Canadian Medical Association

Abbotsford, BC; University of Toronto, 1950; family medicine; past president, College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). Died Dec. 29, 2018, aged 94. Survived by 4 children. “Don joined the Royal Canadian Air Force after high school and received his wings as WW II was ending. He graduated from the University of Toronto with his MD in 1950, and in 1952 began a 38-year career working for the United Church of Canada (UCC) Board of Home Missions. Initially placed as the lone MD on the Queen Charlotte Islands in BC (now Haida Gwaii), he delivered medical care via plane, truck and boat, and he facilitated the building of the 21-bed Queen Charlotte City Hospital, which opened in 1955. In 1956 Don moved to Bella Coola, where he spent 7 years as physician, hospital superintendent and caregiver to lighthouses and remote logging camps in the area. He was later adopted into the Nuxalk (Bella Coola) Nation and named Nooskumiich (one who heals with his hands) and Nenetsmlayc (one who brings back to life) at the opening of the new Bella Coola hospital in 1980. In 1963-64 Don moved to Prince Rupert and then Vancouver as medical superintendent for all UCC hospitals across Canada. A gifted orator, he spent the next 24 years travelling to UCC medical outposts from BC to Newfoundland, negotiating the building of new hospitals and the acquisition of new equipment, recruiting dedicated staff, encouraging local hiring and ensuring local representation on hospital boards. He continued to practise as a relief physician wherever needed. A proponent of full-service family medicine, Don received his CCFP in 1971 and his FCFP in 1974. Beginning in 1980, he served 2 terms as president of the BC College of Family Physicians, before becoming president of the CFPC in 1986. A champion of the 2-year family practice residency, he also spent 25 years as a clinical instructor for the University of British Columbia medical school.”