MONTREAL -- The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) has appointed native Montrealer Liane Feldman to the prestigious positions of surgeon-in-chief and Medical Director of its surgical mission.

“Dr. Feldman is a very talented and dedicated healthcare professional, educator, and researcher,” MUHC President Dr. Pierre Gfellar said in a statement. “She also happens to be the first woman ever appointed to this important position at the MUHC.”

“I think it’s an important message, and that’s what I’ve been told by other people,” Dr. Feldman told CTV in an interview about the significance of being the first woman at the MUHC to be hired for the job.

“If that helps other women pursue leadership, then that’s a great thing. Having different voices around the table makes an organization stronger.”

For the last nine years, Feldman has been the Director of the MUHC’s Division of General Surgery, overseeing the work of more than 50 surgeons who practice within Mcgill’s teaching hospital network, which includes the Jewish General Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Centre.

A former student describes Feldman as an “important mentor.” Dr. Phil Vourtzoumis wrote in a note to CTV, that he could “always count on her inside and outside the operating room.”

Among Feldman’s new responsibilities, is the complex task of organizing the clinical workload in the operating rooms, ambulatory clinics and emergency departments at 4 McGill institutions.

Feldman, who has expertise in minimally invasive surgery, also becomes Chair of the Department of Surgery at McGill’s Faculty of Medicine.

The MUHC surgeon and her team are internationally recognized for developing, implementing and evaluating plans that seek to ensure the best operative care for patients, from the time period before an operation through to the post-operative care.

Dr. Feldman has also won several teaching awards and was honoured for contributing to the advancement of women in the Department of Surgery.

“I’m excited about the new position,” Feldman said. “It’s a huge opportunity to improve care for our patients and our institutions. I think that things have really moved in the right direction, we’ve made progress, and I’ll build on that.”