Vale Prof John Uther, founding father of Westmead cardiology

Rw Professor John Uther OA passed away in February.

The founding father of Westmead cardiology Professor John Uther OA has sadly passed away on 27 February after battling a long illness.

Prof Uther founded the Westmead Hospital cardiology unit 40 years ago and retired from the facility seven years ago.

He had a strong international reputation for his work in cardiac arrhythmias and electrophysiology studies.

Prof Uther led Westmead Hospital to win the prestigious Ralph Reader Prize four times between 1981 and 1986, putting Westmead Hospital on the map nationally and internationally.

The hospital has won the Ralph Reader Prize intermittently since, as recently as 2018.  

Cardiology office manager Gagan Bhullar said Prof Uther was a fine mentor and inspiration to many cardiologists around the world.

“He challenged us all to aim for excellence in patient care,” Gagan said.

“He appointed cardiologists rather than general physicians to cardiology and up-skilled them.

“He started up the cath lab and was instrumental in bringing in cardiac surgeons and facilitating the commencement of cardiac surgery at Westmead.”

Gagan said Prof Uther’s philosophy was to reach out to help others if they wanted to be taught.

“He generously gave of his time to teach the subsequent leaders of a generation of electrophysiologists in Australia and NZ.

“When you are in the hospital’s Westmead Education Conference Centre, you should pause to view the portrait of this giant of a man.”