Heather Baltzer

Heather Baltzer, MSc, MD, FRCSC

I am a hand surgeon and a clinician investigator at the University Health Network's Krembil Research Institute. I am currently furthering my research credentials through a post-graduate degree in health services research at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Specifically, my thesis will focus on health care utilization and health economics among hand surgery populations using large administrative databases. This research was awarded peer-reviewed funding through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Additionally, I am applying my past training as a basic scientist to translational research with my collaborators who are world-class researchers in proteomics and cellular biology at the Krembil Research Institute. This research interest combines clinical and basic science research to investigate systemic and joint-specific biomarkers related to the development and progression of symptomatic osteoarthritis in the hand and wrist. The potential application of translational proteomics research in hand OA is a better understanding of disease progression and predicting response to OA treatment based on patient reported outcomes. This research has received peer-reviewed start-up funds through the University Health Network Arthritis Program and will align with ongoing translational arthritis studies affecting the spine and large joints in the lower extremity.

I am the Research Director for the Toronto Western Hand Program currently establishing a sustainable research program within our unit. This has involved instituting a prospective clinical intake database for all hand surgery patients, which enables prospective outcome data and is designed to incorporation of prospective cohort studies. The vision for this is to develop a rich, prospective dataset including patient reported outcomes with linkage to external population health data. Additionally, this database will be instrumental in our ongoing translational studies.

Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2017 Jun;5(6):e1328
Baltzer HL, Winocour S, Harless C, Saint-Cyr M
Ann Plast Surg. 2017 Jul;79(1):24-27
Baltzer HL, Harvey J, Fox PM, Moran SL
Plast Reconstr Surg. 2016 Aug;138(2):256e-64e
Baltzer HL, Kircher MF, Spinner RJ, Bishop AT, Shin AY
Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg. 2015 Dec;19(4):168-75
Baltzer HL, Spinner RJ, Bishop AT, Shin AY
Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 May;21(5):1583-8
Baltzer HL, Alonzo-Proulx O, Mainprize JG, Yaffe MJ, Metcalfe KA, Narod SA, Warner E, Semple JL

Assistant Professor, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto