In Memoriam: Dr. Justin Maloney
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2022
With the recent passing of Dr. Justin Maloney, the medical community has lost a great teacher, educator and visionary, and the man considered to be the father of paramedicine in Ottawa and the city’s 911 emergency call system.
An emergency physician with The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the uOttawa Faculty of Medicine (FoM), Dr. Maloney advocated for and built the city’s 911 call system, convincing supporters of its worth which ultimately led to its establishment in the city in the 1980s. In tandem, he initiated and developed the paramedic professional level of skill and expertise the city relies on for their loved ones, essential in helping support the condition of patients prior to their arrival at hospital.
“Justin has been a giant and indeed a founder of emergency medicine here in Ottawa,” said Dr. Guy Hébert, Chair and Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine (EM) at the FoM and TOH, in a message to the EM community.
Dr. Hébert noted that Dr. Maloney’s 40-year career also reflects a staunch advocacy and national dissemination of training in basic cardiac life support (BCLS), automated external defibrillator (AED) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to millions of people and students across Canada, as well as numerous accolades and leadership awards. In 2017, Dr. Maloney was honoured with the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Cross Award for his efforts to teach CPR to high school students, expanding life-saving skills among the community.
Dr. Hébert lauded Dr. Maloney for being a “passionate and thoughtful visionary” who kept the patient experience and compassionate care central to his work. His mentorship, Dr. Hébert says, was imbued with wisdom, thoughtfulness, strategy and big-picture thinking.
“Our department is so proud of him, for his countless contributions to Emergency Medicine Ottawa and to the world of EM nationally,” Dr. Hébert said.
Dr. Richard Dionne, an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the emergency medical services (EMS) medical director with the Regional Paramedic Program for Eastern Ontario, worked closely with Dr. Maloney. In a heartfelt message directed to Dr. Maloney and shared with TOH’s team of emergency physicians, Dr. Dionne celebrated Dr. Maloney as “a great Canadian,” and a guardian angel to Canadians who have had a second chance at life because of his work.
“You have created an environment for a generation that considers it their civil duty to know resuscitation skills, and to assist other citizens in need,” he said. “Your impact is far reaching.”
An alumnus of uOttawa, Dr. Maloney completed his MD at the Faculty in 1971 as well as his medical residency in 1976. He joined the Faculty as a lecturer in 1980 and rose to the rank of associate professor over his career.
Dr. Alex Munter, president and CEO of CHEO, praised Dr. Maloney’s “relentless commitment to make things better for people” in a tweet on Wednesday, sharing that “if you’ve ever dialed 911 in Ottawa, you have Dr. Justin Maloney to thank. He led the campaign to make it happen.”
Dr. Dionne remembers Dr. Maloney as a gentleman giant, always calm, an outstanding listener, and gracious.
“As you were very humble, you never wanted to accept the numerous awards presented to you over the years: The Ottawa Hospital Clinical Leadership Award, Canadian Association of Emergency Physician’s Award for Lifetime Clinical Excellence, The National Association of Emergency Physician’s Excellence Award, et cetera,” said Dr. Dionne, “and more recently, the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Cross Award was bestowed on you.
“Dr. Maloney, no one was more deserving of these honours.”
We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Dr. Maloney’s family as well as to his friends and colleagues.