sydney cardiothoracic surgeons
Issue 2 December 2009
Friends of Baird – Steve Suttor
Our fundraising efforts this year “I had further surgery in 1991 give back to the medical profession,
reconnected us to a former Sydney at Strathfield Hospital where they especially in the heart-lung field.
Cardiothoracic Surgeons patient inserted a tube into my left lung and To me, if it wasn’t for their skill and
- Steve Suttor. Steve is a keen sup- a yellow liquid went into my lung technology, I wouldn’t be here.
porter of The Baird Institute, and he cavity. This was supposed to make “The Baird Institute is the only
offered to share his story with us. the lung stick to the side, therefore organisation that does specific research
“My illness, a spontaneous pneumo- preventing it from collapsing. So into cardiothoracic surgical techniques.
thorax, occurred when I was 15. The my lungs are permanently stuck This research will result in better treat-
operation - a pleurodesis - causes the together at the top on both sides. ment, better procedures and overall a
membranes around the lung to stick “Basically I almost died twice. I better recovery for all the people who
together and prevents the build-up of owe my life to the doctors and nurs- face these diseases every day. For me,
fluid in the space between the mem- es who worked to save my life. I am the choice to support such an organisa-
branes. The operation was conducted forever in their debt for still being tion and to help them fundraise for
20 years ago at St George Hospital. alive - so I want to do something to their research work is obvious.”
From the Chairman’s Desk
2009 has been an extremely busy more about New Chair of
year for The Baird Institute. Jamie’s story in
We have maintained our focus on this edition. Cardiothoracic
mesothelioma and heart failure and Despite
with support from two of our major the economic Surgery
research partners, Medtronic and challenges
St Jude we are able to offer two new of 2009 we Congratulations go to The Baird
scholarships commencing in 2010. have been Institute’s Chairman, Professor Paul
Our Medtronic Scholarship will fortunate to Bannon, who earlier this year was
focus on clinical or laboratory based have a number appointed Professor and Chair of
research into the mechanisms and of corporate Cardiothoracic Surgery, Surgery,
management of heart failure. While supporters Central Clinical School at Sydney
our St Jude Scholarship will continue coming to our fundraising University. Paul holds the first
the work we have been doing for the assistance. Our very sincere thanks Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery at
last 2 years on the development of go to each of these organisations for Sydney University.
novel bio-compatible bypass conduits their generosity and support.
and their surgical application. I would also like to take this
Dr Michael Byrom who is the current opportunity to welcome all our
St Jude Scholarship holder is profiled new Partners in Research. Future
in this edition of Heart to Heart. Focus, our regular donor program,
At The Baird Institute we are has seen a number of our donors
fortunate to have many dedicated deciding to donate each month and
and caring people willing to become a Partner in Research. Our
support our work and we are very sincere thanks to you all for your
appreciative of all their efforts. regular support.
I would particularly like to The work of The Baird Institute
thank Steve, Michele and Jamie is only possible due to you – our Paul Bannon and Lucy Bannon
Dallimore for all their hard work donors - I would like to thank
organising the very successful night each and every one of you for your
Blues for Baird in Nowra and continuing support. Inside this issue:
Mrs Pat Johnson for her year-long Season’s Greetings Research Update 2
fundraising in Mudgee culminating and best wishes How your Support Helps -
in the Mudgee Ball. for 2010. Jamie’s Story 2
Jamie Dallimore was born with
a heart condition known as aortic Meet our Scholarship Holders -
stenosis. Earlier this year I conducted Michael Byrom & Tristan Yan 3
open heart surgery replacing his faulty Thanks to Our Supporters 3
heart valve with a mechanical one. Professor Paul Bannon News Update 4
The surgery was a success and Jamie PhD MBBS FRACS Our Team - Jean Haavasalu 4
has recovered perfectly. You can read Chairman
Heart and Lung Research Update -
Meet our extraordinary Clinical Trials Coordinators!
Catherine Powell and Lisa including data entry, follow up with
Turner both have a background patients and liaison with sponsors.
of Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Currently, Lisa and Catherin are
Nursing and have worked at managing four clinical trials:
Strathfield Private Hospital and • Warfarin SMART Study
RPAH over the last 12 years. - a Self Management of
The Cardiothoracic Clinical Trials Anticoagulation Research Study
Coordinator role was established in in collaboration with ROCHE
2003 when Catherine was employed Diagnostics
with the commencement of the • ATACAS - (Aspirin and
Warfarin SMART Study and the Tranexamic Acid for Catherine Powell and Lisa Turner
updating of the Patient Warfarin Coronary Artery Surgery)
Education Clinic. In 2004 Lisa joined - an International multicenter Australasian Society for Cardiac
Catherine and the role has grown into randomised trial looking at the and Thoracic Surgeons). This
the comprehensive role it is today. use of Aspirin and Tranexamic database assists the continuing
Clinical Trials Coordination is acid in coronary artery bypass monitoring of patient outcomes in
an important role and forms an graft (CABG) surgery our area of speciality.
integral part of our research work. • NOVEL - this is a Temporary The Heart Failure Surgery Data-
Clinical Trials are research programs IVC Filter and the First-in- base collects information that may
conducted with patients to evaluate Man trial in collaboration with improve the treatment for patients
a new medical treatment, drug, or the RPAH Vascular Surgery who have had surgery for heart failure.
device. The purpose of clinical trials Department and NOVATE Finally, Lisa and Catherine also
is to find new and improved methods • CORONARY - Comparing the manage the Warfarin Education
of treating different diseases and outcome of On Pump and Off Clinic. All RPAH patients who
special conditions. Pump Coronary Artery Bypass require warfarin have access to the
Clinical Trials Management Surgery Education Clinic. This is a one
involves a number of activities includ- In addition to the clinical trials on one education session covering
ing: ethics applications and reports; coordination Lisa and Catherine all aspects of safe anticoagulation
engagement and recruitment of con- manage two large databases. The management. The majority of
senting patients; coordination of trail RPAH Cardiothoracic Surgery these patients are referred by the
randomisation; trial administration database provides reports to the Cardiothoracic Department.
How your Support Helps – Jamie’s Story
Jamie Dallimore was first diagnosed full confidence in Paul as a surgeon. If his two older
with aortic stenosis as a young child. Jamie had to be operated on, we were brothers, Tim
The family GP, Dr Andrew Bonney, happy to have this guy do it. and Jono, are
first picked up Jamie’s heart murmur “We now see the results of the all keen musi-
when he was one about one year surgery and how well Jamie has cians. They
old. As a result, he has been seeing recovered and we know that it has came up with
a cardiologist all his life to monitor a lot to do with the skill of the the idea of
the progress of his heart condition. surgeon and his team and the care pooling their
Just before Christmas last year Jamie received while he was in talents and
Jamie was told he had between one hospital. We will be forever grateful joining with
and five years to live unless he had to Paul and his team and the staff other musi-
surgery for this heart condition. at Strathfield Private Hospital for cian friends to Jamie Dallimore
“I got a big pit in my stomach when looking after Jamie so well.” put on a blues
I heard what the doctor said. I had no “We feel overwhelming gratitude concert to raise money for The Baird
symptoms, only shortness of breath, because they have given our son a Institute. This was a tremendously
so you wouldn’t know,” said Jamie. second chance at life,” Michele added. successful event raising nearly
“Going to see Paul Bannon for The surgery was a tremendous $7000!
the first time was a fairly daunting success and Jamie is now getting Jamie is on a bit of a high at the
experience. We knew we were on with his life. He has just been moment. He turned nineteen
there to discuss the process of the accepted to study Nursing at the in October and was heard to say
operation, so he gave us the full University of Tasmania at their “I am so happy I made it to 19!”.
impact of what surgery would Darlinghurst Campus and he will be He has now passed the six month
involve and made it all so real,” said attached to St Vincent’s and Mater anniversary date of his operation - a
Michele Dallimore, Jamie’s Mum. Hospitals. Jamie now feels he can very big milestone.
“Before that, we were able to keep start his life afresh. Our best wishes go to Jamie,
it at arms length, so to speak. It was That gratitude prompted the Dal- and our most sincere thanks to
very confronting and emotional for all limores to want to give something the Dallimore Family for all their
of us. BUT we all walked away having back. Jamie, Steve, Jamie’s Dad and support and generosity.
2 Heart to heart
Meet our Scholarship Holders
Tristan has been appointed a Car- Washington DC, where he completed perform a de-
diothoracic Surgical Training Post his Surgical Oncology Research Fel- tailed analysis
at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospi- lowship in Peritoneal Mesothelioma. of clinico-
tal (RPAH) for 2009 and 2010. At In 2007 he returned to Sydney pathologic and
the same time he will be involved and graduated with a Doctor treatment-
in the research of malignant pleu- of Philosophy in Surgery at the related data
ral mesothelioma (MPM) for The University of New South Wales. in a cohort of
Baird Institute, under the guid- Tristan has made a major contribution 540 patients
ance of Professors Paul Bannon to the literature in the field of Surgical with MPM to
and Brian McCaughan. Tristan Oncology. At the end of 2007, he was determine the
is the inaugural Slater & Gordon ranked 1st for Cardiothoracic Surgical safety and effi- Tristan Yan
Research Scholarship recipient. Training and 2nd for General Surgical cacy of surgery,
Tristan was born in Beijing and Training among all applicants in adjuvant chemotherapy and radio-
came to Australia when he was 17. Australia and New Zealand. therapy. Second, he will work closely
He graduated from the University Tristan is indebted to his surgical with senior colleagues to establish
of New South Wales, with Bachelor mentors. He appreciates Professor a tissue bank and identify potential
of Science (Medicine), Bachelor of David Morris who taught him how biomarkers in order to stratify and
Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in to care for patients and introduced individualize treatment therapies for
2004. As soon as he completed his him into the fascinating world of mesothelioma patients.
Internship Training at the St George academic surgery, which is the link This is only Tristan’s fourth year
Hospital in 2005, he went on to between medical science and the out of medical school and indeed
work with a prominent surgeon, Dr patient’s bedside. it has been a fast track for him, but
Paul H. Sugarbaker, for one year at Tristan’s research for The Baird he understands that this is just the
the Washington Cancer Institute in Institute is two fold. First, he will beginning.
Michael Byrom is our inaugural St niques in basic science developed
Jude Research Scholarship holder, in the laboratory to design mate-
due to complete his work with us in rials that can then be taken from
December 2009. The aim of his work ‘bench to bedside’ and applied to
is to develop a novel vascular bypass clinical problems in patients
conduit using synthetic human elastin. • Exposure to the way the surgeons
Michael came from New Zealand, in the Sydney Cardiothoracic Sur-
half-way through his 6 year training geons group incorporate research
in cardiothoracic surgery. He moved in their clinical practice to develop
to Sydney with his pregnant wife in a career in academic surgery. Michael Byrom and his family
January 2007 to undertake a PhD at “Overall the experience has been
the University of Sydney. extremely positive and rewarding. through Prof Paul Bannon at The
His research is a collaboration Despite the challenges of moving to Baird Institute has provided me with
between many fields including a new country we settled in quickly a wealth of opportunities to pursue
cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, and have thoroughly enjoyed the my interest in surgical research and
biochemistry, and physics, with the warm (sometimes hot!) climate and to develop the skills and experience
aim of developing new conduits for the friendliness of people we have met needed to continue this interest as a
use in vascular bypass surgery. along the way. The structure provided career in academic surgery.”
The key challenges in his work
involved developing methods to study
and use elastin, an important protein Fundraising Activities - Thank You!
in the body which has only recently
become available for research use. Our sincere thanks go
The benefits and opportunities to all our supporters
from undertaking the research are • Merrill Lynch
numerous including: • Medtronic
• The opportunity to explore an • Slater & Gordon
exciting area of active research in • Mrs Pat Johnson
vascular surgery - the development • Boston Scientific
of improved vascular conduits - in • The Ingham Family
order to address a huge unmet • The Biaggio Signorelli Foundation
need for patients who require • Baxter BioSurgery
surgery to bypass occluded vessels • The Dallimore Family
• Experience in applying tech-
Issue 2 December 2009 3
Board Members The Board
During 2009 the Board welcomed two new members:
• Professor Paul G. Bannon • Ms Joanne Wade, Asbestos Practice Group, Practice Group Leader,
PhD MBBS FRACS Slater & Gordon and
• Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, Director, The Centre for Clinical
• Professor Clifford F. Hughes Governance Research in Health, Faculty of Medicine at UNSW.
AO MBBS FRACS FACC FACS 2009 has also seen the retirement from the Board of Mr Warren Ryan,
FCSANZ Ms Odette Gourley and Mr Neill Whiston. We thank Warren, Odette and
Neill most sincerely for their contribution to TBI over the last few years.
• Dr Matthew S. Bayfield MBBS Warren held the position of Executive Director for some time and we thank
FRACS him for all that he has done in support of our work. We look forward to
Warren, Odette and Neill staying on as friends of TBI!
• Mr Leslie A. Shepherd FCIS
GAICD FCPA Meet Jean Haavasalu, Administration Manager
• Dr Michael K. Wilson MBBS Jean joined The Baird Institute in May 2008 as part-time
FRACS bookkeeper. She now works very closely with Michelle
managing all the financial accounts preparation and all
• Michelle Sloane BA MA MBA the documentation associated with fundraising!
CMAHRI MAPsS “I have had a long career in accounting, with two
diversions into nursing, thwarted by shift work.
• Joanne Wade BEc LLB When I left my previous full time position as the
Central Accountant for a large private company in
• Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite the southern highlands in 2005, I thought, what a
BA MIR MBA PhD FAIM good opportunity to retire! But one evening, I was
FCHSE idly searching the field of available jobs on the internet and wow, there was a
lovely sounding part-time job, flexible hours, for a “Part time bookkeeper” at
Newtown where I have accommodation.
“It was a lovely surprise to find that The Baird Institute involved heart
and lung surgeons. My mother had had a long association with RPAH and
heart surgery since the 1950s, when she was taken to RPAH thinking she
was dying, with our local country doctor saying it was “ just nerves”. Mr
Nicks was the wonderful surgeon then, and over the years she had a number
of heart operations, all under Mr Nicks except for the last one, by a surgeon
whose name I did not remember. Mum passed away at 76 years of age in 1992,
having decided “no more operations”.
Donate online at “After settling in at the Institute, I asked if any old records were kept of patients
www.bairdinstitute.com.au from years back. Eleanor Harvey, the SCTS Practice Manager, looked it up and
Donations of $2 or more yes, Mum was actually in their database and her last operation was under Prof.
are tax deductible. Baird himself! And here I was all these years later, at The Baird Institute.”
Become a Partner in Research
and join Future Focus today!
A regular tax deductible gift of $15 or more per month entitles you to become
a Partner in Research. Your regular gift every month will ensure that we
have the necessary funds available to help ordinary people as they battle
Suite 303, 3rd Floor unexpected, life-threatening diseases of the heart and lungs.
100 Carillon Avenue Please join Future Focus and become a Partner in Research today! As a
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invitations to special Baird Institute events. Please accept this key ring
PO Box M85 as a token of our appreciation when you join Future Focus.
Missenden Road For more information please contact Michelle Sloane,
Camperdown NSW 2050 Executive Director on 9550 2350 or 0412 267 828
Phone: 02 9550 2350 On behalf of all the team at The Baird Institute
Fax: 02 9550 6669 we wish you all the very best for Christmas,
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org the New Year and the holiday season.