From Polio to Covid-19: Learning from the Past

Join us to learn more about the origins of mechanical ventilation and ICUs and how epidemics have shaped critical care over the years.

Upon completion of the presentation, participants should be able to recognize:

  • the power of interdisciplinary collaboration
  • the beginning of modern intensive care
  • the impact of epidemics on communities
  • the long-term effects of critical illness

Hannah Wunsch, MD MSc, is the Vice Chair of Research and a Distinguished Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Hannah received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Harvard, medical degree from Washington University in St Louis, and a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She completed a residency in anesthesiology and fellowship in critical care medicine at Columbia University as an Apgar Scholar. She was on faculty in the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia before moving to the University of Toronto in 2014 where she held a Canada Research Chair in Critical Care Organization and Outcomes. Dr Wunsch’s research focuses on the organization, and management of critical care services, with a particular focus on international comparisons of critical care, use of large databases to understand resource utilization, and long-term outcomes of critically ill patients. She has written for Nature, The Globe and Mail, McSweeneys, and other publications. She is the author of the recent book, The Autumn Ghost: How the Battle Against a Polio Epidemic Revolutionized Modern Medical Care.