Remembering A Valley Pioneer: Dr. Wilbert Keon

Tributes are pouring in for an Ottawa Valley pioneer. 

Dr. Wilbert Keon, the founder of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and a world renowned cardiac surgeon, passed away on Sunday. 

Keon’s roots are right across the river in Sheenboro, Quebec, and a school in Chapeau bears his name. 

Dr. Keon led a number of Canadian firsts in cardiac care and surgery.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says Keon's impact goes well beyond the healthcare community.

"My thoughts are with the Keon family at this time. The former Senator and Doctor was a key leader in our city and his contributions to our country in medicine and public policy were profound and impactful", Watson tweeted.

President & CEO of the Bruyere Centre Foundation in Ottawa, Peggy Taillon, says his mark will forever be felt in healthcare.

"He really wanted us to lead and to shine and to be healthy, and to be well, and to embrace where we're from", Taillon told CTV News Ottawa.

"His good nature, and his belief in the goodness in people, is something that we should all kind of aspire towards", she added.

Keon is being remembered all around the healthcare community as a true leader.

"The thing about Dr. Keon is that he thought about individual patients, individual people, and he thought about the big system, and how it should change - and that's the power of that man", added Alex Munter, the President & CEO of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Keon was twice awarded the order of Canada and was named a Canadian Senator, where he served for 20 years. 

He was surrounded by family when he passed away.

Dr. Keon was 83 years old.