Heather Baltzer, MSc, MD, FRCSC, FACS

I am a hand surgeon and a clinician investigator at Krembil Research Institute and have recently completed a post-graduate degree in health services research at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Specifically, my thesis focused 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, transcriptomics 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 'omics research in hand OA can lead to a better understanding of disease progression and the prediction of response to OA treatment based on patient-reported outcomes. This research has received peer-reviewed funding from multiple national and international funding agencies and will align with ongoing translational studies in the Schroeder Arthritis Program focused on the spine and large joints in the lower extremity.

I am the Research Director for the Toronto Western Hand Program and am 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 incorporate 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.

For a list of Dr. Baltzer's publications, please visit PubMed or Scopus.

Director, Toronto Western Hand Program, UHN
Research Director, Toronto Western Hand Program, UHN
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto