January 5, 2024

The family of Dr. Michael Newhouse this week announced his passing on Dec. 25, 2023, at the age of 88. (Michael Newhouse | Obituary | Hamilton Spectator (thespec.com))

Dr. Newhouse has left a permanent imprint on St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University, as the founder of the world-renowned Firestone Clinic, which has since evolved into the internationally-recognized Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health.

“Dr. Newhouse leaves an immense global legacy thanks to his remarkable work and achievements in respiratory medicine,” said Paul O’Byrne, Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University. “His impact on research, education and in clinical work for chronic respiratory disease is unprecedented. He was incredibly dedicated to his patients, colleagues, and learners. Mike was a gifted mentor, and I am very grateful I had the opportunity to be both a mentee, and a colleague of his at the Firestone Institute.”

A brilliant mind and dedicated patient advocate, Dr. Newhouse’s work has enhanced the lives of both children and adult patients with lung diseases. One of his greatest achievements was pioneering the research, design and manufacture of the AeroChamber, a device that would simplify and improve delivery of pressurized inhaler medication to the lungs.

“Dr. Newhouse’s dedication to advancing the care of those suffering from respiratory issues had an impact on patients here and across the world,” said Dr. Anne Anderson, CSJ, Past Chair of the Board of Directors of St. Joseph’s Health System. “We are so grateful for the commitment he gave to our mission, research and clinical care.”

Dr. Newhouse, who earned degrees from Queen’s University and McGill University, is a native of Austria whose family moved to England in 1939 and then to Canada in 1948. He began working as a clinician and research associate at St. Joseph’s and McMaster University in 1964, and helped found the Faculty of Health Sciences. 

Dr. Newhouse also served in various leadership roles at St. Joseph’s beginning in the early 1960s, including the Head of Service for Respirology, and Assistant Chief of Medicine. Active in clinical research, Dr. Newhouse created an environment of excellence for clinical care, and a vibrant academic program. He was also responsible for the recruitment of medical leaders in Respirology that have continued his commitment to academic medicine.

Dr. Newhouse’s reputation as a respected and passionate researcher and physician is only a part of his legacy. He was a devoted husband and father, and within the community of St. Joseph’s, he was a dear colleague and friend who will be deeply missed.

In honour of Dr. Newhouse and in lieu of flowers, his family suggests making a donation to the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health through St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation. Please click here to make a gift in memory of Dr. Newhouse.

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