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In Memory of Dr. Jim Ruderman

January 30, 2015

Dr. Jim Ruderman

It is with immense sadness that I share with you the news that Dr. Jim Ruderman passed away peacefully yesterday evening, surrounded by his loving family. 

Dr. Ruderman was not only one the most highly respected physicians and healthcare leaders in this country, he was also a much loved friend and cherished colleague to those who had the privilege to work with him.

Although it is impossible to capture in words the indelible contributions that Jim made to this hospital, to his patients and to the broader healthcare community, or the enduring personal impact he had on so many people, I would like to share just some of his exceptional achievements. 

For 22 years, Dr. Ruderman was our Chief of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. In that role, he led the medical staff of this hospital and of his department with a distinctive calmness and wisdom, and always with incomparable integrity and honour.

Jim's lasting impact on family medicine is extraordinary. His mentorship of generations of physicians in their early careers led many to become some of the most prominent clinicians in Canada today. He built a department that became known as a truly caring community where patients are the focus and where providers are respected and their personal journeys are supported.

Jim also established the Frigon-Blau Chair in Family Practice Research and was the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including:

  • The Excellence in Leadership Award from the Department of Family and Community Medicine, U of T 2014
  • The Award of Excellence from the College of Family Physicians of Ontario 2013
  • The Excellence in Mentorship Award from the Department of Family and Community Medicine, U of T 2013
  • The Ontario Family Physician of the Year Award in 2005

In honour of Jim’s leadership and his enduring impact on this organization, we announced last year the establishment of the Jim Ruderman Lecture on Leadership and Innovation - a series of annual lectures on various aspects of clinician leadership and innovation in the healthcare system. The inaugural lecture will take place in June this year. 

Please take a moment to cherish your fond memories of Dr. Ruderman and to share with others his inspiring influence.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Ila, his daughters, Larissa, Jackie and Carly, and his son Ethan.


Marilyn Emery
President & CEO

UPDATE Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Since yesterday's announcement regarding the sad news of Dr Ruderman's passing, we have received numerous condolences and enquiries. Dr. Ruderman's service was held on February 1st. A book of condolences can be found on the Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel website: www.benjaminsparkmemorialchapel.ca.

For anyone wishing to make a charitable donation in his memory, his family has suggested that the following charities be considered:

  • Family Practice Unit, c/o Women's College Hospital Fund: 416-323-6323, or the
  • Melanoma Network of Canada: 905-901-5121

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