• History of OAGS
  • Previous Board Members

History of the OAGS

L-R: Dr. Ciaran Kealy is awarded by Past OMA Section Chair/Past OAGS President Dr. Philip Barron with a gift of appreciation recognizing him as the founder of the OAGS during the 15th Anniversary Annual Meeting, November 7, 2009.

The Ontario Association of General Surgeons (OAGS) is a non-profit organization that represents general surgeons throughout the province of Ontario. It was originally created in May of 1995 out of the necessity for an independent organization to represent and articulate the concerns of General Surgeons within the structure of the Ontario Medical Association. The OMA Section Chair at that time, Dr. Ciaran Kealy of Sudbury, and his executive spearheaded this splinter group with the important objective of the O.A.G.S. to be that of liaison with other groups and cutting specialties that will affect the practice and fee relativity of General Surgery in the province.

We continue to anticipate the renewed support of almost 300 General Surgeons this year - holding a status of either Active, Associate, Inactive (no longer billing OHIP), or Resident. Concerns and suggestions of both members and non-members are put forth to our 14 member board - all of whom are General Surgeons from across the province and volunteer their time and effort to our cause.

Our organization continues to seek the support of all general surgeons in the province of Ontario. The O.A.G.S. feels it has been contributing a service to general surgeons since its inception. Of particular interest, the association played an integral role in lobbying for call remuneration for Ontario's surgical sections at the turn of the 21st century. Participation in such important endeavours has facilitated our success in achieving an elevated profile amongst other organizations within the province.

The O.A.G.S. does more than benefit the interests of our own membership, however. We like to think we contribute a lot to our patients and society on the whole. In the spring of 1998, we played a supportive role with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). We helped to raise awareness for a new decision aid for Ontario women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Making Choices About the Removal of My Breast Cancer: What Do I Prefer? helped women make a choice between a lumpectomy or mastectomy, allowing them to take a more active role when consultiing with their physicians. The O.A.G.S. publicly endorsed this aid and encouraged all general surgeons, who do the majority of these cases across the province, to stock the materials and distribute them appropriately.

In addition to this, the O.A.G.S. has also actively taken part in workshops to review recommendations by Cancer Care Ontario and the Ontario Breast Assessment Collaborative Group pertaining to such screening programs in the areas of colo-rectal, pancreatic and breast cancer respectively.

More and more groups are looking to our organization for our opinion and support, and we appreciate the opportunity to become more involved in the decision-making necessary to improve healthcare for patients in Ontario.

Former OAGS Presidents
Former OAGS President Term
Dr. Kevin Lefebvre 2022-present
Dr. Tim Jackson 2020-2022
Dr. Harshad Telang 2018-2020
Dr. Alice Wei 2016-2018
Dr. Chris Vinden 2013-2016
Dr. Jeff Kolbasnik 2008-2013
Dr. Angus Maciver 2003-2008
Dr. Philip Barron 1998-2003
Dr. Ciaran Kealy (Founder) 1995-1998
    Former OAGS Board Members
  • Dr. Frank Baillie, Hamilton (2011-2015)
  • Dr. Philip Barron, Ottawa (1996-2012) ...Officer Positions: OAGS President, Past President, OMA Section Chair
  • Dr. Leo Chaikof, Toronto (1995-1999)
  • Dr. Suru Chande, Winchester/Ottawa(1996-2013) ...Officer Positions: OAGS Treasurer
  • Dr. Ian Chin, Oshawa (2001-2013) ...Officer Positions: OAGS Secretary
  • Dr. Dennis Desai, Ottawa (2005-2013) ...Officer Positions: OAGS Treasurer
  • Dr. Garry Fisher, Simcoe (1995-2005) ...Officer Positions: OAGS Treasurer
  • Dr. James Forrest, Leamington (1995-2011)
  • Dr. David Grant, Toronto (2006-2010)
  • Dr. Ciaran Kealy, Sudbury (1995-2013) ...Officer Positions: OAGS Founding President, Past President, OMA Section Chair
  • Dr. Jeff Kolbasnik, Milton (2000-2016) ...Officer Positions: OAGS President, Vice President, Secretary, Section Chair, Tariff Chair)
  • Dr. Jack Long, Elliot Lake (1996-2012)
  • Dr. Alan Lozon, Owen Sound (2006-2016) ...Officer Positions: Tariff Chair
  • Dr. Robert Mackenzie, Toronto (1999-2005)
  • Dr. Angus Maciver, Stratford (1998-2014)
  • Dr. Ian Macmillan, St. Catharines (1999-2006) ...Officer Positions: OAGS Vice President, Secretary
  • Dr. Joseph Margolian, Toronto (1995-1999) ...Officer Positions: OAGS Secretary
  • Dr. Hugh McLachlin, St. Thomas (2003-2008)
  • Dr. Lynn Mikula, Peterborough(2014-2015)
  • Dr. Dennis Pitt, Ottawa (1995-2001)
  • Dr. Chester Pitter, Owen Sound (1995-2006) ...Officer Positions: OAGS Vice President, OMA Section Chair/Vice Chair
  • Dr. Gary Rosenthal (1995-1998)
  • Dr. John Rowsom, Peterborough (1995-2003)
  • Dr. Alan Ryley, Burlington (1998-2002)
  • Dr. Stephen Silverberg (1995-1997)
  • Dr. Barry Stanley (1995-1998)
  • Dr. Dale Taylor, Port Hope (2003-2006)
  • Dr. Harshad Telang, Thunder Bay (2009-2020)...Officer Positions: OAGS President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary, OMA Section Secretary/Exec-at-Large)
  • Dr. Chris Vinden, London (2005-2017)... Officer Positions: OAGS President, Vice President
  • Dr. Wallace Watson, Toronto ( 1997-2000)
  • Dr. Alice Wei, Toronto (2011-2018) ...Officer Positions: OAGS Past President, OAGS President, OAGS Vice President
  • Dr. Peter Willard, Welland (2006-2014)