We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Robert Haslam. As former trainees and mentees who were deeply influenced by Dr. Haslam, we would like to share the following.
Dr. Haslam was truly a giant in the fields of pediatrics and child neurology in all the ways that matter most. His contributions as a clinician, teacher, academic, and leader at the highest levels are legendary, impacting the care of children with neurological disorders across Canada and the world. He literally built the field of child neurology in southern Alberta while leading the growth of the entire Department of Pediatrics in Calgary where he served as Chairman for many years. His influence expanded to other internationally recognized institutions, most notably serving as Chairman and Pediatrician-in-Chief at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto for 10 years. Formal recognitions of Dr. Haslam’s contributions are too many to count but are collectively exemplified on the national level by his induction to the Order of Canada and being awarded the 2020 Henry Dunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Child Neurology.
Above and beyond these remarkable accomplishments, it was Dr. Haslam’s skill as a clinician and teacher, as well as his remarkable humanity, which may have been most impactful. His ability to acquire the essential history and combine it with a careful, targeted examination to understand a child’s neurological problem was truly masterful. Dr. Haslam’s ability to connect with a child and communicate with parents was unmatched. To then be able to teach and instill these most essential skills in the hundreds of trainees he touched has carried immeasurable impact. This primary dedication to the “art of medicine” and the care of patients and families, is evident on his CV where all of his many prestigious leadership appointments and awards are only listed after his primary profession: child neurologist.
We thank Dr. Haslam for setting the highest of examples that we will strive to emulate. We will miss him dearly.
Dr. Adam Kirton and Dr. Michael Esser
For those of us who wish to honor Dr. Haslam, the family has kindly requested that memorial donations be made directly to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation in support of Brain Health initiatives. To make a gift online, please visit www.childrenshospital.ab.ca click on Donate Now and choose Remember a loved one. A celebration of Dr. Haslam’s life will be organized at a later date, details to be announced. Condolences and memories may be shared on the Snodgrass Funeral Home website www.snodgrassfuneral.com