Announcement - Dr. Donald Low
September 19, 2013:
Public Health Ontario is deeply saddened to hear the news of Dr. Donald Low’s death.
A world-renowned microbiologist, Don was the Medical Director of the PHO Laboratories from 2005 to 2012 as well as the Microbiologist-in-Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital. Don made extensive contributions to teaching and researching throughout his career and was an internationally recognized expert in infectious diseases. His skill as a communicator enabled him to translate complex topics for the public, and he was highly sought after by media to comment on a range of topics.
In his role with the public health labs, starting prior to the divestment from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and continuing after the transfer, he played an instrumental role in their renewal. With his leadership new staff were recruited, new testing technologies and an information system were implemented, and a bold plan for the new central public health laboratory at MaRS was developed and approved by the provincial government. Don also played a key leadership role in the creation and development of Public Health Ontario (PHO) and was an advisor throughout the process of our establishment to the Chief Medical Officer of Health, our Board and me personally.
For me and for all of PHO, we are deeply grateful for all that Don did to further PHO’s success. But more than his professional achievements, it was his commitment, humour, passion and talent that touched us. We recall his ready smile, his collegiality, his eye for talent and ability to inspire, his generosity in cultivating ideas, his kindness and his intelligence, and his commitment and pride in his family.
We were able to honour Don in June 2012 when nearly 200 guests joined us for A Celebration of Excellence hosted by the Sheela Basrur Centre. At the heart of it all, was our guest of honour Don, whose good humour, kindness and ability to bring together colleagues and friends shone throughout the evening. Through generous support from multiple donors and sponsors, we were able to establish the Don Low Communications Fellowship at the Sheela Basrur Centre. The fellowship honours Don’s legacy as a true spokesperson for public health, able to explain complex infectious diseases, research and treatments in ways that all can understand.
On behalf of all of us at PHO, we extend our condolences to Don’s wife Maureen, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends.
President and Chief Executive Officer