Scarborough Health Network (SHN) congratulates Dr. Vivian Rambihar, a globally renowned cardiologist and role model who has served Scarborough for over 40 years, on being inducted into the Scarborough Walk of Fame (SWOF) this year!

Eight more stars will be placed at Walk of Fame Court at the Scarborough Town Centre on April 10 during a public ceremony honouring the achievements of Scarborough residents who have made significant contributions in the worlds of culture, education, health, science, community, and more.

Also being inducted is Marg Middleton, profound volunteer and community leader who has routinely worked with the SHN Foundation over the years.

“It’s such a thrill to be sharing the stories of a new group of really amazing people who show Scarborough is well represented with local, national, and international accomplishments,” said Walk of Fame chairman, Glenn De Baeremaeker, about the 2024 inductees.

Cardiologist, Curator, Catalyst of change

Dr. Rambihar began practicing at SHN’s General Hospital in 1980, and has made contributions to the medical, scientific, and humanitarian fields as a dedicated physician, adjunct professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, and health co-chair for the Global Organization for People of Indian Origin.

Committed to advancing diversity in healthcare with a focus on immigrant health, particularly among South Asians, Dr. Rambihar immigrated to Canada from Guyana in 1970, when he began to study medicine at McMaster University. From the beginning, he brought a unique and necessary perspective to healthcare as an immigrant.

“When I started practicing at Scarborough General in 1990, I immediately noticed some problems,” said Dr. Rambihar.

“Scarborough was becoming increasingly multicultural and there were different medical care needs in different communities which were not being met—diversity and intersectionality in medicine were not being discussed at the time, but it was important and necessary to research. So, I joined an amazing interdisciplinary group of medical professionals at the General Hospital, who came together to give attention to that underrepresented area of care.”

Dr. Rambihar and his team began hosting a monthly open forum at the hospital, for members of the community to join and discuss the barriers they face in receiving adequate healthcare. The initiative attracted patients, nurses, doctors, and social workers alike. Thus began Dr. Rambihar’s reputation as an advocate and innovator of immigrant and ethnic health.

“Over the next few years, my team and I began to publish and present some of the first research in Canada on ethnic variation in medicine,” added Dr. Rambihar. “For over 20 years and to this day, medical professionals from SHN and I engaged in grassroots action and social occasions for promoting health and offering medical advice to those who needed it: going to schools, temples, churches, and community centers to achieve change.”

Dr. Rambihar promoted this cause extensively, delivering keynote addresses to Black and South Asian Canadian communities, and creating a 50th anniversary editorial for the American Heart Journal on the intersection of race, ethnicity, and health.

As an early pioneer in recognizing the ethnic and gender disparities in medicine, Dr. Rambihar dedicated his work to understanding these differences and how to overcome them in the development of equitable health. His ground-breaking work extends beyond traditional medical boundaries, as he was among the first to integrate chaos and complexity science into medicine. Chaos and complexity theory is the concept that mathematical and/or situational formulas describe how systems change over time. In its application to real life, this can make events that appear random – such as sudden heart disease and death in South Asian populations – somewhat predictable, requiring different strategies for prevention.

Dr. Rambihar cemented his legacy as an innovator of medicine through his various publications and lectures on chaos and complexity in medicine, including letters published in prestigious medical journals such as The Lancet, Heart, and the British Medical Journal, and lectures at University College London and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and across the West Indies.

“I am privileged to be inducted into the Scarborough Walk of Fame,” reflected Dr. Rambihar. “Like SHN, this community has been a robust foundation for my work. SHN had an extraordinary influence on the impact of my work over the years, which is represented in many of my publications, including editorials in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and American Heart Journal.

“The change we have achieved in healthcare showcases the large influence a small area like Scarborough can make, and it is a true honour to be commemorated as a role model in Scarborough.”

Marg Middleton: Philanthropist and volunteer

Marg Middleton is being recognized by SWOF as a dedicated volunteer and founding member of many organizations that propel the growth and development of our community, including the Scarborough Women of Philanthropy. She continues to support SHN Foundation’s Love, Scarborough fundraising campaign, having noted: “There is no one in Scarborough that might not be affected by the hospital some day.”

Watch Marg’s Love, Scarborough video to learn more about her story.