Doctors and hospital administrators throughout Canada are in mourning this week upon learning the news that renowned emergency physician Dr. Paul Hannam died suddenly and unexpectedly while exercising on Saturday, as CTV News Toronto reported.
Hannam, who was currently serving as chief of emergency medicine and program medical director at North York General Hospital was reported to have collapsed while jogging, according to a tweet posted by a friend and fellow doctor Howard Ovens.
“Olympic sailor, marathon runner, family man, ED director at NYGH, a sweet, thoughtful, compassionate and gentle man died suddenly today on a run,” said Ovens, who attached a photo of Hannan and added, “The quintessential mensch. Hug someone you love.”
According to Canadian Running magazine, Hannam was believed to be in his early 50s and was an accomplished athlete in addition to being a highly-respected doctor and assistant professor at the University of Toronto.
Described as an avid marathon runner, and a recent participant in the Around the Bay 30k Road race, Hannam also competed in the 1996 Olympic games in the sport of sailing.
As news of Hannam’s death began to spread, tributes poured in from friends and former co-workers from across the medical community, including administrators at East York’s Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), where he served two terms as the facility’s chief emergency director.
“Our hearts are heavy as we remember our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Paul Hannam, who served as our Chief of ED for 10+ years. We will not soon forget his incredible contributions to our hospital and community,” a message posted to the MGH Twitter account read.
MGH President and CEO Sarah Downey lauded Hannam as a “wonderful person in every way” and offered condolences to Twitter handle @RosemaryHannam, the late doctor’s wife.
No information as to a conclusive cause of death have been released, and funeral arrangements have not been announced, though it is clear that Dr. Hannam leaves behind a world of friends, family, and grateful patients who will never forget the professionalism and dedication with which he lived his life.