionals; pursuing novel medical and surgical innovations that will push the boundaries of living organ donation and transplantation; and recruiting future leaders in living donor transplant to enhance its national and global impact. Everyone who needs a life-saving kidney or liver transplant deserves access to living organ donation. And the Centre will make it happen.

Join us for a conversation on the Future of Transplantation and Living Organ Donation with Dr. Jason Lee, Kidney Transplant Surgeon and Dr. Sunita Singh, Medical Director of the Living Kidney Donor Program at the Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre at UHN. They will discuss what is being done at UHN to address inequities in access to living organ donation and bring down barriers to life-saving care. 

By joining us virtually, you have the opportunity to support healthcare research, education and the enhancement of patient care. Brendan Cahill & Joanne Kearney will generously match dollar-for-dollar all donations made this evening to Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation - doubling your impact.

You also have the opportunity to support our local economy and cook something new with the purchase of a Pizza Burrata Kit and Masterclass led by Rob Gentile, Chef Director of The King Street Food Company & Buca Restaurants. 

Meet our speakers:

Jason Y. Lee MD, MHPE, FRCSC

Dr. Lee's clinical practice focuses primarily on robotic and laparoscopic surgery for kidney transplantation, kidney cancer,  prostate cancer and urinary tract obstruction as well as advanced endourologic surgery for complex kidney stone disease. He is a member of the Kidney Transplant Program within the Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre at UHN.

His research interests include evaluation of innovative surgical technologies, including robotic surgery, for living kidney donation and kidney transplantation, as well as curriculum development, surgical skills assessment, and the use of simulation-based training for the next generation of surgical leaders. 

Sunita Singh MD, MSc, FRCPC

Dr. Singh is the Medical Director of the Living Kidney Donation Program within the Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre at UHN. She also practices in the areas of kidney transplantation and advanced diabetes care and completed her Master of Science in clinical epidemiology and health care research at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Singh’s research interests are focused on the evaluation and care of living kidney donors, as well as the management of diabetes in kidney transplant recipients.

 

TL Insider Chef-in-Residence:  

Chef Rob Gentile, Chef Director of The King Street Food Company & Buca Restaurants

Rob Gentile, Chef Director and Partner of The King Street Food Company’s collection of restaurants, has earned critical acclaim for his disciplined craft, determination to source unique, local ingredients and visionary approach to Italian cuisine. Since Buca’s opening, diners and critics alike have taking note of Rob Gentile’s culinary direction and creativity, resulting in Canada’s 100 Best naming Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville) second in the country (2016), honours from the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Gold Award for Independent Restaurateur (2015) and a prestigious Pinnacle Award from Foodservice and Hospitality naming The King Street Food Company 2014’s Company of the Year in Eastern Canada. 

 

This event will be hosted by Ken Hunt, Publisher, Toronto Life, with an opportunity for guests to ask questions.

The Serving Knowledge Supper Club is presented by the UHN Impact Collective, a group of next-generation leaders who share a passion for community-building and advancing the future of health care by raising awareness and financial support for the highest priorities of Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals.


Event Format: A virtual version of Serving Knowledge Supper Club hosted on Zoom including a conversation with Dr. Jason Lee and Dr. Sunita Singh, a Pizza Burrata Masterclass led by Chef Rob Gentile, an audience Q&A and networking portion. Email questions in advance for Dr. Jason Lee and Dr. Sunita Singh to membership@torontolife.com

Organizer
Toronto Life Insider