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Scientist profiles S-Z

Mary Vearncombe, MD, FRCPC

Associate Microbiologist,
Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Associate Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology, University of Toronto

Dr. Vearncombe graduated from the University of Toronto medical school in 1973, and completed specialty training in Medical Microbiology in 1979. She worked as a microbiologist at St. Michael's Hospital and the Women's College Hospital prior to starting at Sunnybrook in 1999. She has been the medical director of the hospital's infection prevention and control program since that time. She is also the co-Medical Director of the Central region Infection Control network. She is acknowledged nationally as a leader in the field of hospital epidemiology.

Dr. Vearncombe has taken leading roles in infection prevention and control policy development, serving as Chair of the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC) subcommittee on Infection Prevention and Control, as well as Chair of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA)/Ontario Medical Association (OMA)/Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) Communicable Disease Surveillance Protocol Committee. She is also a member of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Infection Control Guidelines Steering Committee, charged with a national mandate of providing evidence-based infection prevention and control guidelines. Specific areas of research interest include perinatal infection control, and the Occupational Health aspects of infection prevention and control.

Dr. Vearncombe has served as President of the Canadian Association of Medical Microbiologists, and as Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Specialty Committee for Medical Microbiology. In recognition of her special expertise and service to the medical community she has received several awards of distinction, including: the CHICA-Canada Award of Merit, the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases-Canada Distinguished Service Award (2005), and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Council Award (2007).