Alberta emergency physician chosen as Royal College President-Elect

OTTAWA, Oct. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Louis Hugo Francescutti, MD, PhD, MPH, FRCPC, will become the 41st president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada next fall. The University of Alberta professor, emergency room/preventative medicine physician and crusader for public safety was elected at a Council meeting held this week in Ottawa.

"I am deeply honoured to have this opportunity," said Dr. Francescutti after the election. "As President-Elect, I want to help lead the Royal College into the future with firm conviction, resolve and enthusiasm."

Dr. Francescutti has experienced health care settings countrywide, working as an emergency medical technician in the Canadian Arctic, a blood bank technologist at the Montreal General Hospital, and a researcher, clinician and educator in Edmonton, Alta. He holds degrees from Concordia University, the University of Alberta and John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.

A renowned educator and physician, Dr. Francescutti has won numerous teaching and service awards during his career. In 2005, he was named one of Alberta's 100 most influential physicians of the past century by the Alberta Medical Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.

"Dr. Francescutti is an inspired, passionate and tireless physician and educator," said Royal College President G. William N. Fitzgerald, CM, MD, FRCSC. "He is an excellent choice to help lead the Royal College in addressing the challenges currently facing Canadian medicine."

Dr. Francescutti is also the founder of the Coalition for Cellphone Free Driving, former director of the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research and founder of HEROES, a multimedia head and spinal cord injury prevention project for teenagers. He has lectured internationally and helped develop several award-winning injury control programs.

As President, Dr. Francescutti hopes to continue improving membership engagement and helping the Royal College play a leading role in reducing injuries - the leading cause of death and disability for Canadians under the age of 45. His two-year presidency officially begins in fall 2010.

"More than ever, patients are looking to us for leadership and direction," he said. "The Royal College has never shied away from that responsibility and we will not start now."

About the Royal College

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is a national, not-for-profit organization of more than 42,000 members in 87 countries. The Royal College contributes to improving the health of Canadians by setting the highest standards for specialty medicine. Dedicated to lifelong learning, the organization is a trusted partner in advancing sound health and public policy.

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SOURCE Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

For further information: For further information: Theodora Simion, Director, Communications and External Relations, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, (613) 730-8177, ext 185/1-800-668-3740 ext. 185,

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