Compassionate and Innovative Thoracic Surgeon Chosen to Receive 2016 Lackner Award for Medical Excellence

November 15th, 2016


photo of a surgeon November 3, 2016 (Kitchener) – A thoracic surgeon known for embracing innovation and treating patients with dignity, compassion and respect is the 2016 recipient of the Lackner Award for Medical Excellence.

Dr. Matthew Kilmurry has been with St. Mary’s since 2004. He was instrumental in the hospital achieving designation as a Level One Thoracic Surgery Centre, which serves Waterloo Wellington and beyond. He has worked closely with area hospitals and family health teams to promote the Thoracic Surgery Program and currently serves as lead for General Surgery at St. Mary’s.

Dr. Kilmurry’s willingness to integrate recommendations from his colleagues about new techniques and models for thoracic surgery led to an innovation award for patient centred care from Cancer Care Ontario. Under his leadership, the program has added minimally invasive techniques for thoracic cancer diagnosis and surgery. This year the thoracic surgery team was among the first in Canada to fully implement an early recovery model for thoracic surgery patients which drastically reduces their hospital stay.

“Many of Dr. Kilmurry’s patients have cancer of the lung or esophagus and he supports them on a journey that can last for years,” says St. Mary’s President Don Shilton. “Even when active surgical treatment is no longer an option, and they need hospitalization for end-of-life care, he visits them daily and works with the palliative care team to oversee their care.”

Staff say that Dr. Kilmurry likes to be personally informed about his patients’ condition whether or not he is on call or onsite at the hospital. He provides prompt follow-up and intervention as necessary.

The Lackner Award is presented annually to a physician who demonstrates excellence in patient care, innovation, compassion and a commitment to the mission and values of St. Mary’s General Hospital and the St. Joseph’s Health System. Dr. Kilmurry will be presented with the award November 17 at the hospital’s Annual Community Update.


Anne Kelly, Manager, Communications
519-749-6578, ext. 1501
226-339-1903 (mobile)