Passionate people have helped create a community called Markham Stouffville Hospital. Now, as we mark our 30th anniversary, get to know some of the great people behind the faces as they tell their own stories.
By: Dick Synder
Dr. Mark Berber
A frequent lecturer and widely published in medical journals, Dr. Berber is one of three original members of MSH’s psychiatric team. “Thirty years ago, I was offered two staff psychiatrist positions — one at an established Toronto teaching hospital and the other at MSH. I chose the new community hospital. MSH offered me the unique opportunity to help start and shape a brand-new Mental Health Department. The hospital opened with just three psychiatrists; today there are 13 psychiatrists and a much larger multidisciplinary team than before. Today, as a leading treatment centre in York Region, MSH specializes in community integrated mental health with a focus on reducing stigma.
My decision to work at MSH was mostly influenced by Dr. Ralph Pohlman, the hospital’s first chief of psychiatry. It was Dr. Pohlman’s vision for a department that valued collegiality, sincerity, respect and compassion that attracted me. Under his leadership, the new team developed a department that offered excellent care for patients and their families, as well as a work environment that nurtured every staff member. Every Friday all the psychiatrists still get together for lunch, a tradition that began 30 years ago.”