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Sunnybrook mourns the passing of Dr. Alan Harrison

October 5, 2020


We are saddened to share the news that this past weekend, Dr. Alan Harrison, former Sunnybrook Chief of Surgery, passed away.

Dr. Harrison was an icon at Sunnybrook and helped the organization become the health sciences centre it is today. Many of the services and specialties that have become world-renowned at Sunnybrook over the years began as the result of Dr. Harrison’s tireless advocacy efforts. He led the establishment of the Emergency Department at Sunnybrook in 1967 and lobbied to create the Trauma and Cancer programs.

His lifelong relationship with Sunnybrook began in 1950 when he joined initially as a resident in internal medicine. He then trained as a surgeon and was promoted at a young age to become the division head of general surgery. Dr. Harrison recruited and mentored numerous young professionals and encouraged them to take on leadership roles that resulted in the growth and development of Sunnybrook into one of Canada’s leading academic health sciences centres.

His commitment to research and education and the importance of sharing knowledge among colleagues remained prominent throughout his career and as a tribute to his dedication, Sunnybrook named Harrison Hall in his honour. Thanks to Dr. Harrison and many of his colleagues and former patients, Harrison Hall is undergoing a state-of-the-art renovation currently and we look forward to re-opening the facility early in the new year.

Sunnybrook has expressed its condolences to the Harrison family and we will work to find an opportunity to celebrate the life and career of Dr. Harrison in the future.