OTTAWA, Aug. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Dr. David Butler-Jones of Ottawa will receive the 2014 Canadian Medical Association's (CMA) Medal of Service in recognition of his outstanding and exceptional contribution to the advancement of health care in Canada.
"Canada's success in responding to the H1N1 flu pandemic was due in large part to the emphasis Dr. Butler-Jones put on ensuring that we were prepared to respond to public health emergencies," said Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, CMA President. "His exceptional contribution to the people of this country by raising the standards of public health in Canada makes him deserving of the CMA Medal of Service."
"There is no greater honour than being recognized by your peers. Medicine plays a key role not only in treatment and care but in prevention, promotion and rehabilitation," Dr. Butler-Jones said.
"I am proud to be part of a profession that has embraced an understanding and interest in addressing the social, economic and environmental factors that fundamentally impact individuals and society's health and well-being. I have long believed that as a society, we are only as healthy as the least healthy among us. Our responsibility then is not just in improving overall health, but in reducing the gap."
"There is a virtuous cycle of health, well-being, equity and economy each positively (or negatively) influencing the other. It has been a tremendous privilege for me to have worked in clinical and public health, academic and government positions. Working at each level of governance has given me a particular appreciation of how everything is interconnected, and how each level of organization is only as good as the value added to what happens locally in the daily lives of all in Canada and around the world."
Dr. Butler-Jones has been Canada's first chief public health officer since the creation of the Public Health Agency of Canada in 2004. He has provided critical leadership for the government's efforts to protect the health and safety of its citizens. He also has been an effective spokesperson for the needs of Canadians.
His medical training was at the University of Toronto and Queen's. He holds specialty certifications in family medicine, community medicine, and epidemiology, as well as public health and preventive medicine. He worked in Newfoundland and Northern and Southern Ontario, before becoming the first chief medical health officer for Saskatchewan in 1995 and executive director of the province's public health and primary care branches.
After the national 2003 SARS crisis, Dr. Butler-Jones served on the federal advisory panel that recommended the establishment of the Public Health Agency and as chief public health officer with the authority and independence to respond to national health emergencies. Canada's success in responding to the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, which sparked one of the largest-ever immunization campaigns, was largely because of the emphasis Dr. Butler-Jones put on preparedness and inter-jurisdictional collaboration.
He also initiated annual reports to Parliament on public health issues such as health inequality, priorities for a healthy future, sex and gender, and the needs of older Canadians and youth. Under his guidance the Agency has been recognized internationally as a centre for population and public health.
York University granted him an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2007, and the Canadian Public Health Association, of which he is a former president, presented him with its Robert Davies DeFries Award in 2010.
Dr. Butler-Jones is the 44th recipient of the CMA Medal of Service. The medal will be presented at a ceremony to be held on Aug. 20 at the Westin Ottawa as part of the CMA's 147th annual meeting.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care.
SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association
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