A donation made in honour of a much-loved rheumatologist will go on helping patients at St. Paul’s Hospital.

On October 8, St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation announced a $150,000 donation made in honour of Dr. Janet Markland, a specialist in rheumatology who dedicated years of her life to providing compassionate care.  The gift supports a variety of immediate equipment purchases for the St. Paul’s physiotherapy department, as well as ongoing education and professional development for the department over the next 10 years.

Dr. Markland passed away in August of 2013, just prior to her 65th birthday after a battle with an aggressive case of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Dr. Janet Markland

The late Dr. Janet Markland was a dedicated rheumatologist at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.

Equipment purchased thanks to the gift from Dr. Markland includes walkers, a dynamic stair trainer, a parallel bar glider, a Tran-Sit car transfer simulator, CPR dolls and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) trainers, among other gifts.

“Dr. Janet Markland… was greatly valued by everyone here at St. Paul’s Hospital,” said Bill Edwards, St. Paul’s Hospital Board Chair at the ceremony recognizing the donation. “She was valued for her deep and close relationships with her patients, and her profound dedication and commitment to them… for her knowledge of the hospital, so much so that she knew the needs of the hospital and where assistance was needed.”

“Dr. Janet Markland was an exceptional physician and an exceptional person,” said St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation CEO Bruce Acton.

Bill Edwards uses the stair trainer.

St. Paul’s Hospital Board Chair Bill Edwards tries out the new Dynamic Stair Trainer during a tour of the gifts made to Therapies Unit in honour of Dr. Janet Markland.

In over 30 years of practice, Janet saw and treated more than 90,000 patients. She worked tirelessly, treating and advocating for her patients, often working on paperwork and advising patients in the evening from home.

Noting that the Therapies Unit at St. Paul’s Hospital provides a breadth and depth of service that is often underestimated, Acton stated, “I’ve learned Therapies has close working relationships with a wide variety of patients from all the units at St. Paul’s, including Intensive Care, Emergency and even the Leslie and Irene Dubé Urology Centre of Health…. Nearly every patient that undergoes some sort of traumatic life change will have interactions with the Therapies Department.  This is a vitally important area of the hospital that has been improved significantly through Dr. Markland’s gift.”

The donation will have a profound and immediate impact on the Department of Physical Therapy, and will inspire positive change in the department for many years to come, Acton believes.

Dr. Markland’s husband, Don Drysdale worked with the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation to ensure his late wife’s wishes for the department were met, and was on hand with his daughter at a plaque unveiling ceremony and tour honouring Dr. Markland and her gifts to Therapies.

Three people stand near a plaque honouring the donation made in Dr. Markland's name.

Allison Stene (left), St. Paul’s Hospital’s Manager of Interprofessional Practice, with donor Don Drysdale and daughter Heather at the unveiling of the plaque in honour of Dr. Janet Markland.