Dr Aynharan Sinnarajah joined the Division of Palliative Care, Queen’s University (and Lakeridge Health) as the Dr. Gillian Gilchrist Chair in Palliative Care Research. The appointment is effective June 1, 2021, for a five-year term. The chair is a joint appointment between the Department of Medicine at Queen’s University and the Department of Medicine at Lakeridge Health in Oshawa, Ontario and is awarded to a clinician-scientist with a proven record of academic, leadership and clinical success in palliative care. As the Gilchrist Chair, Aynharan Sinnarajah will engage in clinical practice, including teaching, supervision and mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students and postgraduate trainees. In addition, he has taken on the Division Head of Palliative Care at Lakeridge Health where he will work to advance palliative care provisions, improve and standardize palliative care across all Lakeridge sites.
Aynharan received his B.Sc. in Biological Sciences at the University of Toronto, where he also earned his MD and completed his residency in Family Medicine. In 2004, Aynharan completed his Fellowship in Palliative Medicine at the University of Calgary, and in 2014 he earned his Masters in Public Health (Quantitative Methods) from Harvard University. He has served as an Assistant Professor and a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Calgary, in the Division of Palliative Care. Aynharan worked as a Palliative Care Consultant Physician for Alberta Health Services – Calgary Zone (2004-2021) and was also their Medical Director from 2014-2019.
Aynharan has authored or co-authored over 120 peer reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and conference abstracts. He has received over $2 million in funding for projects as Principle or Co-Principle Investigator, and $7 million as Co-Investigator. In this role, he also has extensive experience supervising and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and postgraduate trainees.
Aynharan’s areas of interest (leadership and research) are program innovation, early palliative care models of care, integration of palliative care across the care continuum (acute care, outpatient clinics, home care, hospice care), and data-driven decision making. He co-founded and co-led the PaCES (Palliative Care Early and Systematic) project which aims to improve systematic early palliative care for patients living with advanced illnesses in Alberta. He also has an active interest in informatics and is leading a project looking at clinical decision support in electronic medical records to screen for patients living with advanced illnesses and high palliative care needs.