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Memorable Manitobans: Jaroslaw Barwinsky (1926-2016)

Physician and surgeon.

Born in Ukraine on 15 October 1926, he was educated at Ternopil during the Second World War. He was later interned with his family at Strasshof, Austria then relocated to Germany after the war. There, a US Army chaplain helped him to enroll in a medical program at the University of Munich, in 1946. The family emigrated to Canada, arriving at Halifax on his 22nd birthday. He took English language instruction at St. John’s High School then attended summer school at the University of Manitoba followed by two years at St. Paul’s College. He was accepted into the Medical School at the University of Manitoba, graduating in 1955. He received post-graduate training in general and thoracic surgery at the University of Manitoba, Western Reserve University, and Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital. He became the first Canadian of Ukrainian descent trained in cardiac surgery, being appointed to the academic staff in the Department of Surgery at the University of Manitoba, and to the surgical and medical staff in Winnipeg teaching hospitals. In February 1962, he installed the first heart pacemaker in Manitoba. He performed over 5,500 surgeries throughout his 37-year medical career before retirement in December 1998. In recognition of his community service, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), Taras Shevchenko Medal, and Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Manitoba. He died at Winnipeg on 28 August 2016.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 September 2016, page C7.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 5 September 2016

Memorable Manitobans

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