Dr. Aynharan Sinnarajah Appointed as Dr. Gillian Gilchrist Chair in Palliative Care Research

Posted on Friday April 09, 2021
Dr. Aynharan Sinnarajah
Dr. Aynharan Sinnarajah

Five-year appointment will help advance the delivery of palliative care services in Durham Region

In a joint appointment, Queen’s University and Lakeridge Health announced today that Dr. Aynharan Sinnarajah has been named the Dr. Gillian Gilchrist Research Chair in Palliative Care.

The Gilchrist Chair is awarded to a clinician-scientist with a proven record of academic, leadership, and clinical success in palliative care. Dr. Sinnarajah is a recognized leader in palliative care, a prolific researcher with over 120 published peer reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and conference abstracts, and has extensive experience supervising and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, and postgraduate trainees.

Palliative care is an important part of the health care continuum, improving the quality of life of persons and their families facing a life-limiting illness. With this new appointment, Dr. Sinnarajah will work to advance the delivery of palliative care services in Durham Region, improve and standardize palliative care across all Lakeridge Health sites, and contribute to high quality research, scholarship, and innovation.

With degrees from the University of Toronto (including part of his family medicine residency in Bowmanville) and Harvard, Dr. Sinnarajah has served as an Assistant Professor and a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Calgary in the Division of Palliative Care. Dr. Sinnarajah has also worked as a Consultant Physician for Alberta Health Services and Fraser Health Surrey, and as a locum Family Physician at Lakeridge Health, Bowmanville Hospital in 2004-2006. He brings experience as the former Medical Director of Calgary's Palliative & End of Life care program from 2014-2019.

The Dr. Gilchrist Chair in Palliative Care is the first fully funded academic Research Chair in Palliative Care at a community hospital in Canada. It honors the work of Dr. Gillian Gilchrist, who founded the Palliative Care program at Lakeridge Health in 1981 and was made possible through $2.5 million generously donated by Debbie and Dr. Hak-Ming Chiu.


“Palliative care is an essential part of providing care for our patients along the health care continuum. We are thrilled to welcome back Dr. Sinnarajah to Durham Region and look forward to his leadership as he works to advance the delivery of palliative care services for the people who need it most.” Cynthia Davis, President and CEO, Lakeridge Health

“I am delighted to be welcoming Dr. Sinnarajah to the Queen’s University and Lakeridge communities as Dr. Gillian Gilchrist Chair in Palliative Care Research. Dr. Sinnarajah brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise and his work will no doubt accelerate research in palliative care in the years to come.”
Dr. Jane Philpott, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University

“Dr. Sinnarajah is extremely passionate about Palliative Care and has devoted much of his career to generously sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. I can think of no one more suited to helping us take this next step forward in health care research with our partners at Queen’s University.” Dr. George Buldo, Vice President, Academic and Medical Affairs, Lakeridge Health

"I look forward to returning to Lakeridge Health where my interest in palliative care was first nurtured by a wonderful family physician in Bowmanville. I am honoured to take on this exciting opportunity to work with Lakeridge Health and Queen's University to contribute to the advancement of palliative care in the Durham region and beyond." Dr. Aynharan Sinnarajah, Dr. Gillian Gilchrist Chair in Palliative Care Research

“We are thrilled to hear of the appointment of Dr. Sinnarajah to the Dr. Gillian Gilchrist Chair in Palliative Care Research, which was made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Hak Ming and Debbie Chiu. Our Foundation looks forward to the progress this prestigious position will bring to palliative care in Durham Region, Canada and beyond.” Yves Gadler, CEO, Lakeridge Health Foundation


For more information, contact:

Sharon Navarro
Lakeridge Health