It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. James Swan on Friday, June 4, 2021.
Dr. Swan served as president of the Ontario Association of Cardiologists since June 2013. In this capacity, he championed patient access to high quality cardiac care throughout all parts of Ontario, whether one lived in a big city or a small community. He also strongly advocated for the development and maintenance of high professional standards for the practice of cardiology in Ontario.
Dr. Swan graduated from Queen’s University and did his residency training in internal medicine and cardiology in Toronto. He undertook postgraduate training at Emory University in Atlanta in cardiac ultrasound and returned to Canada in 1977 to introduce 2-dimensional echocardiography.
He held an appointment in the Division of Cardiology of the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto since 1977 and appointments in the Divisions of Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital, Rouge Valley Health System, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Toronto East General Hospital, North York General Hospital and the Barrie Royal Victoria Hospital.
Dr. Swan was a founding member of the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario and was instrumental in setting up one of the first non-University cath labs in Canada, at Centenary Hospital in 1986. He was also active in the Ontario Medical Association serving as chair of the Section on Cardiology, and participating on numerous committees including the Central Tariff Committee and the tripartite Diagnostic Service Committee.
Dr. Swan was a leader in developing new digital technologies in his cardiac ultrasound lab in Scarborough, which are now used at major institutions throughout the world to improve cardiac patient care. He continued to perform diagnostic cardiac catheterization services and non-invasive cardiac testing and deliver cardiac care to patients in Scarborough, Ajax and Collingwood until last year.
An avid hockey player, Dr. Swan was team cardiologist for the NHL Old Timers in the ’70s and ’80s. In recent years, he was involved with the University of Toronto’s Global Surgery program travelling to China, Nunavut and Jamaica participating in medical exchanges and advancing patient care at home and abroad. He was also involved in acquiring and distributing personal protective equipment to healthcare organizations across Canada to help meet increased demand brought on by COVID-19. He was instrumental in establishing a fund at the University of Toronto to help find the genetic causes of glioblastoma in order to prevent others from developing the disease.
Dr. Swan is survived by his wife Carolyn, sons Matthew (Rachel) and Marc (Caroline), grandchildren David and Sarah and by his nieces Dr. Kathryn Swan (Will), Jennifer (Jorge) and Erica (James) and golden retriever Hennessy.
Ontario Association of Cardiologists
34 Eglinton Ave. West, Suite 410
Toronto, Ontario M4R 2H6