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Ontario Sends Chief Forensic Pathologist to Haiti

Archived News Release

Ontario Sends Chief Forensic Pathologist to Haiti

Dr. Pollanen will work with RCMP forensic team

Ministry of the Solicitor General

Dr. Michael Pollanen, Chief of the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, will leave for Haiti tomorrow as part of a Canadian team that will help assess the personnel and resources required to identify victims of last Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti.

Dr. Pollanen is an Associate Professor of Pathology in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He has consulted for East Timor (United Nations), Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Thailand (Indian Ocean Tsunami), Canadian Department of National Defense and was a visiting professional at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Dr. Pollanen testified at the Steven Truscott appeal hearing.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OFPS) was created in July 2009 following amendments to the Coroners Act. Under the leadership of the Chief Forensic Pathologist, registered forensic pathologists in the OFPS perform autopsies ordered by coroners.
  • Pathologists are specialized medical doctors who have undertaken five years of additional training after medical school in pathology, the study of disease.
  • OFPS pathologists perform approximately 7,000 coroner-ordered autopsies each year. Many of these autopsies occur in Forensic Pathology Units located in Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, London and Ottawa.

Additional Resources


“Ontario is committed to helping the people of Haiti and those who have responded to the devastation there, in any way we can. We're pleased to make Dr. Pollanen available for this important mission. Ontario has committed $1 million and is ready to provide additional equipment and resources to help search and rescue efforts.”

Rick Bartolucci

Minister, Community Safety & Correctional Services

“I'm pleased to be able to contribute to the recovery efforts in Haiti. I will be working with the RCMP to assess how best to deploy Canadian forensic resources in support of the international response.”

Dr. Michael Pollanen

Ontario Forensic Pathology Service

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