Get to Know: Dr. Ian Brasg, Physician, Infectious Diseases

By Bridget Burling

Dr. Ian Brasg:

“I grew up in the broader region around Humber River Hospital. I completed all of my medical training at U of T, including medical school, internal medicine residency, and infectious diseases fellowship. I also have particular expertise and extra training in caring for patients with compromised immune systems, whether from cancer itself or its treatment, or other immunocompromising medicines used in treating joint problems, gut problems, or other similar issues.

At Humber, I have taken a particular interest in caring for HIV patients, which is another type of immunosuppressing disease. Recently, I have been asked to take on a leadership role at our hospital, helping to advise senior leadership on the pandemic.”

The Infectious Diseases Clinic:

Infectious Diseases Clinic

The Infectious Diseases Clinic is a rapid referral clinic, predominately from the Emergency Department. It is also open to any visiting Humber patient who is being seen at one of the clinics. As well as patients who have been recently admitted to the hospital and are being discharged and might require some follow up. At this juncture, it is not open to patients in the community.

The clinic sees many infectious diseases, meaning a disease caused by bacteria, viruses, or other organisms. It is a common misconception that all infectious diseases are contagious.

Some examples of cases that are seen at the clinic include:

  • Skin and soft tissue infection
  • Urinary infection
  • Lung infection

In addition, we also see new diagnoses of blood-borne infections:

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis
  • Syphilis

“Infectious diseases are a cognitive speciality, which means we specialize in listening to our patients, examining the patients carefully and looking at the totality of the medical record. Using that information, along with select investigations, allows us to arrive at a diagnosis and a plan for the next steps,” said Dr. Brasg.

What makes you proud to work here?

“I love Humber’s cutting edge facilities and the way we use technology to help our patients. Everyone at the hospital is incredibly friendly and dedicated to caring for their patients, and that is great for me to see as a physician. I felt very welcomed in the group.

It is gratifying caring for such a diverse population from so many different backgrounds. On a personal note, that makes my job in infectious diseases all the more interesting because our patients’ diversity and backgrounds inform the kinds of things we see.

I am also proud that our leaders involved with our hospital’s development had the foresight to establish a facility prepared for a pandemic like no other. The majority of the rooms are single-patient rooms, and the high airflow turn-over helps lower the spread of infectious diseases between patients and staff.

It is also nice to work for an agile organization that can adapt so quickly. I still live in the surrounding hospital area, and it is gratifying to give back to my local hospital,” said Dr. Brasg.

What technology at Humber River Hospital excites you?

“I am excited about the Early Warning Panel through the Command Centre that we have for sepsis or a serious systemic infection. We are currently working to see how we can leverage our technologic capabilities to pick up on cases of COVID-19 faster,” said Dr. Brasg.

What motivates you?

“Limiting the effects of the pandemic on the community is an important goal that I have.”

The Infectious Diseases Clinic is located on level 4.

  • Humber River Hospital has two COVID-19 Assessment Centres. Click here for more information.
  • If you have questions about COVID-19, contact the Toronto Public Health Hotline: 416-338-7600
  • For non-emergency medical advice, contact Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000