It is with mixed emotions that we announce that, after 11 remarkable years of leadership as Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at the Kensington Eye Institute, Dr. Sherif El-Defrawy will be ending his term on June 30, 2023.
To say that Dr. El-Defrawy has set the gold standard in eye care – both nationally and internationally – would be an understatement. As we reflect on the numerous accomplishments and milestones attained during Dr. El-Defrawy's tenure, we cannot overlook the immense impact he has had on the lives of countless patients and their families.
Through his compassionate approach and expert guidance, he has brought light to the lives of those suffering from complex eye conditions, restoring vision and allowing our patients to remain independent longer. His tireless efforts have not only transformed individual lives, but have also contributed to the advancement of eye care on a global scale.
In close partnership with Kensington Health Leadership, Dr. El-Defrawy helped lead to the growth of the Kensington Eye Institute from being the centre for cataract surgeries to one that performs highly specialized procedures including retina, glaucoma, cornea transplant and crosslinking. Thanks to his steadfast leadership, the Kensington Eye Institute does 15,000 life changing surgeries a year, and that number will soon increase to 18,000 with the opening of a sixth operating room.
Dr. El-Defrawy’s contributions go far beyond the operating room. As a strategic leader, he recognized the shortages surrounding ophthalmic technicians, and has been instrumental in establishing the first Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technician program at Kensington. Furthermore, he understood the nursing challenges and enabled KEI as the training center for ophthalmic OR nurses. He has been instrumental in building a strong supportive allied health and administrative team to provide the best patient care and overall experience possible.
His recognition for patient needs has also led to the growth of the Kensington Vision and Research Centre. Dr. El-Defrawy's efforts have resulted in Kensington now providing ophthalmic consultations and diagnostic assessments to more than 50,000 patients annually and excellence in research.
Dr. El-Defrawy has been a remarkable role model for the future generation of ophthalmologists as the Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. He has generously shared his knowledge and experience, nurturing the growth of young talents, and shaping the next wave of leaders in the field. His mentorship has fostered a culture of continuous learning and advancement, ensuring that Kensington remains at the forefront of cutting-edge research and patient care.
We are fortunate to have him continue his clinical, surgical, and research initiatives at Kensington Health as he steps down from his leadership position. We know that he will continue to support towards any advancement initiatives in the future for our organization.
Dr. El-Defrawy, on behalf of the countless patients, their families, students, and colleagues here at Kensington, thank you. You have made Kensington Health better and you leave a lasting legacy.