In Memory of Dr. Rueben Devlin

By Humber River Hospital

On behalf of Humber River Hospital (HRH) community, we are deeply saddened to advise you of the passing of Dr. Rueben Devlin. Dr. Devlin was a loving husband to Rhonda for 48 years.  Much – loved father to Heather (Al), Neil (Elise), and Katherine (David).  Proud grandpa to seven, almost 8 grandchildren.  Dr. Devlin leaves behind an inspiring and historic legacy of public service, from his days as an orthopedic surgeon to a transformative President and CEO of Humber River Hospital (HRH), and most recently as Special Advisor and Chair of the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine.

Guided by the principle of patient-centered healthcare, Dr. Devlin had a profound impact on the lives of his patients, friends, colleagues, and Ontario’s entire healthcare system.

From his 17-year practice as an orthopedic surgeon in Newmarket to his 17-year tenure as HRH’s President and CEO, Dr. Devlin brought his unique combination of passion, foresight, and thoughtfulness in his approach to healthcare delivery. He always treated his patients as people first and wasn’t afraid to challenge HRH and Ontario’s medical community to continuously improve the quality of and access to care. It’s no wonder that Dr. Devlin was a driving force behind the strategic vision for the future of HRH, and steered its redevelopment and transformation to become North America’s first fully digital hospital and a global leader in patient-centered care. The results speak for themselves.

It was his groundbreaking leadership at HRH that made him the perfect choice for Premier Doug Ford’s Healthcare Special Advisor and Chair of the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine. In this role, he led the Council to advise the Premier and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on the complex challenge of reducing hallway medicine, and build a roadmap to improve health and wellness outcomes for Ontarians. His work at HRH was used as a model for curbing wait times, alleviating overcrowding in emergency departments, and creating a seamless flow of medical information between departments and providers.

Dr. Devlin embodied the Hippocratic Oath, offering not only his medical expertise to Ontario and the world but also his warmth and his compassion to everyone who knew him. As the world faces a pandemic, his loss is even more greatly felt, but his life demonstrates the tremendous impact that physicians can make on their communities. His legacy lives on through the physicians, nurses, and front-line professionals who are rising to overcome the challenge at hand.

Rueben wanted me to offer a special thanks to the Board Members (past and present), Physicians, Staff, and Volunteers of Humber River Hospital, so many of whom helped him through the cancer diagnosis’ and treatments since 2011. Over these past few days, a particular thank you to Dr. Berger, Dr. Reinhartz,  Dr. Sagman and the 13 West Team for all the care you provided to him and his family.

Details regarding the service will follow.