Ron Stewart’s roots in Cape Breton have brought him home to lead MedLink, a joint initiative of Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University and the Cape Breton District Health Authority. The brainchild of Dr. Stewart, who is adjunct professor with CBU, this collaborative effort pursues enhanced coordination and post-secondary health education and training availability in Cape Breton.
Always a person of vision, Dr. Stewart has the commitment of all three bodies in a Memorandum of Understanding that capitalizes on growth and augmentation of existing academic and health structures with proactive partners. Dr. Stewart currently serves as a Special Advisory on Health Care programming at CBU.
Known among his peers as the “father of emergency medicine”, Ron Stewart has been the catalyst for many health related initiatives across North America and this past weekend was recognized by the Canadian Healthcare Association as the 2013 recipient of the Association’s Award for Distinguished Service at its annual meeting in Niagara Falls.
“We are invigorated by Ron’s great enthusiasm and ability to move projects forward with the participation of CBU faculty, staff and students as contributors to the critically important health care sector. It is wonderful to see him receive this national recognition which I expect will only spur him on to develop more innovative programs,” notes Dr. David Wheeler President and Vice-Chancellor.
Since 1949, the Canadian Healthcare Association’s prestigious Award for Distinguished Service has recognized outstanding contributions or achievements in furthering progress and governance in the health sector; consistent and noteworthy service and leadership, particularly at the national level; personal efforts to assist and advance the efficiency and performance of Canadian organizations; personal efforts to foster public policy and legislation related to heath care; and furtherance of public policy and legislation related to health care.
An accomplished physician and politician, Dr. Stewart’s career has focused on health system excellence. Educated at Dalhousie University and the University of Southern California, Dr. Stewart’s career has ranged from general practice in a Nova Scotia coastal fishing village, staff positions at several noted medical schools, to Medical Director of the paramedic system of the City of Pittsburgh. He has been actively involved overseas in projects focused on emergency and primary care. His involvement in the campaign to ban antipersonnel landmines saw him travel to several world capitals and to the UN, and be named a medical delegate to the Ottawa Treaty Conference of 1997.
A member of the Nova Scotia Provincial Parliament from 1993 to 1997, he served as Minister of Health and Registrar General from 1993 to 1996. A leader in health system reform, Dr. Stewart established the highly-recognized current Emergency Health Services system and a major expansion of home care services.
Dr. Stewart has been honoured with several national awards for his work in tobacco control. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Member of the Order of Nova Scotia, and holds a life-time honorary appointment to the Executive Council of Nova Scotia. He holds honourary degrees from Acadia University and Cape Breton University. His work in medical research has been recognized in the United States through the creation of the Ronald D. Stewart Chair in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2009, the American College of Emergency Physicians named him a “Hero of Emergency Medicine.”
“Dr. Ronald D. Stewart’s life-long pursuit of health system excellence embodies the spirit of the Award for Distinguished Service,” said Alice Downing, Board Chair, Canadian Healthcare Association. “We are pleased to present this award to such an accomplished Canadian.”
The award recognizes prominent citizens who have shown dedicated service both at home and abroad. Past Awards have been given to prominent Canadians such as Stephen Lewis, our former Ambassador to the UN and the former Deputy Minister of Health for Nova Scotia and celebrated pediatrician, Dr. Nuala Kenny. This year Dr. Stewart shared the podium with the Honourable Monique Bégin, who received an honorary life membership in the Association.