Canadian Medical Association

Salt Spring Island, BC; University of Edinburgh (Scotland), 1948; Royal Air Force (RAF); ophthalmology; officer, Order of Canada. Died Sept. 2, 2020, aged 95. Survived by 3 children, 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. “He served as president of the British Medical Students Association, and was among the group of doctors who negotiated the terms of the health plan that subsequently led to the creation of the National Health Service in 1948. After being conscripted into the RAF Medical Corps, he served in Aden (Yemen). After returning to the United Kingdom he continued his training in ophthalmology in York, followed by positions in Edinburgh and Oxford. After immigrating to Medicine Hat, Alta., Stephen was soon recruited by the University of Saskatchewan and moved into a faculty position that enabled him to pursue his love of research. In 1963, he was appointed associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia (UBC). In 1973 he became professor and head of the Department of Ophthalmology at UBC, and clinical department head at the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). He remained in this position until his official retirement in 1990. He remained active in glaucoma research well into his 80s. Stephen was key in the building of the UBC/VGH Eye Care Centre, the first free-standing eye care facility in Canada, after relentless fundraising efforts and negotiations with VGH and the BC Ministry of Health. It combined clinical care, surgery and training of medical students, residents and fellows under one roof. It also introduced new efficiencies in cataract surgery. The Eye Care Centre opened its doors in 1983 and was a model for other centres in Canada and worldwide. Stephen was recognized internationally for his work in glaucoma research. He made numerous major contributions, including the recognition of the ‘Drance hemorrhage.’ Along with Dr. Douglas Anderson of Miami, he designed and executed pioneering research that set the standard of care in glaucoma management. He published hundreds of papers and book chapters. Stephen mentored 39 clinical and postdoctoral trainees over a span of 30 years. The Drance Fellows came from 14 different countries, and many are now world-renowned figures in the field.”

Back to top