Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s Dr. Kirk Leifso recognized with COVID Leadership Award

News / General / Pediatric Care
By Maclaine Clark

Pediatric infectious disease specialist integral to COVID-19 response in Kingston community.

The Pediatric Chairs of Canada (PCC) have announced that Dr. Kirk Leifso of Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is a recipient of their inaugural COVID Leadership Award. Dr. Leifso is Kingston’s only pediatric infectious disease expert, and is being recognized for his ongoing commitment to patients, colleagues and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Leifso has supported the development of policies to ensure that pediatric patients and staff at KHSC are as safe as possible. During the summer months, his focus was on preparing for the return to school by hosting virtual town halls to answer the questions of patients and families and discussing the safe reopening of schools with local officials.

As the director of the residency training program, he has also faced the challenge of providing meaningful learning experiences for the student physicians who shifted into a virtual learning platform.

“The work is ongoing and there is a lot to be done,” says Dr. Leifso. “I’m very grateful for the recognition but I am just one person in a tremendous department that has pulled together to protect the kids we care for.”

“Health care workers and facility leadership are the fibre of the Canadian healthcare system, which has never been more evident than now,” says Dr. Robert Connelly, Program Medical Director of Pediatrics at KHSC and PCC President. “The pandemic reminds us all how much we depend on their courage and caring at our most vulnerable moments. Locally, Kirk has gone above and beyond to ensure we were all prepared to care for children throughout this pandemic. He has supported his colleagues, patients, families and our schools throughout these challenging times.”

Earlier this year, PCC invited their members to nominate individuals or teams within their facility that have gone above and beyond to ensure safe, high-quality, high-value healthcare. The nominations received demonstrated:

  • approach to ensuring patient and staff safety amidst COVID-19;
  • how patients’ and/or families’ experience was improved as a result of the hero’s commitment;
  • and how other health care workers and facility administrators were positively impacted as a result of the individual’s or team’s efforts.

Dr. Leifso will receive his award virtually at the PCC Annual Awards Ceremony to be held on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020.