The Lower & Upper Anesthesia Symposium (LUCAS) is a collaboration of the three founding anesthesiology departments: McGill Department of Anesthesiology, University of Ottawa Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine and Queen’s University Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine.

The goal of this meeting is to leverage the close proximity of three of Canada’s most historic universities to enhance collaboration on anesthesia clinical care, research and education. Much of the story of Canada has taken place around the waterways that join our cities, from the Ottawa River that joins the St. Lawrence to the Rideau Canal National Historic Site and Heritage Route connecting our nation’s first capital to our current one.

LUCAS may seem like a new conference but the origins of this collaboration comes from a long history. The story of begins with Dr. J. Earl Wynands who established both the McGill Anesthesia Update in 1962 and the Ottawa Winterlude Symposium in 1994, which merged together with the Queen’s Whistler Winter Anesthesia Refresher Course (est. 1991) to become the meeting we recognize today.

Dr. Wynands is one Canada’s most important anesthesiologists, considered as one of the fathers of cardiac anesthesia by many world experts. He graduated from McGill University with an M.D. C. M. in 1954 and married his wife, Mary Grant, the same year. He received his anesthesia training in the McGill Anesthesia Diploma Course and obtained his Royal College Certification in 1969 and Fellowship in 1972. Dr. Wynands was a member of the Attending staff at The Royal Victoria Hospital from 1961 to 1988. Dr. Wynands was appointed Professor and Chairman of The Department of Anesthesia at the University of Ottawa and Chief of Anesthesia at the Civic Hospital and University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 1988 and retired in 1996.

Dr. Wynands made an outstanding contribution to the clinical, research, teaching and administration responsibilities of the departments of anesthesia at The University of Ottawa and McGill University. He subspecialized in anesthesia for cardiac surgery where he did considerable clinical research and teaching. He published a seminal article on anesthesia for patients with coronary artery disease having revascularization surgery of the heart in 1967 which attracted international attention: Wynands JE, Sheridan CA, Kelkar K: Coronary artery disease and anesthesia. (Experience in 120 patients for revascularization of the heart). Can Anaesth Soc J, 14, 382-98, 1967.

His ongoing research led to the publication of more than 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals and also contributed chapters to 16 textbooks on anesthesia. He was a visiting professor and invited speaker on more than 120 occasions to university departments and anesthesia meetings in Canada, The United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary, Turkey, Germany and Japan.

Dr. Wynands is a past president of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society, The Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, and the Founding President of The Cardiovascular and Thoracic Section of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society. Upon his retirement in 1996, he was the tireless driving force behind the founding of the Ottawa Simulation Centre, a multi-disciplinary simulation center & the second simulation center in Canada. From those visionary beginnings, the University of Ottawa Skills & Simulation Centre was established in 2010, the largest in Canada.

He has received many awards some of which are: The Order of Canada; The Distinguished Service Award of The Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists; the Gold Medal of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society; a Living Legend Award, World Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons, and an Honorary Ph.D. from the University of Montreal.

The LUCAS organizers recognize the vision and example set by Dr. Wynands in the practice of medicine and the care of patients and strive to produce an experience worthy of his approval.

Dr. Wynands understood the value of understanding the history of anesthesia practice and in 1996 published a paper on the contribution of Canadian anaesthetists to the evolution of cardiac surgery.