Spotlight on Health is a monthly newsletter featuring health tips, profiles of doctors making a difference around Ontario, and recent news from the Ontario Medical Association
Dr. Len Cortese:
Helping make a difference in his hometown
Dr. Len Cortese is a world-renowned expert in his field who travels the world, but for him, being able to help make a difference in the lives of his patients at home in Windsor is the best part of his job.
The psychiatrist grew up in the border city and had every intention of coming back home to practice after finishing his specialty training at the University of Western Ontario in London, but cupid had other plans.
“My plans were always to come back to where I grew up but I met my future wife there and we ended up staying in London for 20 years,” he said.
They did move back 13 years ago and Dr. Cortese has been busy making a difference in his hometown ever since – though he remains humble about his impact.
Patient inspires doctor to help
make a difference for all
Palliative care doctor Dr. Darren Cargill (right) with Laura Duma and her mom Ana-Corneila Duma.
By Dr. Darren Cargill
As a doctor, I see pain and suffering every day and it is my job to do what I can to help alleviate that pain.
For me, that feeling extends beyond the bedside and so when I saw the pain and suffering of Dan Duma I did what I could to help.
The long-time Ontario resident had been living and working in Fort McMurray, Alberta when he was diagnosed with cancer. Forced from his home by the unprecedented wild fires in May, Dan was evacuated to Edmonton where he was then given the unfortunate news that his cancer was terminal. Like the majority of Canadians who receive this type of diagnosis, he decided that he wanted be with his family. So he returned to Windsor, where he had previously lived and where his two grown daughters live, to receive palliative and end-of-life care.
Once here, his family learned how difficult it would be to fulfill his wish. Our laws allowed for “medically necessary” treatment, but not for home care. At a time when they should have been focused on being there for their father and husband, Dan’s family was dealing with frustration and bureaucracy.